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Many Chiplet Challenges Ahead


Over the past couple of months, Semiconductor Engineering has looked into several aspects of 2.5D and 3D system design, the emerging standards and steps that the industry is taking to make this more broadly adopted. This final article focuses on the potential problems and what remains to be addressed before the technology becomes sustainable to the mass market. Advanced packaging is seen as ... » read more

Interconnects In A Domain-Specific World


Moving data around is probably the least interesting aspect of system design, but it is one of three legs that defines the key performance indicators (KPI) for a system. Computation, memory, and interconnect all need to be balanced. Otherwise, resources are wasted and performance is lost. The problem is that the interconnect is rarely seen as a contributor to system functionality. It is seen... » read more

More Data Drives Focus On IC Energy Efficiency


Computing workloads are becoming increasingly interdependent, raising the complexity level for chip architects as they work out exactly where that computing should be done and how to optimize it for shrinking energy margins. At a fundamental level, there is now more data to compute and more urgency in getting results. This situation has forced a rethinking of how much data should be moved, w... » read more

SoC Integration Complexity: Size Doesn’t (Always) Matter


It’s common when talking about complexity in systems-on-chip (SoCs) to haul out monster examples: application processors, giant AI chips, and the like. Breaking with that tradition, consider an internet of things (IoT) design, which can still challenge engineers with plenty of complexity in architecture and integration. This complexity springs from two drivers: very low power consumption, eve... » read more

Privacy Protection A Must For Driver Monitoring


Driver monitoring systems are so tied into a vehicle's architecture that soon the driver will not be able to opt out because the vehicle will only operate if the driver is detected and monitored. This is raising privacy concerns about whether enough security is in place for the data to remain private. At the very least, laws and regulations in every geography where the vehicle will operate a... » read more

Computing Where Data Resides


Computational storage is starting to gain traction as system architects come to grips with the rising performance, energy and latency impacts of moving large amounts of data between processors and hierarchical memory and storage. According to IDC, the global datasphere will grow from 45 zettabytes in 2019 to 175 by 2025. But that data is essentially useless unless it is analyzed or some amou... » read more

Waiting For Chiplet Standards


The need and desire for chiplets is increasing, but for most companies that shift will happen slowly until proven standards are in place. Interoperability and compatibility depend on many layers and segments of the supply chain coming to agreement. Unfortunately, fragmented industry requirements may lead to a plethora of solutions. Standards always have enabled increasing specialization. ... » read more

Domain-Specific Memory


Domain-specific computing may be all the rage, but it is avoiding the real problem. The bigger concern is the memories that throttle processor performance, consume more power, and take up the most chip area. Memories need to break free from the rigid structures preferred by existing software. When algorithms and memory are designed together, improvements in performance are significant and pr... » 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

Chiplets For The Masses


Chiplets are a compelling technology, but so far they are available only to a select few players in the industry. That's changing, and the industry has taken little steps to get there, but timing for when you will be able to buy a chiplet to integrate into your system remains uncertain. While new fabrication nodes continue to be developed, scaling is coming to an end, be it for physical or e... » read more

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