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The Growing Need For OTP


Historically, when someone from our industry uses the acronym OTP, or one-time programmable, they think of eFuse, invented by IBM in 2004.  Using electromigration, IBM was able to program a fuse without damaging other parts of the chip. In this way, fuses could dynamically alter the configuration of a chip after it was manufactured. Applications range from analog trimming and calibration to re... » read more

One-Time-Programmable Memories For IoT Security


Security in the IoT space is an issue of major concern. Hackers are attacking IoT devices across all layers of the infrastructure, from the application layer down to protocol, to the physical and deep into the IoT devices. I intend to focus on vulnerability prevention for IoT devices at the lowest level: memory structure and key storage. I conclude with indicating highly important features a... » read more

New Memory Approaches And Issues


New memory types and approaches are being developed and tested as DRAM and Moore's Law both run out of steam, adding greatly to the confusion of what comes next and how that will affect chip designs. What fits where in the memory hierarchy is becoming less clear as the semiconductor industry grapples with these changes. New architectures, such as [getkc id="202" kc_name="fan-outs"] and [getk... » read more

Industrial Electronics Gain Greater Manufacturing Flexibility With Embedded Memory


While IoT continues to capture the semiconductor industry’s collective imagination, not to be overlooked is the industrial electronics market. Just consider the wide swath industrial electronics cuts. It could be anything related to electrical equipment in an industrial setting, and includes everything from control systems, instrumentation, mechanicals and diagnostics to signal processing and... » read more

IP Requirements Changing


Twenty years ago the electronics industry became interested in the notion of formalizing re-use through third-party IP. It has turned out to be harder than anyone imagined. In 1996, the Virtual Socket Interface Alliance ([getentity id="22845" comment="VSIA"]) was formed to standardize the development, distribution and licensing of IP. Soon afterward, companies with a couple of people in a ga... » read more

In The Era Of Driverless Cars, OTP Will Rule


Visit any car dealership these days and prepare to be amazed by the amount of electronics that comes standard with each car. That’s about to get even more evident as we head into the era of the driverless car, otherwise known as the connected or autonomous car. Who isn’t ready to leave the driving to electronics? The typical driver won’t be all that interested to learn that embedded me... » read more

A Closer Look At One-Time Programmable Embedded Memory


Being the first month of the year, chip designers have probably reflected on 2015 and are thinking ahead to upcoming projects this year. They want to produce a product that reflects tomorrow’s needs for electronic devices that include low power, high performance and high security. Now, they’re thinking about embedded memory, a requirement for all electronic devices. It’s captured the atte... » read more

Changes In Chip Design


We all know that sub-10nm is coming. But is that really what will define the next generation of semiconductors? Progress in semiconductor technology increasingly is not just about advancements in the hardware. It also involves advancements in applications and technologies peripheral to the devices themselves. That may sound counterintuitive, but going forward the technology, applications and... » read more

Emerging IoT Applications Require Careful Consideration


The Internet of Things (IoT) is creating opportunities in the existing space held by traditional semiconductor applications, typically falling into categories that include industrial, fitness, health and lifestyle to apparel, safety and productivity. But there also are new, inventive devices. In the last several months, we’ve seen the launch of a canine Fitbit, a hybrid dog collar, and dyn... » read more

Moore Memory Problems


The six-transistor static memory cell (SRAM) has been the mainstay of on-chip memory for several decades and has stood the test of time. Today, many advanced SoCs have 50% of the chip area covered with these memories and so they are critical to continued scaling. “The SRAM being used in modern systems is similar to the SRAM they were using in the 1970s and 1980s,” says Duncan Bremner, ch... » read more

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