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New Power, Performance Options At The Edge


Increasing compute intelligence at the edge is forcing chip architects to rethink how computing gets partitioned and prioritized, and what kinds of processing elements and memory configurations work best for a particular application. Sending raw data to the cloud for processing is both time- and resource-intensive, and it's often unnecessary because most of the data collected by a growing nu... » read more

Chipmakers Getting Serious About Integrated Photonics


Integrating photonics into semiconductors is gaining traction, particularly in heterogeneous multi-die packages, as chipmakers search for new ways to overcome power limitations and deal with increasing volumes of data. Power has been a growing concern since the end of Dennard scaling, which happened somewhere around the 90nm node. There are more transistors per mm², and the wires are thinne... » read more

Reducing Power Delivery Overhead


The power delivery network (PDN) is a necessary overhead that typically remains in the background — until it fails. For chip design teams, the big question is how close to the edge are they willing to push it? Or put differently, is the gain worth the pain? This question is being scrutinized in very small geometry designs, where margins can make a significant difference in device performan... » read more

Lower Power Chips: What To Watch Out For


Low-power design in advanced nodes and advanced packaging is becoming a multi-faceted, multi-disciplinary challenge, where a long list of issues need to be solved both individually and in the context of other issues. With each new leading-edge process node, and with increasingly dense packaging, the potential for problematic interactions is growing. That, in turn, can lead to poor yield, cos... » read more

Retimers Replacing Redrivers As Signal Speeds Increase


Retimers are undergoing a renaissance as new PHY protocols prove too demanding for redrivers. Redrivers and retimers both have been used to extend wired signal reach over the years. But redrivers have dominated this space due to their relative simplicity and lower cost. That balance is beginning to change. “A retimer represents three things no one wants in their system — area, cost, a... » read more

Targeting Redundancy In ICs


Technology developed for one purpose is often applicable to other areas, but organizational silos can get in the way of capitalizing on it until there is a clear cost advantage. Consider memory. All memories are fabricated with spare rows and columns that are swapped in when a device fails manufacturing test. "This is a common method to increase the yield of a device, based on how much memor... » read more

Thermal Floorplanning For Chips


Heat management is becoming crucial to an increasing number of chips, and it's one of a growing number of interconnected factors that must be considered throughout the entire development flow. At the same time, design requirements are exacerbating thermal problems. Those designs either have to increase margins or become more intelligent about the way heat is generated, distributed, and dissi... » read more

Power, Performance — Avionics Designers Want It All


Not long ago, the prevailing philosophy among chip designers for aviation systems could be summed up as, “I feel the need — the need for speed.” Today, aviation’s top guns have pulled back on the throttle a bit. There’s a more nuanced discussion balancing the need for performance versus power, with other factors coming into consideration such as safety, security certifications and ove... » read more

Customizing Chips For Power And Performance


Sandro Cerato, senior vice president and CTO of the Power & Sensor Systems Business Unit at Infineon Technologies, sat down with Semiconductor Engineering to talk about fundamental shifts in chip design with the rollout of the edge, AI, and more customized solutions. What follows are excerpts of that conversation. SE: The chip market is starting to fall into three distinct buckets, the e... » read more

Power Optimization: What’s Next?


Concerns about the power consumed by semiconductors has been on the rise for the past couple of decades, but what can we expect to see coming in terms of analysis and automation from EDA companies, and is the industry ready to make the investment? Ever since Dennard scaling stopped providing automatic power gains by going to a smaller geometry, circa 2006, semiconductors have been increasing... » read more

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