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EUV’s Uncertain Future


The ground appears to be solidifying under EUV. Intel announced this week it is reducing its stake in ASML to less than 3%, the second such move in a year. Apparently ASML no longer needs outside help. According to the company's earnings report, ASML turned in net sales of €2.776 billion, a slight increase over the €2.447 billion (GAAP) the company reported in Q3 and way up over the €... » read more

Power Delivery Affecting Performance At 7nm


Complex interactions and dependencies at 7nm and beyond can create unexpected performance drops in chips that cannot always be caught by signoff tools. This isn't for lack of effort. The amount of time spent trying to determine if an advanced-node chip will work after it is fabricated has been rising steadily for several process nodes. Additional design rules handle everything from variation... » read more

Power Issues Grow For Cloud Chips


Performance levels in traditional or hyperscale data centers are being limited by power and heat caused by an increasing number of processors, memory, disk and operating systems within servers. The problem is so complex and intertwined, though, that solving it requires a series of steps that hopefully add up to a significant reduction across a system. But at 7nm and below, predicting exactly... » read more

ADAS Further Extends 7nm Challenges


As we discussed previously on the LPHP blog, 7nm nodes hold great promise for reducing power, improving performance and increasing density for next-generation chips, but also present a set of engineering challenges. When you factor in the standards set for autonomous vehicles (AV) and advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) system-on-chips or SoCs, those challenges can more than double. Autom... » read more

Why Test Costs Will Increase


The economics of test are under siege. Long seen as a necessary but rather mundane step in ensuring chip quality, or a way of testing circuitry from the inside while it is still in use, manufacturers and design teams have paid little attention to this part of the design-through-manufacturing flow. But problems have been building for some time in three separate areas, and they could have a b... » read more

Thermal Impact On Reliability At 7/5nm


Haroon Chaudhri, director of RedHawk Analysis Fusion at Synopsys, talks about why thermal analysis is shifting left in the design cycle and why this is so critical at the most advanced process nodes. https://youtu.be/wjkrEFLb2vY » read more

What Will Intel Do Next?


The writing is on the wall for big processor makers. Apple, Amazon, Facebook and Google are developing their own processors. In addition, there are more than 30 startups developing various types of AI accelerators, as well as a field of embedded FPGA vendors, a couple of discrete FPGA makers, and a slew of soft processor cores. This certainly hasn't been lost on Intel. As the world's largest... » read more

56G 7nm SerDes: Eyewitness Account


High-performance SerDes represents critical enabling technology for advanced ASICs. This star IP block finds application in many networking and switching designs as well as other high-performance applications. So, when a new high-performance SerDes block hits the streets, it’s real news. eSilicon has been enjoying the spotlight on such an event. We recently announced silicon validation of our... » read more

EUV Pellicle, Uptime And Resist Issues Continue


Extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography is moving closer to realization, but several problems involving scanner uptime, photoresists and pellicles need to be resolved before this long-overdue technology is put into full production. Intel, Samsung and TSMC are hoping to insert EUV into production at 7nm and/or 5nm. While the remaining issues don’t necessarily pre-empt using EUV, they do affec... » read more

Advanced Defect Inspection Techniques For nFET And pFET Defectivity At 7nm Gate Poly Removal Process


By Ian Tolle, GlobalFoundries, and Michael Daino, KLA-Tencor During 7nm gate poly removal process, polysilicon is removed exposing both NFET and PFET fins in preparation for high-k gate oxide. If the polysilicon etch is too aggressive or the source and drain are not sufficiently protected, the etch can damage the active region and render the FET inoperative. Different materials are used in t... » read more

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