Week in Review: IoT, Security, Auto


Internet of Things Apple purchased a portfolio of eight granted and pending patents that belonged to Lighthouse AI, a smart home security camera startup that ceased operations near the end of 2018. The portfolio was acquired at about the same time, according to the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office; financial terms weren’t revealed. Also not disclosed, as usual, is what Apple will do with t... » read more

Using Analog For AI


If the only tool you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. But development of artificial intelligence (AI) applications and the compute platforms for them may be overlooking an alternative technology—analog. The semiconductor industry has a firm understanding of digital electronics and has been very successful making it scale. It is predictable, has good yield, and while every de... » read more

Building Security Into RISC-V Systems


Semiconductor Engineering sat down with Helena Handschuh, a Rambus fellow; Richard Newell, senior principal product architect at Microsemi, a Microchip Company; and Joseph Kiniry, principal scientist at Galois. Part one is here. (This is the second of two parts.) L-R: Joseph Kiniry, Helena Handschuh, Richard Newell. SE: Some of the new applications for hardware designs are tied to AI, d... » read more

Chip Industry In Rapid Transition


Wally Rhines, CEO Emeritus at Mentor, a Siemens Business, sat down with Semiconductor Engineering to talk about global economics, AI, the growing emphasis on customization, and the impact of security and higher abstraction levels. What follows are excerpts of that conversation. SE: Where do you see the biggest changes happening across the chip industry? Rhines: 2018 was a hot year for fab... » read more

December Startup Funding: Big Rounds As 2018 Ends


During the month of December, 16 startups had private funding rounds of $100 million and up, with half of them in the mobility area. Those 16 rounds totaled $3.2 billion as the year concluded. Before the holidays, the SoftBank Vision Fund invested $500 million in Cambridge Mobile Telematics, provider of the DriveWell platform used by insurers, vehicle fleets, wireless carriers, and others to... » read more

What’s the Right Path For Scaling?


The growing challenges of traditional chip scaling at advanced nodes are prompting the industry to take a harder look at different options for future devices. Scaling is still on the list, with the industry laying plans for 5nm and beyond. But less conventional approaches are becoming more viable and gaining traction, as well, including advanced packaging and in-memory computing. Some option... » read more

Getting Down To Business On Chiplets


Government agencies, industry groups and individual companies are beginning to rally around various chiplet models, setting the stage for complex chips that are quicker and cheaper to build using standardized interfaces and components. The idea of putting together different modules like LEGOs has been talked about for the better part of a decade. So far, only Marvell has used this concept co... » read more

Die-to-Die Interconnects for Chip Disaggregation


Today, data growth is at an unprecedented pace. We’re now looking at petabytes of data moving into zettabytes. What that translates to is the need for considerably more compute power and much more bandwidth to process all that data. In networking, high-speed SerDes PHYs represent the linchpin for blazing fast back and forth transmission of data in data centers. In turn, demand is increa... » read more

Design For Advanced Packaging


Advanced packaging techniques are viewed as either a replacement for Moore's Law scaling, or a way of augmenting it. But there is a big gap between the extensive work done to prove these devices can be manufactured with sufficient yield and the amount of attention being paid to the demands advanced packaging has on the design and verification flows. Not all advanced packaging places the same... » read more

DARPA Seeks To Engage With MEMS Industry


Napa, Calif. — DARPA is looking for a few good members of the MEMS industry to offer advice and help to the agency’s Rapid Innovation for Production MEMS (RIPM) concept. Ronald Polcawich, a program manager for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s Microsystems Technology Office, presented the keynote address on the second and final day of the 2018 MEMS & Sensors Executive... » read more

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