The Growing Challenge Of Thermal Guard-Banding


Guard-banding for heat is becoming more difficult as chips are used across a variety of new and existing applications, forcing chipmakers to architect their way through increasingly complex interactions. Chips are designed to operate at certain temperatures, and it is common practice to develop designs with some margin to ensure correct functionality and performance throughout the operat... » read more

Using Less Power At The Same Node


Going to the next node has been the most effective way to reduce power, but that is no longer true or desirable for a growing percentage of the semiconductor industry. So the big question now is how to reduce power while maintaining the same node size. After understanding how the power is used, both chip designers and fabs have techniques available to reduce power consumption. Fabs are makin... » read more

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

Micro-Mobility Market Potential Widens


The mobility market is beginning to splinter into more segments as advanced technology gets applied to devices such as e-bikes, e-scooters, and even tiny e-vehicles with three or four wheels. This doesn't mean that existing pieces of the mobility market are falling off. The automotive electronics market is booming as carmakers race to build more assisted and ultimately autonomous features in... » read more

Finding Defects In Chips With Machine Learning


Chipmakers are using more and different traditional tool types than ever to find killer defects in advanced chips, but they are also turning to complementary solutions like advanced forms of machine learning to help solve the problem. A subset of artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning has been used in computing and other fields for decades. In fact, early forms of machine learning ha... » read more

Domain Expertise Becoming Essential For Analytics


Sensors are being added into everything, from end devices to the equipment used to make those sensors, but the data being generated has limited or no value unless it's accompanied by domain expertise. There are two main problems. One is how and where to process the vast amount of data being generated. Chip and system architectures are being revamped to pre-process more of that data closer to... » read more

Next Wave Of Security For IIoT


A rush of new products and services promise to make the famously un-secured Industrial IoT (IIoT) substantially more secure in the near future. Although the semiconductor industry has been churning out a variety of security-related products and concepts, ranging from root of trust approaches to crypto processors and physically unclonable functions, most IIoT operations have been slow to adop... » read more

February Startup Funding: Big Cash Keeps Rolling In


Sixteen startups received private funding rounds of $100 million and up during February, including three that took in 10-figure rounds. Those 16 companies raised more than $8 billion in total. The SoftBank Vision Fund invested $1.5 billion in China's Chehaoduo, an online car trading group that includes Guazi.com, a used-car trading platform, and Maodou.com, which retails new sedans through d... » read more

The Other Side Of Makimoto’s Wave


Custom hardware is undergoing a huge resurgence across a variety of new applications, pushing the semiconductor industry to the other side of Makimoto's Wave. Tsugio Makimoto, the technologist who identified the chip industry’s 10-year cyclical swings between standardization and customization, predicted there always will be room in ASICs for general-purpose processors. But it's becoming mo... » read more

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