SEM Analysis Reveals Real Cause Of Chip Failure


When it comes to ASIC design, DELTA’s motto is “first time right”. When the first wafers from the wafer fab showed severe electrical malfunction, we were extremely frustrated. To investigate the failure, the design team started electrical characterization of prototypes. Overall, a short between power and ground was observed and furthermore RF inputs exhibited strange VI characteristics. T... » read more

Week in Review: IoT, Security, Auto


Internet of Things The Wing unit of Alphabet this summer will begin making drone deliveries in the Vuosarri district of Helsinki, Finland. The unmanned aerial vehicles will bear food and other items from Herkku Food, a gourmet market, and the Café Monami restaurant. The drones will bear deliveries of up to 3.3 pounds over distances of up to 6.2 miles. Comcast is reportedly developing an in... » read more

The Weather Report: 2018 Study On IC/ASIC Verification Trends


Nobel Laureate Bob Dylan observed, “You don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.” Similarly, we can get a feeling for where our industry is going by attending to the flow of thought at conferences, on line, or in our daily business. But that gives us only a small window to observe the hurricane-like forces of the very large and complicated, extremely dynamic global semico... » read more

Home Automation IoT Company Cuts ASIC Testing Costs


digitalSTROM develops smart home automation solutions providing users with superior comfort and a whole new style of living. Based on proprietary ASIC and software, digitalSTROM’s solutions connect electrical household appliances through existing power lines and enable an intelligent home via light switches, free speaking using Amazon Echo, and other apps. Challenges At the heart of digit... » read more

The Other Side Of Makimoto’s Wave


Custom hardware is undergoing a huge resurgence across a variety of new applications, pushing the semiconductor industry to the other side of Makimoto's Wave. Tsugio Makimoto, the technologist who identified the chip industry’s 10-year cyclical swings between standardization and customization, predicted there always will be room in ASICs for general-purpose processors. But it's becoming mo... » read more

The Problem With Post-Silicon Debug


Semiconductor engineers traditionally have focused on trying to create 'perfect' GDSII at tape-out, but factors such as hardware-software interactions, increasingly heterogeneous designs, and the introduction of AI are forcing companies to rethink that approach. In the past, chipmakers typically banked on longer product cycles and multiple iterations of silicon to identify problems. This no ... » read more

Can Debug Be Tamed?


Debug consumes more time than any other aspect of the chip design and verification process, and it adds uncertainty and risk to semiconductor development because there are always lingering questions about whether enough bugs were caught in the allotted amount of time. Recent figures suggest that the problem is getting worse, too, as complexity and demand for reliability continue to rise. The... » read more

Pushing AI Into The Mainstream


Artificial intelligence is emerging as the driving force behind many advancements in technology, even though the industry has merely scratched the surface of what may be possible. But how deeply AI penetrates different market segments and technologies, and how quickly it pushes into the mainstream, depend on a variety of issues that still must be resolved. In addition to a plethora of techni... » read more

Using Memory Differently


Chip architects are beginning to rewrite the rules on how to choose, configure and use different types of memory, particularly for chips with AI and some advanced SoCs. Chipmakers now have a number of options and tradeoffs to consider when choosing memories, based on factors such as the application and the characteristics of the memory workload, because different memory types work better tha... » read more

EDA Grabs Bigger Slice Of Chip Market


EDA revenues have been a fairly constant percentage of semiconductor revenues, but that may change in 2019. With new customers creating demand, and some traditional customers shifting focus from advanced nodes, the various branches of the EDA tool industry may be where sticky technical problems are solved. IC manufacturing, packaging and development tools all are finding new ways to handle t... » read more

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