Lane Departure Warnings For The Auto Industry


The automotive chip market is undergoing a series of subtle but significant shifts behind the scenes that could have major implications for the global automotive supply chain. After a few years of racing toward autonomous vehicles and setting in motion a frenzy of activity, some of the big auto makers have begun taking the design of key functions such as centralized logic in-house. There... » read more

What’s Changing, What Isn’t


The global pandemic is creating economic chaos on a global scale. The big question now is when the coronavirus is brought under control, and just how long its effects will extend beyond the current health crisis. For the semiconductor industry, which has weathered many long and deep financial swings, this one at least is finite. When the virus stops spreading, or when treatments are availabl... » read more

Is It Time To Decentralize The Supply Chain?


One of the key requirements in any engineered system is a backup plan. A single point of failure in safety-critical or mission-critical applications can lead to disaster, whether that involves a smart phone, a car, a bridge, an airplane, or a design, manufacturing or business process. So why has this been largely ignored across the semiconductor manufacturing supply chain? The answer is comp... » read more

Chip Design Is Getting Squishy


So many variables, uncertainties and new approaches are in play today across the chip industry today that previous rules are looking rather dated. In the past, a handful of large companies or organizations set the rules for the industry and established an industry roadmap. No such roadmap exists today. And while there are efforts underway to create new roadmaps for different industries, inte... » read more

The Risk Of Two Supply Chains


Ever since the Trump administration weaponized trade restrictions against individual companies — first ZTE, then Huawei — China has begun developing a second supply chain for electronics. Inside of China, this is viewed as a necessary step for survival. In April 2018, the U.S. government banned ZTE from sourcing U.S. components for seven years, nearly putting that company out of business... » read more

Moore And More


For more than 50 years, the semiconductor industry has enjoyed the benefits of Moore's Law — or so it seemed. In reality, there were three laws rolled up into one: Each process generation would have a higher clock speed at the same power. This was not discovered by Moore, but by Dennard, who also invented the DRAM. Process generations continue to get faster and lower power, but the power... » read more

Millimeter Wave: A Bridge Too Far?


5G is here. It already is available in new mobile phones, and the infrastructure for extremely fast cellular communication is being built out at a rapid pace. The big question now is which parts of this technology will be successful, and there still is no consistency in those predictions. 5G comes in two flavors, sub-6 GHz and millimeter wave, and the sub-6 GHz version offers immediate perfo... » read more

Automotive Industry On Course To Disruption And Evolution


Consumers expect a lot from their vehicles. We expect vehicles to serve not only as transportation, but as hubs of entertainment and connectivity that can help us manage busy lives, or relax after long days. Someday, we may even expect our cars to do the driving themselves, without any human intervention. Automotive manufacturers consistently strive to meet these expectations by delivering high... » read more

Chips, Business And The Coronavirus


In the spring of 2003, the SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) hit China and Hong Kong, creating such panic that no one would touch crates on shipping docks. Ultimately, it erased an estimated $40 billion from the global economy and effectively shut down the Chinese semiconductor industry for several months. It could have been much worse, though, and this is what is particularly troubli... » read more

Non-Volatile Memory Tradeoffs Intensify


Non-volatile memory is becoming more complicated at advanced nodes, where price, speed, power and utilization are feeding into some very application-specific tradeoffs about where to place that memory. NVM can be embedded into a chip, or it can be moved off chip with various types of interconnect technology. But that decision is more complicated than it might first appear. It depends on the ... » read more

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