The Problem With Post-Silicon Debug


Semiconductor engineers traditionally have focused on trying to create 'perfect' GDSII at tape-out, but factors such as hardware-software interactions, increasingly heterogeneous designs, and the introduction of AI are forcing companies to rethink that approach. In the past, chipmakers typically banked on longer product cycles and multiple iterations of silicon to identify problems. This no ... » read more

Using Sensor Data To Improve Yield And Uptime


Semiconductor equipment vendors are starting to add more sensors into their tools in an effort to improve fab uptime and wafer yield, and to reduce cost of ownership and chip failures. Massive amounts of data gleaned from those tools is expected to provide far more detail than in the past about multiple types and sources of variation, including when and where that variation occurred and how,... » read more

Why Analog Designs Fail


The gap between analog and digital reliability is growing, and digital designs appear to be winning. Reports show that analog content causes the most test failures and contributes significantly more than digital to field returns. The causes aren't always obvious, though. Some of it is due to the maturity of analog design and verification. While great strides have been made in digital circuit... » read more

Where Electronics Begins, And So Much More


When the Electronic Design Automation Consortium (EDAC) first coined the phrase “Where Electronics Begins” 20 years ago, little did we know how true it is, especially today as we move further into the system-centric era. In those days, EDA tools and methodologies were must-haves for chip designers. The system was only a minor consideration for the EDA community as was the semiconductor supp... » read more

Antenna Array Design for ADAS


By Milton Lien and David Vye By implementing radar technology over the 76 to 81 GHz spectrum, advanced driver-assist systems (ADAS) enable smart vehicles with the ability to alert and assist drivers in a variety of functions, from low tire-pressure warning to collision avoidance to self-parking. These automotive radar applications use the millimeter-wave (mmWave) spectrum to exploit more ban... » read more

Can AI, 5G Chips Be Verified?


AI and 5G bode well for the semiconductor industry. They will require many billions of new, semi-customized and highly complex chips from the edge all the way to the data center, and they will require massive amounts of engineering time and tooling. But these technologies also are raising lots of questions on the design and verification front about what else can be automated and how to do it. ... » read more

Pushing AI Into The Mainstream


Artificial intelligence is emerging as the driving force behind many advancements in technology, even though the industry has merely scratched the surface of what may be possible. But how deeply AI penetrates different market segments and technologies, and how quickly it pushes into the mainstream, depend on a variety of issues that still must be resolved. In addition to a plethora of techni... » 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

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

EDA, IP Show Strong Growth


EDA and IP revenue increased 6.7% worldwide in Q3 2018 to $2.44 billion, compared to $2.28 billion in the same period in 2017. The growth was fueled by rising investments in startups in AI and 5G, as well as a stampede of new and existing companies targeting automotive electrification and autonomous vehicles. While startup funding ultimately will run out as these new markets mature and cons... » read more

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