Designing For Extreme Low Power


There are several techniques available for low power design, but whenever a nanowatt or picojoule matters, all available methods must be used. Some of the necessary techniques are different from those used for high-end designs. Others have been lost over time because their impact was considered too small, or not worth the additional design effort. But for devices that last a lifetime on a si... » read more

Advanced Packaging Makes Testing More Complex


The limits of monolithic integration, together with advances in chip interconnect and packaging technologies, have spurred the growth of heterogeneous advanced packaging where multiple dies are co-packaged using 2.5D and 3D approaches. But this also raises complex test challenges, which are driving new standards and approaches to advanced-package testing. While many of the showstopper issues... » read more

Trustworthy Electronics


Global supplier networks are a key feature of the development of integrated electronic components today. Even in times of ever more complex trade relationships, supply chains must still function effectively. At the same time, it is necessary to achieve the technological advances required for the development of new products and maintain technological sovereignty. In view of the increasing dig... » read more

Aging Problems At 5nm And Below


The mechanisms that cause aging in semiconductors have been known for a long time, but the concept did not concern most people because the expected lifetime of parts was far longer than their intended deployment in the field. In a short period of time, all of that has changed. As device geometries have become smaller, the issue has become more significant. At 5nm, it becomes an essential par... » read more

Challenges In Making Better Medical Sensors


Now that COVID-19 pandemic has desensitized us to telemedicine and more at-home health monitoring, the way we receive health care probably has changed for good. The no-touch thermometer and our personal pulse oximeter are not just coveted gadgets now. They have true clinical use in what may become a “point-of-use” system. Point of use means we don’t have to go to the clinic to get screene... » read more

Layout Generators For Artificial Intelligence Hardware Design


Artificial intelligence (AI) is a powerful tool that offers great convenience in many areas of life. In addition to improving Internet searches and online shopping, it enables driver assistance systems that can save lives, for example. AI in its various forms is the essential tool for such applications, and it can be expected to show a similar development as microelectronics did. Although AI... » read more

Low-Power Analog


Analog circuitry is usually a small part of a large SoC, but it does not scale in the same way as digital circuitry under Moore's Law. The power consumed by analog is becoming an increasing concern, especially for battery-operated devices. At the same time, little automation is available to help analog designers reduce consumption. "Newer consumer devices, like smartphones and wearables, alo... » read more

‘More Than Moore’ Reality Check


The semiconductor industry is embracing multi-die packages as feature scaling hits the limits of physics, but how to get there with the least amount of pain and at the lowest cost is a work in progress. Gaps remain in tooling and methodologies, interconnect standards are still being developed, and there are so many implementations of packaging that the number of choices is often overwhelming. ... » read more

Practical Processor Verification


Custom processors are making a resurgence, spurred on by the early success of the RISC-V ISA and the ecosystem that is rapidly building around it. But this shift is amid questions about whether processor verification has become a lost art. Years ago custom processors were common. But as the market consolidated around a handful of companies, so did the tools and expertise needed to develop th... » read more

What’s Holding Back Aging Simulation?


Aging simulation supplies information about the long-term behavior before an IC enters into production, providing an important early evaluation of the reliability required by the application and specification. Re-designs due to reliability issues, and over-design with excessive safety margins, are avoided in this way. In addition, the long-term stability can be demonstrated to the customer. ... » read more

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