Chip Industry Week In Review

Intel’s foundry push; GF’s big subsidy; Arm’s Neoverse systems; ASE’s new facilities; imec’s ADC architecture and UWB chip; automotive chiplets; UCIe’s challenges; CFETs; Renesas’ AI accelerator.


By Jesse Allen, Gregory Haley, and Liz Allan

Intel officially launched Intel Foundry this week, claiming it’s the “world’s first systems foundry for the AI era.” The foundry also showed off a more detailed technology roadmap down to expanded 14A process technology. Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger noted the foundry will be separate from the chipmaker, utilize third-party chiplets and IP, and leverage some of the chipmaker’s technology innovations for its foundry customers.

Intel Foundry also certified tools from the leading EDA companies for its 18A process technology, which is based on its “RibbonFET” gate-all-around transistors and PowerVia backside power delivery, including:

  • Synopsys‘ digital and analog design flows for Intel 18A. A portfolio of Synopsys foundation and interface IP also is available for the process, along with a 3D-IC compiler platform for routing UCIe interfaces and co-designing of Intel’s EMIB packaging technology.
  • Siemens EDA‘s physical verification and analog FastSPICE platforms for analog, custom digital, and mixed-signal circuit verification are now both certified for Intel 18A and Intel 16. Siemens also worked with Intel to develop a comprehensive workflow for the EMIB technology.
  • Cadence‘s customized IP, optimized design flows and techniques for Intel 18A. Additionally, the two companies developed an integrated advanced packaging flow utilizing EMIB.
  • Ansys‘ digital and analog power integrity, ESD protection and verification, and signal integrity on 18A. Additionally, Ansys and Intel teamed up on multi-physics tools for Intel’s embedded multi-die interconnect bridge (EMIB) technology for heterogenous integration.
  • Keysight‘s electromagnetic simulation software for RF and microwave circuit design for Intel 18A.

Microsoft also announced plans to develop a chip based on Intel 18A’s process.

Fig. 1:  Intel fab in Hillsboro, Oregon. Source: Intel

Arm introduced two new Neoverse Compute Subsystems (CSS) built on the third generation Neoverse IP. One, targeted for high performance, offers a 50% performance-per-socket improvement over CSS N2, while the other provides 20% higher performance-per-watt compared to CSS N2.  Also, Samsung Foundry and Arm will offer an optimized implementation of the next generation Cortex-X CPU on Samsung’s latest GAA process technology.

GlobalFoundries is the latest CHIPS Act winner, slated to receive $1.5 billion to expand manufacturing capabilities and securely produce chips for automotive, IoT, aerospace, defense, and other markets. GF is the only U.S.-based pure-play foundry. It also has facilities in Europe and Singapore.

Quick links to more news:

Manufacturing and Test
Pervasive Computing and AI
Design and Power
Automotive and Batteries

Manufacturing and Test

Infineon will sell two back-end manufacturing sites, one in Cavite, Philippines, and the other in Cheonan, South Korea, to two wholly owned subsidiaries of ASE.

This week’s Manufacturing, Packaging and Materials newsletter features these top stories:

The city council of Peoria, Arizona, approved a $2 billion development agreement with Amkor for the construction of an advanced packaging and test facility. When completed, it will be the largest OSAT in the U.S.

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced a $544 million conditional loan to SK Siltron to expand manufacturing of silicon carbide (SiC) wafers for EV power electronics.

Purdue University and Dassault Systèmes partnered to improve, accelerate, and transform semiconductor workforce development.

Northrop Grumman is using super-lattice castellated field effect transistors, which use gallium nitride to boost performance levels for its military customers.

Multi-layer ceramic capacitor (MLCC) shipments are expected to drop 7% in Q1 2024, reports TrendForce. Also, the ceramic substrates industry is expected to rise 10.3% CAGR between 2024 and 2032, fueled by rising electronics demand, reports Global Market Insights.

Pervasive Computing and AI

Renesas developed a prototype embedded AI accelerator with a heterogeneous architecture that enables real-time processing by cooperatively operating processor IPs, such as the CPU. The company also developed circuit technologies for an embedded spin-transfer torque magnetoresistive random-access memory (STT-MRAM) test chip fabricated using a 22nm process, with fast read and write operations, targeted for high-performance MCUs in IoT and AI.

Fig. 2: Renesas embedded AI chip. Source: Renesas

Fig. 3: Renesas MRAM chip. Source: Renesas

Renesas terminated its proposed acquisition of Sequans Communications.

At the International Solid-State Circuits Conference (ISSCC) 2024 in San Francisco, CEA-Leti announced a keyword-spotting system for always-on, voice-activated edge-AI systems, and partnered with UC San Diego on a DC-DC converter that unifies power switches on a single chip.​ And imec introduced a massively time-interleaved slope-ADC prototype chip, a low-power ultra-wideband receiver chip that is resilient against interference, and an ultrasound-based proof-of-concept for wireless powering of implantable devices.

