Aspinity’s Analog Neural Net Wake-Up Call


Putting an analog chip in front of an always-on system for digitizing speech and having the analog chip listen for sounds of interest may help avoid huge power waste and data congestion in current voice-recognition systems. Aspinity, an analog neuromorphic semiconductor startup, has worked the problem and just announced its Reconfigurable Analog Modular Processor (RAMP) platform yesterday. RAMP... » read more

CEO Outlook: Rising Costs, Chiplets, And A Trade War


Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss what's changing across the semiconductor industry with Wally Rhines, CEO emeritus at Mentor, a Siemens Business; Jack Harding, president and CEO of eSilicon; John Kibarian, president and CEO of PDF Solutions; and John Chong, vice president of product and business development for Kionix. What follows are excerpts of that discussion, which was held in... » read more

Automotive Semiconductors Boost MCU, Analog Markets


Auto sales are expected to experience a slowdown in 2019, and even with the continued increase in electronics per vehicle, automotive semiconductor sales are also expected to experience a slowdown. Similar to prior years, 2019/2020 car models will include more automotive semiconductor devices to provide higher degrees of safety, comfort and convenience, driver assist capabilities, in-cabin ente... » read more

Revolution By Evolution: Getting To The Next Technology Breakthrough In Analog Simulation


Recent technology developments, advanced-node adoptions, and Moore than Moore designs have forced analog and custom IC designers to adopt new design practices that benefit from these advancements. These changes have resulted in the need to simulate larger designs with more post-layout parasitics. In addition, many custom IC designs such as flash memory, MRAM, sensor arrays, etc., now require SP... » read more

From Constraints To Tape-Out: Towards A Continuous AMS Design Flow


The effort in designing analog/mixed-signal (AMS) integrated circuits is characterized by the largely manual work involved in the design of analog cells and their integration into the overall circuit. This inequality in effort between analog and digital cells increases with the use of modern, more complex technology nodes. To mitigate this problem, this paper presents four methods to improve ex... » read more

Holes In AI Security


Mike Borza, principal security technologist in Synopsys’ Solutions Group, explains why security is lacking in AI, why AI is especially susceptible to Trojans, and why small changes in training data can have big impacts on many devices. » read more

Meeting ISO 26262 Requirements Using Tessent IC Test Solutions


As the industry moves towards greater automation in vehicles, suppliers of the ICs used to drive the automotive electronic systems are rapidly adopting solutions to meet ISO 26262 requirements. The Tessent family of IC test products offers the highest defect coverage, in-system non-destructive memory test, hybrid ATPG/Logic BIST, and analog test coverage measurement. These technologies add up t... » read more

Optimization Challenges For Safety And Security


Complexity challenges long-held assumptions. In the past, the semiconductor industry thought it understood performance/area tradeoffs, but over time it became clear this is not so simple. Measuring performance is no longer an absolute. Power has many dimensions including peak, average, total energy and heat, and power and function are tied together. Design teams are now dealing with the impl... » read more

Using Analog For AI


If the only tool you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. But development of artificial intelligence (AI) applications and the compute platforms for them may be overlooking an alternative technology—analog. The semiconductor industry has a firm understanding of digital electronics and has been very successful making it scale. It is predictable, has good yield, and while every de... » read more

The Basics of Amplitude Modulation


Modulation is the process of varying a higher frequency carrier wave to transmit information. Though it is theoretically possible to transmit baseband signals (or information) without modulating it, it is far more efficient to send data by modulating it onto a higher frequency "carrier wave." Higher frequency waves require smaller antennas, use the available bandwidth more efficiently, and are ... » read more

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