2020 CEO Outlook


Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss the semiconductor industry's outlook and what's changing with Simon Segars, CEO of Arm; Joseph Sawicki, executive vice president of IC EDA at Mentor, a Siemens Business; Raik Brinkmann, CEO of OneSpin Solutions; Babak Taheri, CEO of Silvaco; John Kiberian, CEO of PDF Solutions; and Prakash Narain, CEO of Real Intent. The conversation was part of the... » read more

China Speeds Up Advanced Chip Development


China is accelerating its efforts to advance its domestic semiconductor industry, amid ongoing trade tensions with the West, in hopes of becoming more self-sufficient. The country is still behind in IC technology and is nowhere close to being self-reliant, but it is making noticeable progress. Until recently, China’s domestic chipmakers were stuck with mature foundry processes with no pres... » read more

Spreading Out The Cost At 3nm


The current model for semiconductor scaling doesn't add up. While it's possible that markets will consolidate around a few basic designs, the likelihood is that no single SoC will sell in enough volume to compensate for the increased cost of design, equipment, mask sets and significantly more testing and inspection. In fact, even with slew of derivative chips, it may not be enough to tip the ec... » read more

Fundamental Changes In Economics Of Chip Security


Protecting chips from cyberattacks is becoming more difficult, more expensive and much more resource-intensive, but it also is becoming increasingly necessary as some of those chips end up in mission-critical servers and in safety-critical applications such as automotive. Security has been on the semiconductor industry's radar for at least the past several years, despite spotty progress and ... » read more

The Other Storage Race


Tesla's push to extend the life of lithium ion batteries used in cars by repurposing them for less-intensive applications could have a major impact on the business model for a whole slew of other markets. As anyone with a smartphone knows, batteries degrade over time. A new phone holds a charge longer than one that has been in use for several years, but in the case of a smartphone that's gen... » read more

Key Drivers In New Chip Industry Outlook


How well the semiconductor industry fares over the next 12 to 24 months depends upon the evolution of a virus. That alone will determine the correct model for an economic rebound — V, U, extended U, or maybe even a double U. But what's also becoming clear is those models don't apply uniformly to all sectors or sub-sectors of the semiconductor industry. Looked at as a whole, the entire indu... » read more

Thinking Way, Way Outside The Box


The COVID-19 High Performance Computing Consortium has set records for global cooperation by giant companies, universities and various federal agencies and national laboratories. But it also may have cracked opened a door for much more than that. Until now, there has been a massive race for dominance in the data center. Big companies have gotten rich on data, building infrastructure at a col... » read more

What’s Changing, What Isn’t


The global pandemic is creating economic chaos on a global scale. The big question now is when the coronavirus is brought under control, and just how long its effects will extend beyond the current health crisis. For the semiconductor industry, which has weathered many long and deep financial swings, this one at least is finite. When the virus stops spreading, or when treatments are availabl... » read more

Test Costs Spiking


The cost of test is rising as a percentage of manufacturing costs, fueled by concerns about reliability of advanced-node designs in cars and data centers, as well as extended lifetimes for chips in those and other markets. For decades, test was limited to a flat 2% of total manufacturing cost, a formula developed prior to the turn of the Millennium after chipmakers and foundries saw the traj... » read more

Moore And More


For more than 50 years, the semiconductor industry has enjoyed the benefits of Moore's Law — or so it seemed. In reality, there were three laws rolled up into one: Each process generation would have a higher clock speed at the same power. This was not discovered by Moore, but by Dennard, who also invented the DRAM. Process generations continue to get faster and lower power, but the power... » read more

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