Nokia and NVIDIA are collaborating on AI-ready radio access network (RAN) solutions, leveraging NVIDIA’s Grace CPUs and GPUs with Nokia’s in-line accelerator technology and Cloud RAN software.

MATSUKO and Telefónica launched spatial computing holographic meetings, developed in collaboration with NVIDIA. Using their smartphone, people can enter holographic meetings as themselves in 3D and share their 3D creations in immersive communication. The tech leverages Telefónica’s 5G and edge and NVIDIA’s Maxine AI platform.

Google released the Gemma family of lightweight open AI models built from the same research and technology as the Gemini models. The model weights are in two sizes, Gemma 2B and Gemma 7B, with pre-trained and instruction-tuned variants. A responsible generative AI toolkit provides guidance and tools.

OpenAI’s genAI model, ChatGPT, started to produce unexpected responses, reports the Financial Times, and was fixed a day later. Meanwhile, Google’s AI model Gemini produced inaccuracies in some historical image generation depictions.

Apple captured the top seven positions in the global list of best-selling smartphones in 2023, reports Counterpoint. US smartphone sales declined 10% year over year in January 2024, according to preliminary data. Global shipments of foldable phones saw a 25% YoY increase in 2023, equal to about 1.4% of the smartphone market, reports TrendForce. Shipments are expected to grow by 11% in 2024 to capture 1.5% of the market.

MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (MIT-CSAIL) developed an embroidered smart glove that can capture, reproduce, and relay touch-based instructions.

Princeton University-led researchers harnessed AI to predict and avoid the formation of potential plasma tearing mode instabilities, allowing for more dynamic control of a fusion reaction.

Design and Power

Siemens launched the Veloce CS hardware-assisted verification and validation system for the EDA industry, unifying hardware emulation, enterprise prototyping, and software prototyping. Its modular and scalable interconnectable blade footprint eliminates fixed-size chassis, delivering hardware-assisted tools for all size designs.

Fig. 4: Siemens’ Veloce Strato CS for emulation, Veloce Primo CS for enterprise prototyping, and Veloce proFPGA CS for software prototyping. Source: Siemens

Astera Labs filed with the SEC for an initial public offering on Nasdaq. The company provides data and memory connectivity solutions for data centers, offering a portfolio of smart retimers and modules for CXL, PCIe, and Ethernet along with CXL memory controllers.

Rapid Silicon debuted an end-to-end open-source FPGA EDA toolchain that includes an IP catalog, AI-powered assistant, GUI, synthesis, place and route, device configuration, and simulation.

Larry Pileggi, the winner of this year’s Phil Kaufman Award, discussed the ‘aha’ moment for dealing with latency of interconnect as interconnect continued to scale, as well as how his world collided with the game of poker.

University of Pennsylvania engineers developed a silicon-photonic (SiPh) chip to train AI.

Infleqtion announced its 5-year quantum computing roadmap, which includes plans to develop a fully error-corrected, commercially valuable quantum computer with 100 logical qubits, capable of executing circuits of depth above 1 million.

D-Wave Quantum made its 1,200+ qubit prototype machine available via its quantum cloud service. It uses a lower-noise, multilayer superconducting IC fabrication stack.

Fujitsu developed a technique on a quantum simulator that speeds up quantum-classical hybrid algorithms, achieving 200 times the computational speed of previous simulations. The company also collaborated with QuTech to develop cryogenic electronic circuits for controlling diamond-based quantum bits.

Governments and states are mobilizing on quantum:

  • The U.S., Japan, and Korea launched a quantum collaboration and the University of Tokyo, Seoul National University, and the University of Chicago partnered to train a quantum workforce and strengthen collective competitiveness.
  • The University of Calgary, Quantum City, and PASQAL partnered to advance the quantum ecosystem and build ties between France and Quebec.
  • The Illinois Governor’s proposed budget includes $500 million for quantum computing, including a cryogenics facility, reports AP News.
  • South Carolina allocated $15 million of the state budget to facilitate quantum computing access, reports Live5news.
  • Australia’s Pawsey Supercomputing Research Centre will add the NVIDIA CUDA Quantum platform accelerated by NVIDIA Grace Hopper Superchips to its National Supercomputing and Quantum Computing Innovation Hub.

Automotive and Batteries

Automotive chiplets are gaining renewed attention, but achieving chiplet interoperability will require clearing a number of technical hurdles.

The Biden Administration plans to relax limits on tailpipe emissions designed to get U.S. drivers to switch from gas-powered cars to EVs, reports Reuters. The move would be a concession to automakers and labor unions.

