Automated Analog Design Constraint Checking


By Hossam Sarhan and Alexandre Arriordaz Overview Analog integrated circuits (ICs) are used to control and regulate conditions such as temperature, speed, sound, and electrical current. In analog ICs, voltage and current vary continuously at specified points in the circuit. One of the biggest challenges in analog integrated circuit (IC) design is to achieve and maintain accurate ratios: cap... » read more

Why Analog Designs Fail


The gap between analog and digital reliability is growing, and digital designs appear to be winning. Reports show that analog content causes the most test failures and contributes significantly more than digital to field returns. The causes aren't always obvious, though. Some of it is due to the maturity of analog design and verification. While great strides have been made in digital circuit... » read more

In-Memory Computing Challenges Come Into Focus


For the last several decades, gains in computing performance have come by processing larger volumes of data more quickly and with superior precision. Memory and storage space are measured in gigabytes and terabytes now, not kilobytes and megabytes. Processors operate on 64-bit rather than 8-bit chunks of data. And yet the semiconductor industry’s ability to create and collect high quality ... » read more

Unsticking Moore’s Law


Sanjay Natarajan, corporate vice president at Applied Materials with responsibility for transistor, interconnect and memory solutions, sat down with Semiconductor Engineering to talk about variation, Moore's Law, the impact of new materials such as cobalt, and different memory architectures and approaches. What follows are excerpts of that conversation. SE: Reliability is becoming more of an... » read more

Low Power At The Edge


The tech world has come to the realization in recent months that there is far too much data to process everything in the cloud. Now it is starting to come to grips with what that really means for edge and near-edge computing. There still are no rules for where or how that data will be parsed, but there is a growing recognition that some level of pre-processing will be necessary, and that in tur... » read more

Mostly Upbeat Outlook For Chips


2019 has started with cautious optimism for the semiconductor industry, despite dark clouds that dot the horizon. Market segments such as cryptocurrencies and virtual reality are not living up to expectations, the market for smart phones appears to be saturated, and DRAM prices are dropping, leading to cut-backs in capital expenditures. EDA companies are talking about sales to China being pu... » read more

Fundamental Shifts In 2018


What surprised the industry in 2018?  While business has been strong, markets are changing, product categories are shifting and clouds are forming on the horizon. As 2018 comes to a close, most companies are pretty happy with the way everything turned out. Business has been booming, new product categories developing, and profits are meeting or beating market expectations. "2018 was indeed a... » read more

Foundries See Growth, New Issues In 2019


The silicon foundry business is poised for growth in 2019, although the industry faces several challenges across a number of market segments next year. Generally, foundry vendors saw steady growth in 2018, but many are ending the year on a sour note. Weak demand for Apple’s new iPhone XR and a downturn in the cryptocurrency market have impacted several IC suppliers and foundries, causing t... » read more

Collaborative IC Design Mandates Integrated Data Management


Due to complexity and multi-domain expertise, custom IC design typically requires a team to successfully design and verify the project. Often, specific blocks are assigned to team members based on analog, digital, MEMS, RF expertise, across multiple geographies, and separate verification team members focus on block and system validation. This means that unstructured design files with multiple c... » read more

Foundries Prepare For Battle At 22nm


After introducing new 22nm processes over the last year or two, foundries are gearing up the technology for production—and preparing for a showdown. GlobalFoundries, Intel, TSMC and UMC are developing and/or expanding their efforts at 22nm amid signs this node could generate substantial business for applications like automotive, IoT and wireless. But foundry customers face some tough choic... » read more

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