Chiplet Momentum Builds, Despite Tradeoffs


Chip design is a series of tradeoffs. Some are technical, others are related to cost, competitive features or legal restrictions. But with the nascent 'chiplet' market, many of the established balance points are significantly altered, depending on market segments and ecosystem readiness. Chiplets provide an alternative mechanism for integrating intellectual property (IP) blocks into a semico... » read more

Week in Review: IoT, Security, Auto


Internet of Things Microsoft this week introduced IoT Plug and Play, a no-code toolkit for connecting Internet of Things devices to the cloud. The company touts it as a new modeling language to pump up the capabilities of IoT devices through the Microsoft Azure cloud service. The Azure IoT Device Catalog lists devices that support IoT Plug and Play, such as the STMicroelectronics SensorTile.bo... » read more

Creating A Roadmap For Hardware Security


The U.S. Department of Defense and private industry consortiums are developing comprehensive and cohesive cybersecurity plans that will serve as blueprints for military, industrial and commercial systems. What is particularly noteworthy in all of these efforts is the focus on semiconductors. While software can be patched, vulnerabilities such as Spectre, Meltdown and Foreshadow need to be de... » read more

Focus Shifting From 2.5D To Fan-Outs For Lower Cost


Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss advanced packaging with Calvin Cheung, vice president of engineering at ASE; Walter Ng, vice president of business management at UMC; Ajay Lalwani, vice president of global manufacturing operations at eSilicon; Vic Kulkarni, vice president and chief strategist in the office of the CTO at ANSYS; and Tien Shiah, senior manager for memory at Samsung. W... » read more

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 ’18 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

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