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Research Bits: Nov. 7


ADC side-channel attacks Researchers at MIT propose two ways to protect analog-to-digital converters (ADCs) from power and electromagnetic side-channel attacks. The researchers first investigated the side-channel attacks that could be used against ADCs. Power attacks usually involve an attacker soldering a resistor onto the device’s circuit board to measure its power usage. An electromagn... » read more

A Multi-Level Analog IC Design Flow For Fast Performance Estimation Using Template-Based Layout Generators And Structural Models


Analog IC design is a very challenging task as essential information is missing in the early design stages. Because the simulation of larger designs is exceedingly computationally expensive at lower abstraction levels, conservative assumptions are usually applied that often result in suboptimal performances such as area and power consumption. In order to enable both early performance estimates ... » read more

The Human Hand: Curating Good Data And Creating An Effective Deep-Learning R2R Strategy For High-Volume Manufacturing


Currently, the semiconductor manufacturing industry uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to take data and autonomously learn from that data. With the additional data, AI and ML can be used to quickly discover patterns and determine correlations in various applications, most notably those applications involving metrology and inspection, whether in the front-end of the manufacturing ... » read more

Improving Yield With Machine Learning


Machine learning is becoming increasingly valuable in semiconductor manufacturing, where it is being used to improve yield and throughput. This is especially important in process control, where data sets are noisy. Neural networks can identify patterns that exceed human capability, or perform classification faster. Consequently, they are being deployed across a variety of manufacturing proce... » read more

HBM, Nanosheet FETs Drive X-ray Fab Use


Paul Ryan, vice president and general manager of Bruker’s X-ray Business, sat down with Semiconductor Engineering to discuss the movement of x-ray metrology into manufacturing to better control nanosheet film stacks and solder bump quality. SE: Where are you seeing the greatest growth right now, and what are the critical drivers for your technology from the application side? Ryan: One b... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Dec. 14


Improved digital sensing Researchers from Imperial College London and Technical University of Munich propose a technique to improve the capability of many different types of sensors. The method addresses voltage limits in analog-to-digital converters and the saturation that results in poor quality when an incoming signal exceeds those limits. “Our new technique lets us capture a fuller ra... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Aug. 3


Efficient ADC Researchers at Brigham Young University, National Yang Ming Chiao Tung University, Texas Instruments, and University of California Los Angeles designed a new power-efficient high-speed analog-to-digital converter. The ADC consumes only 21 milli-Watts of power at 10GHz for ultra-wideband wireless communications, much lower than other ADCs that consume hundreds of milli-Watts to... » read more

Re-Architecting SerDes


Serializer/Deserializer (SerDes) circuits have been helping semiconductors move data around for years, but new process technologies are forcing it to adapt and change in unexpected ways. Traditionally implemented as an analog circuit, SerDes technology has been difficult to scale, while low voltages, variation, and noise are making it more difficult to yield sufficiently. So to remain releva... » read more

A 10.5 μW Programmable SAR ADC Frontend With SC Preamplifier For Low-Power IoT Sensor Nodes


Massive deployment of wireless autonomous sensor nodes requires their lifetime extension and cost reduction. The analog frontend (AFE) plays a key role in this context. This paper presents a successive approximation register analog-to-digital converter (SAR ADC) with a switched-capacitor programmable gain switched preamplifier (SC PGSA), as a basic component of an integrated ultra-low power AFE... » read more

Fast And Accurate Variation-Aware Mixed-Signal Verification Of Time-Domain 2-Step ADC


To meet today’s analog-to-digital converter (ADC) specifications and to produce a high-yield design, teams typically need to perform extensive brute force mixed-signal simulations to account for all potential design variation. However, at nanometer nodes, the number of process, voltage and temperature (PVT) corners and parametric variation grow exponentially making the simulation impractical ... » read more

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