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Putting Limits On What AI Systems Can Do


New techniques and approaches are starting to be applied to AI and machine learning to ensure they function within acceptable parameters, only doing what they're supposed to do. Getting AI/ML/DL systems to work has been one of the biggest leaps in technology in recent years, but understanding how to control and optimize them as they adapt isn't nearly as far along. These systems are generall... » read more

Foundry Wars Begin


Leading-edge foundry vendors are gearing up for a new, high-stakes spending and technology race, setting the stage for a possible shakeup across the semiconductor manufacturing landscape. In March, Intel re-entered the foundry business, positioning itself against Samsung and TSMC at the leading edge, and against a multitude of foundries working at older nodes. Intel announced plans to build ... » read more

Many Chiplet Challenges Ahead


Over the past couple of months, Semiconductor Engineering has looked into several aspects of 2.5D and 3D system design, the emerging standards and steps that the industry is taking to make this more broadly adopted. This final article focuses on the potential problems and what remains to be addressed before the technology becomes sustainable to the mass market. Advanced packaging is seen as ... » read more

What Goes Wrong In Advanced Packages


Advanced packaging may be the best way forward for massive improvements in performance, lower power, and different form factors, but it adds a whole new set of issues that were much better understood when Moore's Law and the ITRS roadmap created a semi-standardized path forward for the chip industry. Different advanced packaging options — system-in-package, fan-outs, 2.5D, 3D-IC — have a... » read more

Chasing After Carbon Nanotube FETs


Carbon nanotube transistors are finally making progress for potential use in advanced logic chips after nearly a quarter century in R&D. The question now is whether they will move out of the lab and into the fab. Several government agencies, companies, foundries, and universities over the years have been developing, and are now making advancements with carbon nanotube field-effect transi... » read more

Making Sense Of New Edge-Inference Architectures


New edge-inference machine-learning architectures have been arriving at an astounding rate over the last year. Making sense of them all is a challenge. To begin with, not all ML architectures are alike. One of the complicating factors in understanding the different machine-learning architectures is the nomenclature used to describe them. You’ll see terms like “sea-of-MACs,” “systolic... » read more

Breaking The 2nm Barrier


Chipmakers continue to make advancements with transistor technologies at the latest process nodes, but the interconnects within these structures are struggling to keep pace. The chip industry is working on several technologies to solve the interconnect bottleneck, but many of those solutions are still in R&D and may not appear for some time — possibly not until 2nm, which is expected t... » read more

Design For Reliability


Circuit aging is emerging as a mandatory design concern across a swath of end markets, particularly in markets where advanced-node chips are expected to last for more than a few years. Some chipmakers view this as a competitive opportunity, but others are unsure we fully understand how those devices will age. Aging is the latest in a long list of issues being pushed further left in the desig... » read more

Why Improving Auto Chip Reliability Is So Hard


Tools and ecosystems that focus on reliability and the long-term health of chips are starting to coalesce for the automotive electronics industry. Data gleaned from a chip’s lifecycle — design, verification, test, manufacturing, and in-field operation — will become key to achieving the longevity, reliability, functional safety, and security of newer generations of automobiles. Having s... » read more

New Transistor Structures At 3nm/2nm


Several foundries continue to develop new processes based on next-generation gate-all-around transistors, including more advanced high-mobility versions, but bringing these technologies into production is going to be difficult and expensive. Intel, Samsung, TSMC and others are laying the groundwork for the transition from today’s finFET transistors to new gate-all-around field-effect trans... » read more

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