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CSR In Semis


For decades the largest industries in the world have deployed corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives that, on their surface, are designed to “give back” or “share the wealth” with the communities that have produced the labor force that drive their collective success. We also are told that CSR is good business and can be correlated with improved branding and greater profitabil... » read more

Stacking The Deck


By Javier DeLaCruz The pinnacle of system-on-chip has passed. There are several dynamics that are moving the industry away from the SoC philosophy that was so popular just a few short years ago. One of the significant factors is that the cost per gate for CMOS nodes below 28nm is rising for the first time in the history of our industry. Another critical factor is the emergence of through-silic... » read more

Stacking The Deck


By Javier DeLaCruz The pinnacle of system-on-chip has passed. There are several dynamics that are moving the industry away from the SoC philosophy that was so popular just a few short years ago. One of the significant factors is that the cost per gate for CMOS nodes below 28nm is rising for the first time in the history of our industry. Another critical factor is the emergence of through-silic... » read more

The New ASIC


By Javier DeLaCruz The current state of the art For years, large ASICs like the ones used in network processing, supercomputing and high-end personal computing have had very interesting similarities. The figure below is a fairly typical floorplan of such an ASIC. After taping out over a dozen of these types of chips a year, it is interesting to see that the interfaces have changed, processo... » read more

When Stacked Die Make Sense


By Javier DeLaCruz There are two general flavors of 3D-TSV technology. Images for these can be seen in the previous blog entry The Future of ASICs in 3D. 3D-IC has vias in silicon containing active circuitry. 2.5D is similar, but uses passive silicon, glass or organic interposers to enable very fine pitch interconnection between the active die mounted on top. There is some discussion about ... » read more

Turducken Lessons


By Doug Ridge So with the U.S. holiday season just having passed, it seemed that the topic of discussion and of many a holiday feast was the now infamous turducken. Yes, the somewhat crazy idea of stuffing a deboned chicken with seasoned stuffing and then stuffing that inside a deboned duck, which is itself stuffed inside a deboned turkey, was making its way into homes across at least North Am... » read more

The Future Of ASICS In 3D


By Javier DeLaCruz 3D technology is generating a lot of interest as a way to reduce NRE costs and speed time to market. This is still a nascent approach, so people are looking for a single standard in through-silicon vias (TSVs), primarily to reduce infrastructure costs. Unfortunately, I do not think this will be possible. There are at least two fundamentally different applications for 3D t... » read more

Turning Chaos Into Order


By Jack Harding It would be unthinkable to begin this article without recognition of the disaster the Japanese people are enduring, even as this is written. My friends and colleagues are as safe as they can be, so far; thousands are lost. But it takes no imagination to appreciate the psychological and very real overhang of nuclear toxins changing a society for a decade. The sad irony of the... » read more

The Current State Of 3D Stacking


By Javier DeLaCruz Thru-silicon-vias (TSVs) have become a very hot topic in in recent months. Ever since Xilinx reported that it is using a 2.5D TSV approach for its Virtex-7 FPGAs the industry started to salivate with the prospects of this new technology. While this technology may be accessible for larger stacked memory, FPGAs, MEMS devices, and CMOS image sensors, this does not inherently me... » read more

The Turning Point


By Javier DeLaCruz In the epic battle of cost and performance, MCMs (multi-chip modules) had generally lost to SoCs (systems on chip) due to higher package-assembly costs and lower performance. The tides are turning. Four factors have been in play in recently: Package assembly costs of MCMs have been dropping in recent years. MCM package technologies are becoming commonplace instead... » read more

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