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

Security Issues Up With Heterogeneity


The race toward heterogeneous designs is raising new security concerns across the semiconductor supply chain. There is more IP to track, more potential for unexpected interactions, and many more ways to steal data or IP. Security is a difficult problem no matter what kind of chip is involved, and it has been getting worse as more devices, machines and systems are connected to the Internet. B... » read more

Reworking Established Nodes


New technology markets and a flattening in smartphone growth has sparked a resurgence in older technology processes. For many of these up-and-coming applications, there is no compelling reason to migrate to the latest process node, and equipment companies and fabs are rushing to fill the void. As with all electronic devices, the focus is on cost-cutting. But because these markets are likely ... » read more

Moore’s Law: Toward SW-Defined Hardware


Pushing to the next process node will continue to be a primary driver for some chips—CPUs, FPGAs and some ASICS—but for many applications that approach is becoming less relevant as a metric for progress. Behind this change is a transition from using customized software with generic hardware, to a mix of specialized, heterogeneous hardware that can achieve better performance with less ene... » read more

Speeding Up Neural Networks


Neural networking is gaining traction as the best way of collecting and moving critical data from the physical world and processing it in the digital world. Now the question is how to speed up this whole process. But it isn't a straightforward engineering challenge. Neural networking itself is in a state of almost constant flux and development, which makes it something of a moving target. Th... » read more

Design Complexity Drives New Automation


As design complexity grows, so does the need for every piece in the design flow—hardware, software, IP, as well as the ecosystem — to be tied together more closely. At one level, design flow capacity is simply getting bigger to accommodate massive [getkc id="185" kc_name="finFET"]-class designs. But beyond sheer size, there are new interactions in the design flow that place much more emp... » read more

Historic FinFET/2.5D Firsts


Recently, I had an opportunity to watch the Academy Award nominated movie “Hidden Figures.” If you’re a geek at heart, you need to see this movie. It chronicles the strong contributions of three black women to the NASA space program during the 1960s. The civil rights backstory of the movie is powerful, but there is another aspect of the movie that stayed with me as well: all of the “fir... » read more

Why Is TCAM Essential For The Cloud?


With port speeds exceeding 100Gbps, route lookups that are fundamental to all routers have relied on ternary content addressable memories (TCAMs) to provide a lookup response within a clock cycle. However, TCAMs in discrete form are expensive, consume a lot of power, compete for precious real estate on the printed circuit board (PCB), and often lack required flexibility. Embedding a TCAM block ... » read more

Moore’s Law: A Status Report


Moore's Law has been synonymous with "smaller, faster, cheaper" for the past 52 years, but increasingly it is viewed as just one of a number of options—some competing, some complementary—as the chip industry begins zeroing in on specific market needs. This does not make [getkc id="74" comment="Moore's Law"] any less relevant. The number of companies racing from 16/14nm to 7nm is higher t... » read more

The Hunt For A Low-Power PHY


Physics has been on the side of chipmakers throughout most of the lifetime of [getkc id="74" comment="Moore's Law"], but when dealing with the world outside the chip, physics is working against them. Pushing data at ever-faster rates through boards and systems consumes increasing amounts of power, but the power budget for chips has not been increasing. Could chips be constrained by their int... » read more

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