People Vs. Self-Driving Cars


If you’re a screenwriter—or a car salesman—you’re already thinking of ways to write non-sci-fi self-driving cars into a movie script. Automobiles have been integral to the plots of gritty noir crime movies, heist flicks, romantic comedies, and obviously, road movies. What's clear is the self-driving car won’t be the ideal getaway vehicle anymore, particularly if there is no steerin... » read more

Big Changes For Mainstream Chip Architectures


Chipmakers are working on new architectures that significantly increase the amount of data that can be processed per watt and per clock cycle, setting the stage for one of the biggest shifts in chip architectures in decades. All of the major chipmakers and systems vendors are changing direction, setting off an architectural race that includes everything from how data is read and written in m... » read more

3D NAND Flash Wars Begin


3D NAND suppliers are gearing up for a new battle amid a period of price and competitive pressures, racing each other to the next technology generations. Competition is intensifying as a new player enters the 3D NAND market—China’s Yangtze Memory Technologies Co. (YMTC). Backed by billions of dollars in funding from the Chinese government, YMTC recently introduced its first 3D NAND techn... » read more

Auto Chip Test Getting Harder


Chipmakers and test/validation companies are helping lead the effort to develop self-driving cars, but they are facing a wide range of technical and even cultural barriers. Advanced driver assist systems (ADAS) already are the most complex systems by far in modern cars, the best of which hover between Level 2 and Level 3 on the five-step autonomy ladder maintained by the Society of Automotiv... » read more

Safety, Security And PPA Tradeoffs


Safety and security are emerging as key design tradeoffs as chips are added into safety-critical markets, adding even more complexity into an already complicated optimization process. In the early days of semiconductor design, performance and area were traded off against each other. Then power became important, and the main tradeoffs became power, performance and area (PPA). But as chips inc... » read more

Security Holes In Machine Learning And AI


Machine learning and AI developers are starting to examine the integrity of training data, which in some cases will be used to train millions or even billions of devices. But this is the beginning of what will become a mammoth effort, because today no one is quite sure how that training data can be corrupted, or what to do about it if it is corrupted. Machine learning, deep learning and arti... » read more

Big Trouble At 3nm


As chipmakers begin to ramp up 10nm/7nm technologies in the market, vendors are also gearing up for the development of a next-generation transistor type at 3nm. Some have announced specific plans at 3nm, but the transition to this node is expected to be a long and bumpy one, filled with a slew of technical and cost challenges. For example, the design cost for a 3nm chip could exceed an eye-p... » read more

FPGAs Becoming More SoC-Like


FPGAs are blinged-out rockstars compared to their former selves. No longer just a collection of look-up tables (LUTs) and registers, FPGAs have moved well beyond into now being architectures for system exploration and vehicles for proving a design architecture for future ASICs. This family of devices now includes everything from basic programmable logic all the way up to complex SoC devices.... » read more

Progress And Chaos On Road To Autonomy


Progress in the development of fully autonomous vehicles is incremental and slow, but not for lack of effort. Research and development in self-driving cars is under way all around the globe, from the biggest automotive manufacturers and their Tier 1 suppliers to companies not traditionally involved in the automotive industry. Add to that fleets of startups working on sensor technologies and ... » read more

Designing Hardware For Security


By Ed Sperling and Kevin Fogarty Cyber criminals are beginning to target weaknesses in hardware to take control of devices, rather than using the hardware as a stepping stone to access to the software. This shift underscores a significant increase in the sophistication of the attackers, as evidenced by the discovery of Spectre and Meltdown by Google Project Zero in 2017 (made public in Ja... » read more

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