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Modeling Chips From Atoms To Systems


Complexity in hardware design is spilling over to other disciplines, including software, manufacturing, and new materials, creating issues for how to model more data at multiple abstraction levels. Challenges are growing around which abstraction level to use for a particular stage of the design, when to use it, and which data to include. Those decisions are becoming more difficult at each ne... » read more

Steering The Semiconductor Industry


Progress in semiconductors has been one of the most successful engineering feats, and the industry has ridden an exponential curve longer than anything else in history. It is also a highly conservative industry that has pushed away many disruptive changes in favor of small incremental changes that minimize risk. There have been significant changes over the decades, and they often required a ... » read more

How Chips Will Change Health Care


Jo De Boeck, chief strategy officer and executive vice president at imec, sat down with Semiconductor Engineering to talk about the intersection of medical and semiconductor technology, what's changing in how chips are being used, and what will happen in the short term and long-term. What follows are excerpts of that discussion. SE: Medical technology never advanced at the rate everybody... » read more

Inside Intel’s Ambitious Roadmap


Ann Kelleher, senior vice president and general manager of Technology Development at Intel, sat down with Semiconductor Engineering to talk about the company’s new logic roadmap, as well as lithography, packaging, and process technology. What follows are excerpts of that discussion. SE: Intel recently disclosed its new logic roadmap. Beyond Intel 3, the company is working on Intel 20A. Wit... » read more

Angstrom-Level Measurements With AFMs


Competition is heating up in the atomic force microscopy (AFM) market, where several vendors are shipping new AFM systems that address various metrology challenges in packaging, semiconductors and other fields. AFM, a small but growing field that has been under the radar, involves a standalone system that provides surface measurements on structures down to the angstrom level. (1 angstrom = 0... » read more

Stacked Nanosheets And Forksheet FETs


What comes next after gate-all-around FETs is still being worked out, but it likely will involve some version of stacked nanosheets. The design of advanced transistors is a tradeoff. On one hand, it takes less gate capacitance to control a thin channel. On the other hand, thin channels can’t carry as much drive current. Stacked nanosheet designs seek to reconcile these two objectives by... » read more

Current And Future Packaging Trends


Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss IC packaging technology trends and other topics with William Chen, a fellow at ASE; Michael Kelly, vice president of advanced packaging development and integration at Amkor; Richard Otte, president and CEO of Promex, the parent company of QP Technologies; Michael Liu, senior director of global technical marketing at JCET; and Thomas Uhrmann, directo... » read more

Always On, Always At Risk


Always-on devices are everywhere, and each of them is a potential target for hackers. While many people associate always-on devices with smart speakers such as an Amazon Alexa or Google Home, or a connected security camera, that's only one component in a system. There's a broader infrastructure behind those devices. So even if you power down a digital assistant/smart speaker, everything it's... » read more

Lowering Energy Per Bit


Energy is emerging as a focal point in chip and system design, but solving energy-related issues needs to be dealt with on a much broader scale than design teams typically see. Energy is the amount of power consumed over a period of time to perform a given task, but reducing energy is a lot different than reducing power. It affects everything from operational costs and system performance to ... » read more

Adding Circuit Aging To Variability


Moving to a smaller node usually means another factor becomes important. The industry has become accustomed to doing process, temperature, voltage (PVT) corner analysis, but now it has to add aging into that mix. The problem is that planning for circuit aging is no longer a purely statistical process. Aging is dependent on activity over the lifetime of the device. Tools need to be modified a... » read more

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