WiFi Evolves For The IoT


WiFi is everywhere, and it’s the most prevalent of the communication protocols that use unlicensed spectrum. But as a common protocol for the Internet of Things (IoT), it faces challenges both because of congestion and the amount of energy it consumes. Two new approaches aim to address those concerns. One is to use multiple channels at once. The second involves the new 802.11ah HaLow stand... » read more

Running With O-RAN


5G standards are opening the world of hardware development to anyone that can build the best, cost-effective products. At the heart of many of those products is the system on a chip (SoC) that needs to be verified within the context of the overall system. Many new companies are in 5G chip development now, delivering custom solutions that match the many configurations need for different rural an... » read more

What’s After 5G


This year’s IEEE Symposia on VLSI Technology and Circuits (VLSI 2020) included a presentation by NTT Docomo that looked far into the future of cellular communications, setting the stage for a broad industry shift in communication. This is far from trivial. 5G only just recently entered the commercial world, and — especially with the higher millimeter-wave (mmWave) frequencies — it has ... » read more

Speeding Up The R&D Metrology Process


Several chipmakers are making some major changes in the characterization/metrology lab, adding more fab-like processes in this group to help speed up chip development times. The characterization/metrology lab, which is generally under the radar, is a group that works with the R&D organization and the fab. The characterization lab is involved in the early analytical work for next-generati... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: July 14


5G switches Researchers from the University of Texas at Austin and University of Lille built a new radio frequency switch that could save power in 5G devices when not actively jumping between different networks and spectrum frequencies. “It has become clear that the existing switches consume significant amounts of power, and that power consumed is useless power,” said Deji Akinwande, a ... » read more

Pandemics And Panic Chip Buying


U.S.-China trade tensions are creating uncertainty in the semiconductor market, but it is also causing another event right now—panic chip buying. At present, some but not all foundry vendors are seeing “rush orders” for select products and are running their fabs at full capacity. It’s not just leading-edge devices, but also mature technologies. A surge of chip orders started in Ma... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: June 16


GaN power modules Gallium-nitride (GaN) devices are emerging in several markets, such as power semiconductors and RF. GaN, a binary III-V compound, is a wide-bandgap technology, meaning it is faster and more efficient than silicon-based devices. GaN has 10 times the breakdown field strength with double the electron mobility than silicon. Generally, some GaN vendors don’t use a traditio... » read more

Week In Review: Auto, Security, Pervasive Computing


Edge, cloud, data center Programmable logic company Efinix used Cadence’s Digital Full Flow to finish Efinix’s Trion FPGA family for edge computing, AI/ML and vision processing applications, according to a press release. Last week Efinix also announced three software defined SoCs based on the RISC-V core. The SoCs are optimized to the Trion FPGAs. AI, machine learning Amazon will tempo... » read more

AI, 5G, IoT Combine In The Fifth Wave Of Computing


Something hugely positive is happening as a result of AI, 5G and the Internet of Things (IoT) reaching maturity at the same time. Like three kids growing up together, these technologies are feeding off each other’s energy and enhancing each other’s impact on the world. It’s this union, far greater than the sum of its parts, that I call the Fifth Wave of Computing. Why the fifth? We... » read more

How To Design User Equipment Antenna Systems For 5G Wireless Networks


Next-generation cellular wireless communications will enable numerous innovative, cutting-edge technologies and products. The combination of millimeter-wave (mm-wave) and microwave bands accompanied by advanced spatial multiplexing techniques such as massive multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) will form the backbone of a new cellular technology called 5G. The evolution to 5G promises low late... » read more

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