Can The Hardware Supply Chain Remain Secure?


Malware in computers has been a reality since the 1990s, but lately the focus has shifted to hardware. So far, the semiconductor industry has been lucky because well-publicized threats were either limited or unproven. But sooner or later, luck runs out. Last year saw two significant incidents that shook people’s faith in the integrity of hardware security. The first was the Meltdown/Spectr... » read more

System Bits: May 14


Faster U.S. supercomputers on the way The U.S. Department of Energy awarded a contract for more than $600 million to Cray for an exascale supercomputer to be installed at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory during 2021. Cray will provide its Shasta architecture and Slingshot interconnect for what is dubbed the Frontier supercomputer. Advanced Micro Devices will have a key role in building the... » read more

Chiplet Momentum Builds, Despite Tradeoffs


Chip design is a series of tradeoffs. Some are technical, others are related to cost, competitive features or legal restrictions. But with the nascent 'chiplet' market, many of the established balance points are significantly altered, depending on market segments and ecosystem readiness. Chiplets provide an alternative mechanism for integrating intellectual property (IP) blocks into a semico... » read more

How To Manage DFT For AI Chips


Semiconductor companies are racing to develop AI-specific chips to meet the rapidly growing compute requirements for artificial intelligence (AI) systems. AI chips from companies like Graphcore and Mythic are ASICs based on the novel, massively parallel architectures that maximize data processing capabilities for AI workloads. Others, like Intel, Nvidia, and AMD, are optimizing existing archite... » read more

Week In Review: Design, Low Power


M&A Nvidia will acquire Mellanox for $6.9 billion in cash, the largest deal in the chipmaker's history. Traditionally a PC GPU company, Nvidia has made a push into high-performance computing, particularly for AI workloads. Founded in 1999, Israel-based Mellanox focuses on end-to-end Ethernet and InfiniBand interconnect solutions and services for servers and storage. According to Nvidia, Me... » read more

Week in Review: IoT, Security, Auto


Internet of Things Cattle ranchers in Australia are using solar-powered ear tags to keep track of their herds, connecting through LoRa technology to locate their bulls, cows, heifers, and steers. SODAQ of the Netherlands and Lacuna Space of the U.K. are providing the Internet of Things technology and satellite-based LoRa connectivity to make this possible. “The main differentiator for LoRa o... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Chipmakers and OEMs Taiwan specialty foundry vendor Vanguard International Semiconductor (VIS) will acquire GlobalFoundries’ Fab 3E facility in Singapore for $236 million. Fab 3E manages a monthly capacity of approximately 35,000 200mm wafers. The transaction includes buildings, facilities, and equipment, as well as IP associated with GF’s MEMS business. VIS currently has three 200mm fa... » read more

Week in Review: IoT, Security, Auto


Internet of Things Automotive, health care, manufacturing, and the public sector could be transformed this year by Internet of Things technology, Bob Violino writes. Taqee Khaled, director of strategy at Nerdery, a digital business consultancy, predicts 2019 will see rapid evolution in enterprise IoT pilot initiatives and implementations. "This acceleration is due, in part, to advances in manu... » read more

What’s the Right Path For Scaling?


The growing challenges of traditional chip scaling at advanced nodes are prompting the industry to take a harder look at different options for future devices. Scaling is still on the list, with the industry laying plans for 5nm and beyond. But less conventional approaches are becoming more viable and gaining traction, as well, including advanced packaging and in-memory computing. Some option... » read more

5 Observations From Intel’s Event


Not long ago, Intel hosted its “Architecture Day,” where top executives from the chip giant revealed the company’s latest products and next-generation technologies. The company also discussed its strategy. To be sure, it’s a critical time for Intel. In June, Brian Krzanich was forced out as chief executive and the company is still looking for a permanent CEO. Plus, Intel has delayed it... » read more

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