Fabless Approach To Embed Active Nanophotonics in Bulk CMOS By Co-Designing The BEOL Layers For Optical Functionality (MIT)

A technical paper titled “Metal-Optic Nanophotonic Modulators in Standard CMOS Technology” was published by researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Abstract: "Integrating nanophotonics with electronics promises revolutionary applications ranging from light detection and ranging (LiDAR) to holographic displays. Although semiconductor manufacturing of nanophotonics in Silicon ... » read more

Big Payback For Combining Different Types Of Fab Data

Collecting and combining diverse data types from different manufacturing processes can play a significant role in improving semiconductor yield, quality, and reliability, but making that happen requires integrating deep domain expertise from various different process steps and sifting through huge volumes of data scattered across a global supply chain. The semiconductor manufacturing IC data... » read more

Enablers And Barriers For Connecting Diverse Data

More data is being collected at every step of the manufacturing process, raising the possibility of combining data in new ways to solve engineering problems. But this is far from simple, and combining results is not always possible. The semiconductor industry’s thirst for data has created oceans of it from the manufacturing process. In addition, semiconductor designs large and small now ha... » read more

The Process Design Kit: Protecting Design Know-How

Once upon a time, integrated circuits (ICs) were built by the same companies that designed them. The design of an IC was tightly integrated with the manufacturing processes available within each company. In these days, when designs contained hundreds of transistors, companies modeled each feature in an IC at a first principles level, meaning each transistor or fundamental device was analyzed an... » read more

Executive Insight: Gideon Wertheizer

SE: From your standpoint, what’s the next big thing? Wertheizer: The industry was driven in the past few years by the structure the smartphone created. It looks like this area is about to grow. What’s changing is the integration of the smartphone with other applications. The smartphone is now a hub of entertainment and productivity with many devices connecting directly or indirectly to i... » read more

More Pain In More Places

Pain is nothing new in to the semiconductor industry. In fact, the pain of getting complex designs completed on budget, and finding the bugs in those designs, has been responsible for decades of continuous growth in EDA, IP, test, packaging, and foundries. But going forward there is change afoot in every segment of the flow from architecture to design to layout to verification to manufacturi... » read more

Power Shift

The disaggregation of the mobile market, which began with Nokia, Ericsson and RIM challenging the entrenched position of Motorola back in the late 1990s, is shifting again. This time it’s being driven by a different kind of power play, namely physical power issues inside a device. The biggest problem in shrinking die and pushing economies of scale in conjunction with Moore’s Law is relat... » read more

The Uncertain Future Of Fabless Semis

As with most things, perspective is everything, this is especially true when it comes to changes in the semiconductor ecosystem. Some industry watchers say indicators clearly point to a shift happening where system OEMs again make the decisions about what is in a chip, both software and hardware, pointing to Apple, Samsung, Microsoft and Intel as prime examples. As a result, the fabless semicon... » read more

China Foundries Seek Niches

By Mark LaPedus For decades, China has launched several initiatives to modernize its semiconductor industry with hopes of becoming the next IC powerhouse in Asia. In 2001, for example, China unveiled its so-called "Tenth Five-Year Plan," which called for the nation to build 25 new fabs from 2001 to 2005. At the time, the Chinese government hoped to start and fund a new crop of domestic fou... » read more

Experts at the Table: Stacking the Deck

By Ann Steffora Mutschler System-Level Design sat down to discuss challenges to 3D-IC adoption with Samta Bansal, product marketing for applied silicon realization in strategy and market development at Cadence; Carey Robertson, product marketing director at Mentor Graphics; Karthik Chandrasekar, member of technical staff in IC Design at Altera; and Herb Reiter, president of EDA2ASIC Consulting... » read more