System Bits: Jan. 16


Nitrogen-atom-sized sensors A new quantum sensor developed by Fraunhofer researchers will be able to measure the tiny magnetic fields of the next generation of hard discs, leveraging the new opportunities that quantum technology promises. [caption id="attachment_430671" align="aligncenter" width="300"] The special ellipsoid form of the plasma reactor developed at Fraunhofer IAF allows for l... » read more

System Bits: Jan. 9


Microspectrometer smartens up smartphones Thanks to researchers at TU Eindhoven, smartphones are about to get much smarter to do things like checking how clean the air is, whether food is fresh or a lump is malignant thanks to a spectrometer that is so small it can be incorporated easily and cheaply in a mobile phone. The little sensor developed at TU Eindhoven is just as precise as the no... » read more

Advanced Packaging Still Not So Simple


The promise of advanced packaging comes in multiple areas, but no single packaging approach addresses all of them. This is why there is still no clear winner in the packaging world. There are clear performance benefits, because the distance between two chips in a package can be significantly shorter than the distance that signals have to travel from one side of a die to another. Moreover, wi... » read more

Getting Serious About Chiplets


Demand for increasingly complex computation, more features, lower power, and shorter lifecycles are prompting chipmakers to examine how standardized hard IP can be used to quickly assemble systems for specific applications. The idea of using chiplets, with or without a package, has been circulating for at least a half-dozen years, and they can trace their origin back to IBM's packaging schem... » read more

Reflection On 2017: Design And EDA


People love to make predictions, and most of the time they have it easy, but at Semiconductor Engineering, we ask them to look back on the predictions they make each year and to assess how close to the mark they were. We see what they missed and what surprised them. Not everyone accepts our offer to grade themselves, but most have this year. (Part one looked at the predictions associated with s... » read more

Mixing Interface Protocols


Continuous and pervasive connectivity requires devices to support multiple interface protocols, but that is creating problems at multiple levels because each protocol is based on a different set of assumptions. This is becoming significantly harder as systems become more heterogeneous and as more functions are crammed into those devices. There are more protocols that need to be supported to ... » 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

Chiplets Gaining Steam


Building chips from pre-verified chiplets is beginning to gain traction as a way of cutting costs and reducing time to market for heterogeneous designs. The chiplet concept has been on the drawing board for some time, but it has been viewed more as a possible future direction than a necessary solution. That perception is beginning to change as complexity rises, particularly at advanced nodes... » read more

The Chiplet Option


All of the leading chipmakers, foundries and OSATs are now working with some sort of advanced packaging. The next step is to add some consistency to those efforts to be able to assemble chips much more quickly and inexpensively. DARPA has been promoting chiplets as the best way to solve this problem, and for the military, this is a pretty logical choice. With a push toward heterogeneity in c... » read more

DARPA CHIPS Program Pushes For Chiplets


While the semiconductor industry plugs away at More Than Moore innovation, the U.S. government is guiding its own SoC development. A new program kicked off last year called ‘Common Heterogeneous Integration and IP Reuse Strategies’ or CHIPS to take its own approach the incredibly high cost of SoC design and manufacturing. DARPA said it recognizes that the explosive growth in mobile and t... » read more

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