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System-In-Package Thrives In The Shadows


IC packaging continues to play a big role in the development of new electronic products, particularly with system-in-package (SiP), a successful approach that continues to gain momentum — but mostly under the radar because it adds a competitive edge. With a SiP, several chips and other components are integrated into a package, enabling it to function as an electronic system or sub-system. ... » read more

Will Monolithic 3D DRAM Happen?


As DRAM scaling slows, the industry will need to look for other ways to keep pushing for more and cheaper bits of memory. The most common way of escaping the limits of planar scaling is to add the third dimension to the architecture. There are two ways to accomplish that. One is in a package, which is already happening. The second is to sale the die into the Z axis, which which has been a to... » read more

Impact Of GAA Transistors At 3/2nm


The chip industry is poised for another change in transistor structure as gate-all-around (GAA) FETs replace finFETs at 3nm and below, creating a new set of challenges for design teams that will need to be fully understood and addressed. GAA FETs are considered an evolutionary step from finFETs, but the impact on design flows and tools is still expected to be significant. GAA FETs will offer... » read more

Designing Chips In A ‘Lawless’ Industry


The guideposts for designing chips are disappearing or becoming less relevant. While engineers today have many more options for customizing a design, they have little direction about what works best for specific applications or what the return on investment will be for those efforts. For chip architects, this is proving to be an embarrassment of riches. However, that design freedom comes wit... » read more

Piecing Together Chiplets


Several companies are implementing the chiplet model as a means to develop next-generation 3D-like chip designs, but this methodology still has a long way to go before it becomes mainstream for the rest of the industry. It takes several pieces to bring up a 3D chip design using the chiplet model. A few large players have the pieces, though most are proprietary. Others are missing some key co... » read more

5G Chips Add Test Challenges


The advent of chips supporting millimeter-wave (mmWave) 5G signals is creating a new set of design and testing challenges. Effects that could be ignored at lower frequencies are now important. Performing high-volume test of RF chips will require much more from automated test equipment (ATE) than is required for chips operating below 6 GHz. “MmWave design is a pretty old thing,” said Y... » read more

Data Centers On Wheels


Automotive architectures are evolving quickly from domain-based to zonal, leveraging the same kind of high-performance computing now found in data centers to make split-second decisions on the road. This is the third major shift in automotive architectures in the past five years, and it's one that centralizes processing using 7nm and 5nm technology, specialized accelerators, high-speed memor... » read more

Bumps Vs. Hybrid Bonding For Advanced Packaging


Advanced packaging continues to gain steam, but now customers must decide whether to design their next high-end packages using existing interconnect schemes or move to a next-generation, higher-density technology called copper hybrid bonding. The decision is far from simple, and in some cases both technologies may be used. Each technology adds new capabilities in next-generation advanced pac... » read more

Shifting Toward Data-Driven Chip Architectures


An explosion in data is forcing chipmakers to rethink where to process data, which are the best types of processors and memories for different types of data, and how to structure, partition and prioritize the movement of raw and processed data. New chips from systems companies such as Google, Facebook, Alibaba, and IBM all incorporate this approach. So do those developed by vendors like Appl... » read more

There’s More To Machine Learning Than CNNs


Neural networks – and convolutional neural networks (CNNs) in particular – have received an abundance of attention over the last few years, but they're not the only useful machine-learning structures. There are numerous other ways for machines to learn how to solve problems, and there is room for alternative machine-learning structures. “Neural networks can do all this really comple... » read more

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