The IoT Is Alive And Well


There has been a lot of grumbling lately about the IoT and how it has failed to live up to expectations. But the problem may be less about the success of the IoT than the ability of any group of chipmakers and manufacturers to capitalize on its success. The IoT has been growing steadily since the term was first coined by Kevin Ashton, who began using RFID inside of Procter & Gamble to ma... » read more

The Road To Autonomous Driving Is Paved With New Opportunities For Chip Companies


The migration from human-driven to self-driven vehicles in the next few years will provide the semiconductor industry with new opportunities. Vehicles on the road today have so far featured only a few digital enhancements and even less automation. Indeed, the most noticeable enhancements have been made in the advancement of the infotainment console within the dashboard – the ability to str... » read more

Good Solutions Create Problems


I am amazed at the array of products available these days – products that I had no idea existed or needed. And yet, globalization has made it possible for anyone with an idea to get the product made cheaply and can sell it on amazon, even giving it lots of attention by claiming it is worth 10 times the cost to produce and then discounting it 80%. When 3D printing becomes a little more afforda... » read more

More Volatility Ahead


The entire semiconductor industry had a wild ride on the stock market this week, plunging on Wednesday and recovering on Thursday. This is just a sign of things to come. The cause of this week's volatility can be tied directly to a Morgan Stanley report, which said that NAND prices have peaked and will begin dropping at the beginning of 2018 because supply has caught up with demand. The repo... » read more

One-On-One: Mike Muller


Arm CTO Mike Muller sat down with Semiconductor Engineering to discuss a wide range of technology and market shifts, including the impact of machine learning, where new market opportunities will show up and how the semiconductor industry will need to change to embrace them. What follows are excerpts of that conversation. SE: It's getting to the point where instead of just developing chips, w... » read more

Tech Talk: Verification


Frank Schirrmeister, Cadence's senior group director for verification platforms, talks about what's changing in verification with 5G, machine learning, greater connectivity, advanced packaging, and the growing need to build security into designs. https://youtu.be/GMF8BkmdJzE » read more

Semiconductor Wafer Demand: Growing Pains


Semico Research is forecasting total semiconductor unit growth to exceed 13% this year, the first double-digit growth year since 2010. The exceptional unit growth is what the industry hopes for, but it does come with some growing pains. MOS logic, optoelectronics, MEMS and sensors, and even analog and discrete products are experiencing more than 10% unit growth in 2017. The challenge is that... » read more

Automotive Foundries


The race to win a piece of the automotive electronics business has now reached the foundry level, and right now it's not clear exactly how this is going to work. This is uncharted territory for everyone. The build-out of electronics for assisted and autonomous driving is brand new. For existing cars, most of the chips being used are off-the-shelf microcontrollers, commodity MEMS sensors, and... » read more

China’s Ambitious Automotive Plans


China has big plans for cars—and other related markets. After years of trailing behind Japanese, European and U.S.-based carmakers in automotive technology, reliability, status, and even market share within its own political borders, the country is making a concerted push into internally developed and manufactured assisted- and self-driving vehicles. The strategy plays out well for China o... » read more

eFPGA IP Density, Portability And Scalability


FPGA chip companies generally build a new generation of FPGAs every ~3 years when there is a major advance in process technology. They pick one foundry, one node, one variation of that node and do full-custom circuit design with typically the maximum or near-maximum number of metal layers in order to get the highest density FPGA they can. It takes them most of the 3 years to do the complex e... » read more

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