EVs are driving growth in the power module packaging market, which is expected to double to $4.3 billion in 2029, reports Yole.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recalled some Jeep plug in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) the hybrid control processor software may be been incorrectly programed, resulting in a disabled windshield defrost system.

The Linux Foundation’s CAMARA Project and the Automotive Edge Computing Consortium are collaborating to advance connected vehicle services.

Mercedes-Benz said it expects sales of EVs, including hybrids, to account for up to 50% of the total by 2030, backtracking from an earlier goal to hit the 50% mark by 2025, reports Reuters.

In 2023, Tesla led battery EV (BEV) rankings with a 19.9% market share, closely followed by BYD, reports Trendforce.

Nuro is using ​​​Arm’s ​automotive enhanced (AE) technology to develop the next generation of its integrated autonomous driving system for local goods delivery.

Autotalks used Keysight’s PathWave V2X solutions to verify that its TEKTON3 vehicle-to-everything (V2X) SoC meets the physical layer specifications of the 3GPP 5G NR Rel-16 Sidelink standards.

Volkswagen launched its ID.7 Tourer, an all-electric estate car with a range of up to 685 km WLTP and an augmented-reality (AR) head-up display, which changes the cockpit architecture by allowing classic instruments to be compact.

Fig. 5: The all-electric Volkswagen ID.7 Tourer. Source: Volkswagen

In Singapore, PhilJets agreed to buy 10 Lilium eVTOL jets and the companies will collaborate on an electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) operation network across the Philippines and other Southeast Asia countries, such as Cambodia. And Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and intelligent power management company Eaton agreed to develop innovative solutions for the eVTOL market.


The U.K. National Crime Agency (NCA), the U.S. Justice Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and others seized LockBit infrastructure, disrupting the ransomware group’s ability to attack and encrypt networks. The U.S. indicted two Russian nationals with deploying LockBit around the world, including victims in the semiconductor industry. Lockbit attacked over 2,000 victims and received over $120 million in ransom.

Apple announced PQ3, a post-quantum cryptographic protocol that advances end-to-end secure messaging for iMessage.

Infineon introduced a tamper-resistant security controller, OPTIGA Trust M MTR, making it easy to add security and the Matter protocol to smart home devices, allowing for interoperability across connected devices even from different companies. It is a discrete Secure Element that can be integrated into any MCU-based design to enhance security and handle multiple product protocols simultaneously.

A novel error calibration technique based on average sampling circuit and self-checking circuit can significantly boost the reliability of physical unclonable functions (PUFs), according to researchers at Shandong University, Quan Cheng Laboratory, and the University of Rochester.

Los Alamos National Laboratory researchers used AI to address shortcomings in large-scale malware analysis, paving the way for enhanced cybersecurity measures.

CISPA researchers examined Google Chrome browser extensions, identifying if they were benign or security-noteworthy extensions (SNEs), then classified the latter into three categories.

Xiphera uncorked high-speed elliptic curve cryptography (ECC) accelerator IP for telecommunications, data centers, cloud, hyperscalers, and payment applications.

Google launched the AI Cyber Defense Initiative to help transform cybersecurity and use AI to reverse the dynamic known as the “Defender’s Dilemma.”

The U.S. Justice Department appointed its first Chief Science and Technology Advisor and Chief AI Officer to advise on cybersecurity, AI, and emerging technology.

Multiple UK universities, including the University of Cambridge, were targeted by a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack, affecting their internet and IT services, reports Varsity, the Cambridge student newspaper. Anonymous Sudan reportedly claimed the attack in protest of the Israel-Gaza war and bombing of Yemen.

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) issued multiple alerts, including a fact sheet on how to secure water systems.


Find upcoming chip industry events here, including:

Event Date Location
Symposium on Heterogeneous Integration Roadmap Feb 21 – 23 San Jose, CA
SPIE Advanced Lithography + Patterning Feb 25 – 29 San Jose, CA
Renesas Tech Day UK Feb 27 Cambridge, UK
Keysight EDA Connect World: HSD and RF Feb 28 -29 Santa Clara, CA
International Symposium on FPGAs Mar 3 – 5 Monterey, CA
DVCON: Design & Verification Mar 4 – 7 San Jose, CA
ISES Japan 2024: International Semiconductor Executive Summit Mar 5 – 6 Tokyo, Japan
ISS Industry Strategy Symposium Europe Mar 6 – 8 Vienna, Austria
All Upcoming Events

Upcoming webinars are here, including topics such as CXL 3.1 and PCIe 6.1, AC analysis, multiphysics, and design for 112G interface compliance.

Further Reading and Newsletters

Read the latest special reports and top stories, or check out the latest newsletters:

Systems and Design
Low Power-High Performance
Test, Measurement and Analytics
Manufacturing, Packaging and Materials
Automotive, Security and Pervasive Computing



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