The MCU Dilemma


The humble microcontroller is getting squeezed on all sides. While most of the semiconductor industry has been able to take advantage of Moore's Law, the MCU market has faltered because flash memory does not scale beyond 40nm. At the same time, new capabilities such as voice activation and richer sensor networks are requiring inference engines to be integrated for some markets. In others, re... » read more

Non-Volatile Memory Tradeoffs Intensify


Non-volatile memory is becoming more complicated at advanced nodes, where price, speed, power and utilization are feeding into some very application-specific tradeoffs about where to place that memory. NVM can be embedded into a chip, or it can be moved off chip with various types of interconnect technology. But that decision is more complicated than it might first appear. It depends on the ... » read more

Simplifying Ultra-Low Power System Design


By Paul Hill and Gordon MacNee With any low-power design, the designer has the choice between choosing low-power components or switching off the power to peripheral devices. When considering the choice of non-volatile flash memories, the designer has these same two options available to them – each of which has its pros and cons from system operation, power consumption and reliability persp... » read more

System Bits: June 25


Supercomputers around the world At last week’s International Supercomputing Conference in Frankfurt, Germany, the 53rd biannual list of the Top500 of the most powerful computing systems in the world was released. Broken out by countries of installation, China has 219 of the world’s 500 fastest supercomputers, compared with 116 in the United States. Ranking by percent of list flops, the ... » read more

Foundries See Growth, New Issues In 2019


The silicon foundry business is poised for growth in 2019, although the industry faces several challenges across a number of market segments next year. Generally, foundry vendors saw steady growth in 2018, but many are ending the year on a sour note. Weak demand for Apple’s new iPhone XR and a downturn in the cryptocurrency market have impacted several IC suppliers and foundries, causing t... » read more

3D NAND Flash Wars Begin


3D NAND suppliers are gearing up for a new battle amid a period of price and competitive pressures, racing each other to the next technology generations. Competition is intensifying as a new player enters the 3D NAND market—China’s Yangtze Memory Technologies Co. (YMTC). Backed by billions of dollars in funding from the Chinese government, YMTC recently introduced its first 3D NAND techn... » read more

Tech Talk: MCU Memory Options


David Eggleston, vice president of embedded memory at GlobalFoundries, talks about the pros and cons of embedded non-volatile memory versus system in package. https://youtu.be/6KoQTFbFVCo » read more

Rethinking SSDs In Data Centers


Semiconductors that control how data gets on and off solid-state drives (SSDs) inside of data centers are having a moment in the sun. This surge in interest involves much more than just the SSD device. It leverages an entire ecosystem, starting with system architects and design engineers, who must figure out the best paths for data flow on- and off-chip and through a system. It also includes... » read more

NAND Market Hits Speed Bump


Demand for NAND flash memory remains robust due to the onslaught of data in systems, but the overall NAND flash market is stuck in the middle of a challenging period beset by product shortages, supply chain issues and a difficult technology transition. Intel, Micron, Samsung, SK Hynix and the Toshiba/Western Digital duo continue to ship traditional planar NAND in the market, but this technol... » read more

Tech Talk: Embedded Memories


Dave Eggleston, vice president of embedded memory at GlobalFoundries, talks about the pros and cons of new types of embedded memory, including which work best for certain applications and with various advanced packaging options. [youtube vid=7D9zoA9FFIw] » read more

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