Mine Cryptocurrencies Sooner, Part 1


Cryptocurrency mining is the process of computing a new cryptocurrency unit based on all the previously found ones. The concept of cryptocurrency is nearly universally recognized by the publicity of the original cryptocurrency, Bitcoin. Cryptocurrencies were supposed to be a broadly democratic currency vehicle not controlled by any one entity, such as banks, governments, or small groups of comp... » read more

The Other Side Of Makimoto’s Wave


Custom hardware is undergoing a huge resurgence across a variety of new applications, pushing the semiconductor industry to the other side of Makimoto's Wave. Tsugio Makimoto, the technologist who identified the chip industry’s 10-year cyclical swings between standardization and customization, predicted there always will be room in ASICs for general-purpose processors. But it's becoming mo... » read more

EDA Grabs Bigger Slice Of Chip Market


EDA revenues have been a fairly constant percentage of semiconductor revenues, but that may change in 2019. With new customers creating demand, and some traditional customers shifting focus from advanced nodes, the various branches of the EDA tool industry may be where sticky technical problems are solved. IC manufacturing, packaging and development tools all are finding new ways to handle t... » read more

The Blockchain – Not As Secure As You Think


The blockchain has the potential to touch all aspects of our everyday lives, from buying and trading cryptocurrency, to securing vital healthcare records, to proving that a tomato really is organic. The security challenges, specifically the vulnerability of private keys faced by the cryptocurrency market, prove that before the transformative impact of blockchain technology can be realized, a co... » read more

Mixed Outlook For Semi Biz


Both the IC and fab equipment industries have been enjoying a boom cycle for some time, but they could be facing speed bumps and possibly turbulence in the second half of this year and into 2019. In the first half of 2018, the industry was fueled by the momentum carried over from 2017. DRAM prices remained relatively high, which contributed to the revenue growth in the overall IC industry. M... » read more

Data Center Power Poised To Rise


The big power-saving effort that kept U.S. data-center power consumption low for the past decade may not keep the lid on much longer. Faced with the possibility that data centers would consume a disastrously large percentage of the world's power supply, data center owners, and players in the computer, semiconductor, power and cooling industries ramped up effort to improve the efficiency of e... » read more

The Power Of De-Integration


The idea that more functionality can be added into a single chip, or even into a single system, is falling out of vogue. For an increasing number of applications, it's no longer considered the best option for boosting performance or lowering power, and it costs too much. Hooman Moshar, vice president of engineering at Broadcom, said in a keynote speech at Mentor's User2User conference this w... » read more

Chipmakers Look Beyond Scaling


Gary Patton, CTO of GlobalFoundries, sat down with Semiconductor Engineering to discuss the rollout of EUV, the rising cost of designing chips at the most advanced nodes, and the growing popularity of 22nm planar FD-SOI in a number of markets. What follows are excerpts of that conversation. SE: You've just begun deploying EUV. Are you experiencing any issues? Patton: It's a very complicat... » read more

MIS Packaging Takes Off


Momentum is building for IC packages based on an emerging technology called molded interconnect substrate (MIS). ASE, Carsem, JCET/STATS ChipPAC, Unisem and others are developing IC packages based on MIS substrate technology, which is ramping up in the analog, power IC and even the cryptocurrency markets. MIS starts with a specialized substrate material for select IC packages. The MIS sub... » read more

IIoT Security Threat Rising


The rapid growth of the Industrial Internet of Things is raising questions about just how secure these systems are today, how to improve security, and who exactly should be responsible for that. These issues are interlaced with a shift in where a growing volume of data gets processed, the cost and speed of moving large amounts of data, and the increasing frequency and cost of attacks. "Di... » read more

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