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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

5G Test And Deployment


Advantest’s Adrian Kwan talks about 5G test, how it will change as the wireless technology evolves toward higher frequency signals, and what happens when many more users and backward compatibility are added to the network. https://youtu.be/x_-3yX7fWak » read more

Machine Learning Shifts More Work to FPGAs, SoCs


A wave of machine-learning-optimized chips is expected to begin shipping in the next few months, but it will take time before data centers decide whether these new accelerators are worth adopting and whether they actually live up to claims of big gains in performance. There are numerous reports that silicon custom-designed for machine learning will deliver 100X the performance of current opt... » read more

Processing In Memory


Adding processing directly into memory is getting a serious look, particularly for applications where the volume of data is so large that moving it back and forth between various memories and processors requires too much energy and time. The idea of inserting processors into memory has cropped up intermittently over the past decade as a possible future direction, but it was dismissed as an e... » read more

Old Vs. New Packages


Over the years, the semiconductor industry has witnessed a parade of packaging innovations, such as system-in-package, semiconductor embedded in substrate, and fan-out wafer-level packaging. Two interesting packaging innovations are now being used in the process of miniaturizing microchips and electronics. One is a new concept that combines two tried-and-true technologies. The other is a de... » read more

More Performance At The Edge


Shrinking features has been a relatively inexpensive way to improve performance and, at least for the past few decades, to lower power. While device scaling will continue all the way to 3nm and maybe even further, it will happen at a slower pace. Alongside of that scaling, though, there are different approaches on tap to ratchet up performance even with chips developed at older nodes. This i... » read more

Return Of The Organic Interposer


Organic interposers are resurfacing as an option in advanced packaging, several years after they were first proposed as a means of reducing costs in 2.5D multi-die configurations. There are several reasons why there is a renewed interest in this technology: More companies are pushing up against the limits of Moore's Law, where the cost of continuing to shrinking features is exorbitant. ... » read more

Solving Systemic Complexity


EDA and IP companies have begun branching out in entirely new directions over the past 12 to 18 months, pouring resources into entirely different problems than electrostatic issues and routing complexity. While they're still focused on solving complexity at 10/7/5nm, they also recognize that enabling Moore's Law isn't the only opportunity. For an increasing number of new and established chip... » read more

Debug Issues Grow At New Nodes


Debugging and testing chips is becoming more time-consuming, more complicated, and significantly more difficult at advanced nodes as well as in advanced packages. The main problem is that there are so many puzzle pieces, and so many different use cases and demands on those pieces, that it's difficult to keep track of all the changes and potential interactions. Some blocks are "on" sometimes,... » read more

Scaling Sideways


The next steps in semiconductor technology don't follow the same vectors. While 3nm chips are likely to roll out at some point in the future, it's not clear what the business case will be for developing them. What's clear is the number of companies developing chips at that node will shrink to a handful (or less), because they're going to be far too expensive to design, verify and manufacture... » read more

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