The Week In Review: Manufacturing

Chipmakers UMC has appointed two senior vice presidents--S.C. Chien and Jason Wang--as co-presidents of the company, following Po-Wen Yen’s retirement as UMC’s CEO. The co-presidents are accountable for the overall performance of UMC. They will report to UMC Chairman Stan Hung. Chien will focus on the core manufacturing and technology aspects of UMC, including R&D and operations. Wang wil... » read more

The Week In Review: Design/IoT

Embedded Mentor Graphics released a new version of their Nucleus RTOS with a focus on high-performance IoT and wearable applications. Updates include support for Dynamic Linking and Loading (DLL) capabilities in Cortex-M based cores; the ability for developers to reconfigure, update, and provision connected embedded devices that utilize cloud-based remote software services; and TI WiLink 8 m... » read more

Less Room For Error

By Ed Sperling Say goodbye to fat design margins in advanced SoCs. The commonly used method of adding extra performance or area into semiconductors to overcome variability in manufacturing processes or timing closure issues has begun to create problems of its own. While there was plenty of slack available at 90nm, adding margins at 45nm and 32nm disrupts performance or eats into an increasing... » read more

How Many Power Islands Is Too Many?

By Ed Sperling Power domains, also known as power islands, have become to design engineers what multiple cores are to processor architects. They can serve a purpose, namely reducing static current leakage and saving battery life. But they also can add so much complexity that they can make it almost impossible to get a new chip out the door. Just as there has been talk of hundreds of cores, th... » read more