The Secret Life Of Accelerators


Accelerator chips increasingly are providing the performance boost that device scaling once provided, changing basic assumptions about how data moves within an electronic system and where it should be processed. To the outside world, little appears to have changed. But beneath the glossy exterior, and almost always hidden from view, accelerator chips are becoming an integral part of most des... » read more

Shrink Or Package?


Advanced packaging is rapidly becoming a mainstream option for chipmakers as the cost of integrating heterogeneous components on a single die continues to rise. Despite several years of buzz around this shift, the reality is that it has taken more than a half-century to materialize. Advanced [getkc id="27" kc_name="packaging"] began with IBM flip chips in the 1960s, and it got another boost ... » read more

Playing With Chip Volumes


The overall market for semiconductors continues to grow, but the number of applications that will generate enormous volumes continues to shrink. In theory, this is good for the overall semiconductor industry, but it raises important questions about where R&D dollars will go in the future. The fundamental problem is that the semiconductor business is a volume business for one or two markets. ... » read more

The Return Of Time Sharing


As early as the 1960s, it wasn't uncommon to hear that transistors would be free. Those were pretty bold statements at the time, considering most computers in those days cost $1 million, required special rooms, and budding computer scientists usually had to sign up to use mainframe computers for one-hour time slots—often in the middle of the night or on weekends. Still, those predictions ... » read more

Routing Signals At 7nm


[getperson id="11763" comment="Tobias Bjerregaard"], [getentity id="22908" e_name="Teklatech's"] CEO, discusses the challenges of designs at 7nm and beyond, including power integrity, how to reduce IR drop and timing issues, and how to improve the economics of scaling. SE: How much further can device scaling go? Bjerregaard: The way you should look at this is [getkc id="74" comment="Moore... » read more

Chip-Package-Board Issues Grow


As systems migrate from a single die in a single package on a board, to multiple dies with multiple packaging options and multiple PCB form factors, it is becoming critical to move system planning, assembly, and optimization much earlier in the design-through-manufacturing flow. This is easier said than done. Multiple tools and operating systems are now used at each phase of the flow, partic... » read more

Tech Talk: Extending DRAM


Bruce Bateman, senior principal engineer at Kilopass, talks about how to extend the life of DRAM and how to work with smaller, denser memory.   Related Stories Executive Insight: Charlie Cheng Kilopass’ CEO talks about how to cut the capacitor in DRAM and why that’s important in the data center. » read more

450mm And Other Emergency Measures


Talk about boosting wafer sizes from 300mm to 450mm has been creeping back into presentations and discussions at conferences over the past couple months. Earlier this year, discussions focused on panel-level packaging. These are basically similar approaches to the same problem, which is that wafers need to be larger to reap efficiencies out of device scaling. Whether either of these approach... » read more

Interconnect Challenges Grow


It’s becoming apparent that traditional chip scaling is slowing down. The 16nm/14nm logic node took longer than expected to unfold. And the 10nm node and beyond could suffer the same fate. So what’s the main cause? It’s hard to pinpoint the problem, although many blame the issues on lithography. But what could eventually hold up the scaling train, and undo Moore’s Law, is arguably t... » read more