Realizing the Benefits of 14/16nm Technologies


The scaling benefits of Moore’s Law are challenging below 28nm. It is no longer a given that the cost per gate will go down at process nodes below 28nm, e.g., 20nm though 14nm and 7nm. Rising design and manufacturing costs are contributing factors to this trend. Meanwhile, the competing trend of fewer but more complex system-on-chip (SoC) designs is reducing the knowledge base of many chip... » read more

China’s Foundry Biz Takes Big Leap Forward


China continues to advance its foundry industry with huge investments in new fabs and technology, despite trade tensions and a slowdown in the IC market. China has the most fab projects in the world, with 30 new facilities or lines in construction or on the drawing board, according to data from SEMI’s World Fab Forecast Report. Of those, 13 fabs are targeted for the foundry market, accordi... » read more

Changing The Design Flow


Synopsys’ Michael Jackson talks with Semiconductor Engineering about why it’s becoming necessary to fuse together various pieces of digital design. https://youtu.be/AOWh4wjw-ps » read more

Tech Talk: Applying Machine Learning


Norman Chang, chief technologist at ANSYS, talks about real applications of machine learning for mechanical, fluid dynamics and chip-package-system design. https://youtu.be/MqYX0wbwSfE » read more

Introduction To eFPGA Hardware


Intel builds processor chips and Arm provides processor cores to integrate into chips. Xilinx and Intel (nee Altera) build FPGAs and a range of new startups provide embedded FPGA (eFPGA) to integrate into chips: Achronix, Flex Logix, Menta and QuickLogic. As the diagram above shows, an FPGA chip is a core (the “fabric”) which is surrounded by various kinds of I/O including SERDES,... » read more

Expanding Ecosystem Drives Auto Chip Gold Rush


Semiconductor chips designed to support automotive applications have been around for more than 40 years, which is a very long time in the technology business. These chips have been developed by semiconductor integrated device manufacturers (IDMs), which control every step of the design, manufacturing, test, qualification, reliability and quality aspects of these automotive chips. Special se... » read more

On-Chip Clock And Process Monitoring Using STAR Hierarchical System’s Measurement Unit


Functional safety is one of the most critical priorities for system-on-chips (SoCs) that are involved in automotive, aerospace and industrial applications. These requirements are driven by standards such as ISO 26262 and are the backbone of the design and testing of automotive ICs. Synopsys’ STAR Hierarchical System’s Measurement Unit helps ensure the accuracy of on-chip clock frequency and... » read more

Five Trends In IC Packaging


At one time, chip packaging was an afterthought. Chipmakers were more worried about IC design. Packaging was considered a mere commodity, which was simply used to house the design. More recently, though, chip packaging has become a hot topic. The IC design is still important, but packaging is a key part of the solution. In fact, the industry can go down two paths. The traditional way is t... » read more

Improving Automotive Reliability


Semiconductor reliability requirements are rapidly evolving. New applications such as ADAS/self-driving cars and drones are pushing the limits for system reliability. A mobile phone that overheats in your pocket is annoying. In automobiles, it's a much different story. Overheating can impact the operation of backup sensors, which alert the driver that a pedestrian or obstacle is behind them.... » read more

Architecture First, Node Second


What a difference a node makes. A couple of rather important changes have occurred in the move from 16/14 to 10/7nm (aside from more confusing naming conventions). First, companies that require more transistors—processor companies such as [getentity id="22846" e_name="Intel"], AMD, [getentity id="22306" comment="IBM"] and [getentity id="22676" e_name="Qualcomm"]—have come to grips with t... » read more

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