Smaller, Faster, Cheaper—But Different

The old mantra of "smaller, faster, cheaper" has migrated from the chip level to the electronic system level, raising some interesting questions about where the real value is being generated. Smaller as it pertains to gate size, line widths and spaces, will continue in an almost straight line for at least the next decade. The ability to print three-dimensional features on a nanoscale using E... » read more

Wafer Demand: Under Pressure But Still Growing

Wafer demand grew 10.7% in 2017 while total semiconductor units grew 13.4%. Due to the tight supply of silicon wafers and increased prices, most manufactures placed an even higher priority on improving yields. The industry’s focus on yield improvements is relentless but especially important when the cost of key input materials is on the rise. In 2017 the semiconductor products that con... » read more

New Applications, Multiple Approaches

It may be tempting to view the strong demand for semiconductors as just one more up-cycle in our traditionally cyclical industry, but what’s really driving things right now is the opening of entirely new horizons, made possible by the increased capabilities of today’s chips. Chip demand is no longer only being driven by the needs of computer and smartphone manufacturers. Now, a mushroomi... » read more

Tech Talk: eFPGA Density

Chen Wang, senior vice president of engineering at Flex Logix, talks about how to improve density in embedded FPGAs. » read more

Executive Insight: Wally Rhines

Wally Rhines, president and CEO of [getentity id="22017" e_name="Mentor, a Siemens Business"], sat down with Semiconductor Engineering to discuss a wide range of industry and technology changes and how that will play out over the next few years. What follows are excerpts of that conversation. SE: What will happen in the end markets? Rhines: The end markets are perhaps more exciting from a... » read more

Why EDA Needs To Change

Why is it taking so long for [getkc id="305" kc_name="machine learning"] to have an impact within EDA? Most of the time when I talk to the experts within the field I hear about why designs are so different from other machine learning applications, and I know that is true. Many of you reading this may not be aware that I was a developer of EDA tools for more than 35 years before I ended up writi... » read more

Race Of Nations

Technology is the next arms race, and this is not just about national defense in the traditional sense. Countries collectively are pouring hundreds of billions of dollars into developing technology for the future, from education to outright grants and seed funding, and they are working with private industry to continue investing in their respective national futures. Which technologies and na... » read more

Customizing Power And Performance

Designing chips is getting more difficult, and not just for the obvious technical reasons. The bigger issue revolves around what these chips going to be used for-and how will they be used, both by the end user and in the context of other electronics. This was a pretty simple decision when hardware was developed somewhat independently of software, such as in the PC era. Technology generally d... » read more

Monetizing Semiconductors From Silicon To Services

In 2016, Rambus published a think piece titled “Charting a New Course for Semiconductors.” The paper explored a diverse range of challenges faced by the industry, including increasing development costs, shrinking margins, market saturation and accelerating M&A activity. These challenges have only become more pronounced in 2018, as the newly consolidated semiconductor industry actively seeks... » read more

Testing Analog Chips

The world of analog components is broad and diverse, and while testing analog chips may not take as long as running tests on complex SoCs, there are different requirements for analog devices. One type of chip that's seeing more application these days is analog microelectromechanical system devices. Automotive electronics call for a number of [getkc id="37" kc_name="analog"] chips, along with... » read more

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