How Chips Age


Andre Lange, group manager for quality and reliability at Fraunhofer IIS’ Engineering of Adaptive Systems Division, talks about circuit aging, whether current methods of predicting reliability are accurate for chips developed at advanced process nodes, and where additional research is needed. » read more

Analog: Avoid Or Embrace?


We live in an analog world, but digital processing has proven quicker, cheaper and easier. Moving digital data around is only possible while the physics of wires can be safely abstracted away enough to provide reliable communications. As soon as a signal passes off-chip, the analog domain reasserts control for modern systems. Each of those transitions requires a data converter. The usage ... » read more

What Engineers Are Reading And Watching


By Brian Bailey And Ed Sperling An important indicator of where the chip industry is heading is what engineers are reading and what videos they are watching. While some subjects remain on top, such as the level of interest in the latest manufacturing technologies, other areas come and go. The stories with the biggest traffic numbers are almost identical to last year. Readers want to know wh... » read more

Addressing Pain Points In Chip Design


Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss the impact of multi-physics and new market applications on chip design with John Lee, general manager and vice president of ANSYS' Semiconductor Business Unit; Simon Burke, distinguished engineer at Xilinx, Duane Boning, professor of electrical engineering and computer science at MIT; and Thomas Harms, director EDA/IP Alliance at Infineon. What foll... » read more

How 5G Affects Test


David Hall, head of semiconductor marketing at National Instruments, talks with Semiconductor Engineering about architectural changes to infrastructure due to the rollout of 5G and how the move from macrocells to small cells is changing test requirements.         Subscribe to Semiconductor Engineering's YouTube Channel here » read more

Solving The Memory Bottleneck


Chipmakers are scrambling to solve the bottleneck between processor and memory, and they are turning out new designs based on different architectures at a rate no one would have anticipated even several months ago. At issue is how to boost performance in systems, particularly those at the edge, where huge amounts of data need to be processed locally or regionally. The traditional approach ha... » read more

Getting To Tape-Out Quicker With Analog Layout Generators


All design engineers know it well: there is hardly any time left until tape-out, but the amount of work that remains is not decreasing as fast as the deadline is approaching. The intricate schematic must still be implemented as a layout, and many recurring tasks slow down the progress. The real crux often lies in specific parts of the circuit – parts that often have lower performance demands ... » read more

200mm Cools Off, But Not For Long


After years of acute shortages, 200mm fab capacity is finally loosening up, but the supply/demand picture could soon change with several challenges on the horizon. 200mm fabs are older facilities with more mature processes, although they still churn out a multitude of today’s critical chips, such as analog, MEMS, RF and others. From 2016 to 2018, booming demand for these and other chips ca... » 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

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

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