Trimming Waste In Chips


Extra circuitry costs money, reduces performance and increases power consumption. But how much can really be trimmed? When people are asked that question they either get defensive or they see it as an opportunity to show the advantages of their architecture, design process or IP. The same holds true for IP suppliers. Others point out that the whole concept of waste is somewhat strange, becau... » read more

Starting Point Is Changing For Designs


The starting point for semiconductor designs is shifting. What used to be a fairly straightforward exercise of choosing a processor based on power or performance, followed by how much on-chip versus off-chip memory is required, has become much more complicated. This is partly due to an emphasis on application-specific hardware and software solutions for markets that either never existed befo... » read more

Looming Issues And Tradeoffs For EUV


Momentum is building for extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography, but there are still some major challenges to solve before this long-overdue technology can be used for mass production. [gettech id="31045" comment="EUV"] lithography—a next-generation technology that patterns tiny features on a chip—was supposed to move into production around 2012. But over the years, EUV has encountered se... » read more

How To Make Autonomous Vehicles Reliable


The number of unknowns in automotive chips, subsystems and entire vehicles is growing as higher levels of driver assistance are deployed, sparking new concerns and approaches about how to improve reliability of these systems. Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) will need to detect objects, animals and people, and they will be used for parking assistance, night vision and collision avoi... » read more

The Limits Of IP Reuse


The basic business proposition for third-party IP is that it's cheaper, faster, and less problematic to buy rather than build. But things haven't exactly worked out according to plan, either for companies that license IP or those that develop it. For [getkc id="43" kc_name="IP"] licensees, just keeping track of an endless series of updates is becoming unwieldy. Complex designs often include ... » read more

Four Foundries Back MRAM


Four major foundries plan to offer MRAM as an embedded memory solution by this year or next, setting the stage for what finally could prove to be a game-changer for this next-generation memory technology. GlobalFoundries, Samsung, TSMC and UMC plan to start offering spin-transfer torque magnetoresistive RAM (ST-MRAM or STT-MRAM) as an alternative or a replacement to NOR flash, possibly start... » read more

The 200mm Equipment Scramble


An explosion in 200mm demand has set off a frenzied search for used semiconductor manufacturing equipment that can be used at older process nodes. The problem is there is not enough used equipment available, and not all of the new or expanding 200mm fabs can afford to pay the premium for refurbished or new equipment. This may sound like a straightforward supply and demand issue, but behind t... » read more

The Secret Life Of Accelerators


Accelerator chips increasingly are providing the performance boost that device scaling once provided, changing basic assumptions about how data moves within an electronic system and where it should be processed. To the outside world, little appears to have changed. But beneath the glossy exterior, and almost always hidden from view, accelerator chips are becoming an integral part of most des... » read more

What’s After FinFETs?


Chipmakers are readying their next-generation technologies based on 10nm and/or 7nm finFETs, but it's still not clear how long the finFET will last, how long the 10nm and 7nm nodes for high-end devices will be extended, and what comes next. The industry faces a multitude of uncertainties and challenges at 5nm, 3nm and beyond. Even today, traditional chip scaling continues to slow as process ... » read more

What Does An IoT Chip Look Like?


By Ed Sperling and Jeff Dorsch Internet of Things chip design sounds like a simple topic on the face of it. Look deeper, though, and it becomes clear there is no single IoT, and certainly no type of chip that will work across the ever-expanding number of applications and markets that collectively make up the IoT. Included under this umbrella term are sensors, various types of processors, ... » read more

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