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Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Chipmakers China’s Tsinghua Unigroup is in trouble. The group is the parent company of China’s YMTC, a 3D NAND supplier, and other chip ventures. It is close to moving into bankruptcy proceedings. Now, a consortium led by Alibaba has emerged as the frontrunner to take over Tsinghua Unigroup, according to a report from Bloomberg. That deal would keep the company afloat, the report said. ... » read more

Security Risks Grow With 5G


5G mobile phones can download a movie in seconds rather than minutes, but whether that can be done securely remains to be seen. What is clear from technology providers, though, is they are taking security very seriously with this new wireless technology. More data is in motion, and the value of that data is growing as users rely on mobile devices for everything from banking to automotive saf... » read more

Always On, Always At Risk


Always-on devices are everywhere, and each of them is a potential target for hackers. While many people associate always-on devices with smart speakers such as an Amazon Alexa or Google Home, or a connected security camera, that's only one component in a system. There's a broader infrastructure behind those devices. So even if you power down a digital assistant/smart speaker, everything it's... » read more

Designing Chips In A ‘Lawless’ Industry


The guideposts for designing chips are disappearing or becoming less relevant. While engineers today have many more options for customizing a design, they have little direction about what works best for specific applications or what the return on investment will be for those efforts. For chip architects, this is proving to be an embarrassment of riches. However, that design freedom comes wit... » read more

Shifting Toward Data-Driven Chip Architectures


An explosion in data is forcing chipmakers to rethink where to process data, which are the best types of processors and memories for different types of data, and how to structure, partition and prioritize the movement of raw and processed data. New chips from systems companies such as Google, Facebook, Alibaba, and IBM all incorporate this approach. So do those developed by vendors like Appl... » read more

The Increasingly Uneven Race To 3nm/2nm


Several chipmakers and fabless design houses are racing against each other to develop processes and chips at the next logic nodes in 3nm and 2nm, but putting these technologies into mass production is proving both expensive and difficult. It's also beginning to raise questions about just how quickly those new nodes will be needed and why. Migrating to the next nodes does boost performance an... » read more

Auto OEMs Face New Competitive Threats


Automotive design and manufacturing are undergoing a fundamental shift to the left as cars increasingly are electrified and chips take over more functions formerly done by mechanical parts, setting the stage for massive disruption across a supply chain that has been in place for decades. The success of Tesla — a company that had never actually built a chip or a car — was both a surprise ... » read more

AI And ML Applications Require Advanced Datapath Verification


In popular usage, the term “artificial intelligence” (AI) once conjured up images of robot armies subjugating humans or evil computers outsmarting their users, as in '2001: A Space Odyssey.' In recent years, AI has become a part of daily life for much of the planet’s population. People use voice commands to interact with their smartphones, smart speakers and even TV remote controls. Sophi... » read more

CEO Outlook: 2021


The new year will be one of significant transition and innovation for the chip industry, but there are so many new applications and market segments that broad generalizations are becoming less meaningful. Unlike in years past, where sales of computers or smart phones were a good indication of how the chip industry would fare, end markets have both multiplied and splintered, greatly increasin... » read more

Israel: Startup Powerhouse


Israel is at the front of pack with China and the United States when it comes to tech startups. But when it comes to large, indigenous tech giants, the country is nowhere to be seen. Virtually every major semiconductor company does business in Israel, and many have a strong presence there through centers of excellence or companies they have acquired. But after decades of innovation ranging f... » read more

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