Memory Tradeoffs Intensify in AI, Automotive Applications


The push to do more processing at the edge is putting a strain on memory design, use models and configurations, leading to some complex tradeoffs in designs across a variety of markets. The problem is these architectures are evolving alongside these new markets, and it isn't always clear how data will move across these chips, between devices, and between systems. Chip architectures are becom... » read more

Using Analog For AI


If the only tool you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. But development of artificial intelligence (AI) applications and the compute platforms for them may be overlooking an alternative technology—analog. The semiconductor industry has a firm understanding of digital electronics and has been very successful making it scale. It is predictable, has good yield, and while every de... » read more

Gearing Up For 5G


5G has been touted as the new enabler for many market segments, including mobile phones, automotive, virtual reality, and IoT. But there are many questions and much speculation about when and how this new wireless standard will impact different market segments and what effect it will have on semiconductor design. With a promise of orders of magnitude improvement in communication speed an... » read more

Adapting Mobile To A Post-Moore’s Law Era


The slowdown in Moore's Law is having a big impact on chips designed for the mobile market, where battery-powered devices need to still improve performance with lower power. This hasn't slowed down performance or power improvements, but it has forced chipmakers and systems companies to approach designs differently. And while feature shrinks will continue for the foreseeable future, they are ... » read more

Why Analog Designs Fail


The gap between analog and digital reliability is growing, and digital designs appear to be winning. Reports show that analog content causes the most test failures and contributes significantly more than digital to field returns. The causes aren't always obvious, though. Some of it is due to the maturity of analog design and verification. While great strides have been made in digital circuit... » read more

Planning For 5G And The Edge


Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss 5G and edge computing with Rahul Goyal, vice president in the technology and manufacturing group at Intel; John Lee, vice president and general manager of the semiconductor business unit at ANSYS; Rob Aitken, R&D fellow at Arm; and Lluis Paris, director of IP portfolio marketing at TSMC. What follows are excerpts of that conversation. Part one i... » read more

Power Issues Rising For New Applications


Managing power in chips is becoming more difficult across a wide range of applications and process nodes, forcing chipmakers and systems companies to rethink their power strategies and address problems much earlier than in the past. While power has long been a major focus in the mobile space, power-related issues now are spreading well beyond phones and laptop computers. There are several re... » read more

Taming Concurrency


Concurrency adds complexity for which the industry lacks appropriate tools, and the problem has grown to the point where errors can creep into designs with no easy or consistent way to detect them. In the past, when chips were essentially a single pipeline, this wasn't a problem. In fact, the early pioneers of EDA created a suitable language to describe and contain the necessary concurrency ... » read more

Mostly Upbeat Outlook For Chips


2019 has started with cautious optimism for the semiconductor industry, despite dark clouds that dot the horizon. Market segments such as cryptocurrencies and virtual reality are not living up to expectations, the market for smart phones appears to be saturated, and DRAM prices are dropping, leading to cut-backs in capital expenditures. EDA companies are talking about sales to China being pu... » read more

Process Variation And Aging


Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss design reliability and circuit aging with João Geada, chief technologist for the semiconductor business unit at ANSYS; Hany Elhak, product management director, simulation and characterization in the custom IC and PCB group at Cadence; Christoph Sohrmann, advanced physical verification at Fraunhofer EAS; and Naseer Khan, vice president of sales at M... » read more

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