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Tradeoffs To Improve Performance, Lower Power


Generic chips are no longer acceptable in competitive markets, and the trend is growing as designs become increasingly heterogeneous and targeted to specific workloads and applications. From the edge to the cloud, including everything from vehicles, smartphones, to commercial and industrial machinery, the trend increasingly is on maximizing performance using the least amount of energy. This ... » read more

Auto OEMs Face New Competitive Threats


Automotive design and manufacturing are undergoing a fundamental shift to the left as cars increasingly are electrified and chips take over more functions formerly done by mechanical parts, setting the stage for massive disruption across a supply chain that has been in place for decades. The success of Tesla — a company that had never actually built a chip or a car — was both a surprise ... » read more

Week In Review: Auto, Security, Pervasive Computing


Automotive/Mobility With the chip supply so tight it is shutting down automotive production lines, U.S. chip company CEOs signed a Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) letter asking the U.S. president to include funding incentives for the chip manufacturing in U.S. economic recovery plans. The letter references the CHIPS for America Act and asks the president to work with Congress to suppo... » read more

Edge-Inference Architectures Proliferate


First part of two parts. The second part will dive into basic architectural characteristics. The last year has seen a vast array of announcements of new machine-learning (ML) architectures for edge inference. Unburdened by the need to support training, but tasked with low latency, the devices exhibit extremely varied approaches to ML inference. “Architecture is changing both in the comp... » read more

CEO Outlook: 2021


The new year will be one of significant transition and innovation for the chip industry, but there are so many new applications and market segments that broad generalizations are becoming less meaningful. Unlike in years past, where sales of computers or smart phones were a good indication of how the chip industry would fare, end markets have both multiplied and splintered, greatly increasin... » read more

Emerging Apps And Challenges For Packaging


Advanced packaging is playing a bigger role and becoming a more viable option to develop new system-level chip designs, but it also presents chipmakers with a confusing array of options and sometimes a hefty price tag. Automotive, servers, smartphones and other systems have embraced advanced packaging in one form or another. For other applications, it's overkill, and a simpler commodity pack... » read more

Israel: Startup Powerhouse


Israel is at the front of pack with China and the United States when it comes to tech startups. But when it comes to large, indigenous tech giants, the country is nowhere to be seen. Virtually every major semiconductor company does business in Israel, and many have a strong presence there through centers of excellence or companies they have acquired. But after decades of innovation ranging f... » read more

Compiling And Optimizing Neural Nets


Edge inference engines often run a slimmed-down real-time engine that interprets a neural-network model, invoking kernels as it goes. But higher performance can be achieved by pre-compiling the model and running it directly, with no interpretation — as long as the use case permits it. At compile time, optimizations are possible that wouldn’t be available if interpreting. By quantizing au... » read more

Are Chips Getting More Reliable?


The semiconductor industry is making huge progress in understanding the causes and telltale signs of circuit aging and irregular behavior. But are devices actually getting more reliable? The answer depends on a number of factors, none of which is easily measured. To be sure, circuits are much better designed and inspected than in the past, and the individual components are printed more accur... » read more

The Four Pillars Of Hyperscale Computing


In his keynote at CadenceLIVE Americas 2020, Facebook’s Vijay Rao, director, Technology and Strategy, described the four core elements the team considers when designing their data centers—compute, storage, memory, and networking. Wait a minute. Facebook? How did we get here? Wasn’t EDA supposed to be focused on chip design? As indicated in a previous blog, electronic value chains are defi... » read more

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