Why DRAM Won’t Go Away


Semiconductor Engineering sat down to talk about DRAM's future with Frank Ferro, senior director of product management at Rambus; Marc Greenberg, group director for product marketing at Cadence; Graham Allan, senior product marketing manager for DDR PHYs at Synopsys; and Tien Shiah, senior manager for memory marketing at Samsung Electronics. What follows are excerpts of that conversation. Part ... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Sept. 17


Silicon thermoelectrics Researchers at the University of Texas at Dallas and Texas Instruments developed a new method for thermoelectric generation that could be used with electronics to convert waste heat into reusable energy. "In a general sense, waste heat is everywhere: the heat your car engine generates, for example," said Mark Lee, professor and head of the Department of Physics at UT... » read more

Scan Compression Is No Longer About Compression


Scan compression was introduced in the year 2000 and has seen rapid adoption. Nearly every design’s test methodology today implements this technology, which inserts compression logic in the scan path between the scan I/Os and the internal chains. In this article, we take a critical look at the technology to understand how scan compression has matured. The road to scan compression Since th... » read more

FPGA Design Tradeoffs Getting Tougher


FPGAs are getting larger, more complex, and significantly harder to verify and debug. In the past, FPGAs were considered a relatively quick and simple way to get to market before committing to the cost and time of developing an ASIC. But today, both FPGAs and eFPGAs are being used in the most demanding applications, including cloud computing, AI, machine learning, and deep learning. In some ... » read more

The New CXL Standard


Gary Ruggles, senior staff product marketing manager at Synopsys, digs into the new Compute Express Link standard, why it’s important for high bandwidth in AI/ML applications, where it came from, and how to apply it in current and future designs. » read more

Making Better Use Of Memory In AI


Steven Woo, Rambus fellow and distinguished inventor, talks about using number formats to extend memory bandwidth, what the impact can be on fractional precision, how modifications of precision can play into that without sacrificing accuracy, and what role stochastic rounding can play. » read more

Another Brick Or Two In The Chip Design Wall


Physical challenges come and go in the semiconductor world. But increasingly, they also stick around, showing up in inconvenient places at the worst time. The chip industry has confronted and solved some massive challenges over the years. There was the 1 micron lithography wall, which was supposed to be impenetrable. That was followed by the 193nm litho challenge, which cost many billions of... » read more

Breaking Down The AI Memory Wall


Over the past few decades, the semiconductor industry has witnessed the rapid evolution of memory technology as new memories helped to usher in new usage models that characterized each decade. For example, synchronous memory helped drive the personal computer (PC) revolution in the 1990s, and this was quickly followed by specialized graphics memory (GPUs) for game consoles in the 2000s. When sm... » read more

3D Power Delivery


Getting power into and around a chip is becoming a lot more difficult due to increasing power density, but 2.5D and 3D integration are pushing those problems to whole new levels. The problems may even be worse with new packaging approaches, such as chiplets, because they constrain how problems can be analyzed and solved. Add to that list issues around new fabrication technologies and an emph... » read more

High-Performance DSP And Control Processing For Complex 5G Requirements


In the early 2000s, digital signal processors (DSP) were simple in architecture and limited in performance, but complex in programming. However, they evolved to meet of the increased performance requirements of 3G cellular baseband modem applications. A typical 3G modem system would have a single DSP optimized for dual/quad SIMD MAC performance with basic DSP filter instructions like Fast Fouri... » read more

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