IC Industry’s Growing Role In Sustainability


The massive power needs of AI systems are putting a spotlight on sustainability in the semiconductor ecosystem. The chip industry needs to be able to produce more efficient and lower-power semiconductors. But demands for increased processing speed are rising with the widespread use of large language models and the overall increase in the amount of data that needs to be processed. Gartner estima... » read more

Temperature: A Growing Concern For Chip Security Experts


While everyone in the semiconductor industry wants to have the hottest new product, having that type of temperature manifest in a literal sense poses a threat not just to product stability and performance but to the security of the chips themselves. Temperature has become an object of fascination to security researchers due to the vagaries of how the physical properties of heat affect perfor... » read more

New Approaches Needed For Power Management


Power is becoming a bigger concern as the amount of data being processed continues to grow, forcing chipmakers and systems companies to rethink compute architectures from the end point all the way to the data center. There is no simple fix to this problem. More data is being collected, moved, and processed, requiring more power at every step, and more attention to physical effects such as he... » read more

Will Domain-Specific ICs Become Ubiquitous?


Questions are surfacing for all types of design, ranging from small microcontrollers to leading-edge chips, over whether domain-specific design will become ubiquitous, or whether it will fall into the historic pattern of customization first, followed by lower-cost, general-purpose components. Custom hardware always has been a double-edged sword. It can provide a competitive edge for chipmake... » read more

Running More Efficient AI/ML Code With Neuromorphic Engines


Neuromorphic engineering is finally getting closer to market reality, propelled by the AI/ML-driven need for low-power, high-performance solutions. Whether current initiatives result in true neuromorphic devices, or whether devices will be inspired by neuromorphic concepts, remains to be seen. But academic and industry researchers continue to experiment in the hopes of achieving significant ... » read more

Power/Performance Costs In Chip Security


Hackers ranging from hobbyists to corporate spies and nation states are continually poking and prodding for weaknesses in data centers, cars, personal computers, and every other electronic device, resulting in a growing effort to build security into chips and electronic systems. The current estimate is that 60% of chips and systems have some type of security built in, and that percentage is ... » read more

Design Considerations In Photonics


Experts at the Table: Semiconductor Engineering sat down to talk about what CMOS and photonics engineers need to know to successfully collaborate, with James Pond, fellow at Ansys; Gilles Lamant, distinguished engineer at Cadence; and Mitch Heins, business development manager for photonic solutions at Synopsys. What follows are excerpts of that conversation. To view part one of this discussion,... » read more

Architecting Chips For High-Performance Computing


The world’s leading hyperscaler cloud data center companies — Amazon, Google, Meta, Microsoft, Oracle, and Akamai — are launching heterogeneous, multi-core architectures specifically for the cloud, and the impact is being felt in high-performance CPU development across the chip industry. It's unlikely that any these chips will ever be sold commercially. They are optimized for specific ... » read more

Memory On Logic: The Good And Bad


The chip industry is progressing rapidly toward 3D-ICs, but a simpler step has been shown to provide gains equivalent to a whole node advancement — extracting distributed memories and placing them on top of logic. Memory on logic significantly reduces the distance between logic and directly associated memory. This can increase performance by 22% and reduce power by 36%, according to one re... » read more

Using AI/ML To Minimize IR Drop


IR drop is becoming a much bigger problem as technology nodes scale and more components are packed into advanced packages. This is partly a result of physics, but it's also the result of how the design flow is structured. In most cases, AI/ML can help. The underlying problem is that moving to advanced process nodes, and now 3D-ICs, is driving current densities higher, while the power envelop... » read more

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