Week In Review: Auto, Security, Pervasive Computing


Automotive, automation General Motors is planning a third electric-vehicle plant. The former Saturn factory will make first fully electric Cadillac, in the former Saturn assembly line. Tesla is allowing some customers to beta test its Full Self-Driving (FSD), according to The Verge. The company pushed the software update to some early access customers to do some real world beta test. Some o... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: Oct. 6


High-NA EUV mask materials A team of researchers have presented a new paper on the tradeoffs of photomask absorber materials for high-NA extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography. In the paper, researchers concluded that the industry will likely require an alternative mask absorber stack for high-numerical aperture (high-NA) EUV lithography. Fraunhofer, Imec, ASML and Zeiss contributed to the... » read more

Analog Chip Layout: Creativity Vs. Deadlines


The entire design of integrated circuits, from the specification onward, depends on successful validation by measurement of microchips. One key milestone in this process is the completion of the layout. However, the path to reach this point can be quite difficult as many iterations are usually required. It includes: Iterations with the customer to finalize the specification. Iteratio... » read more

Power Amp Wars Begin For 5G


Demand is increasing for power amplifier chips and other RF devices for 5G base stations, setting the stage for a showdown among different companies and technologies. The power amplifier device is a key component that boosts the RF power signals in base stations. It's based on two competitive technologies, silicon-based LDMOS or RF gallium nitride (GaN). GaN, a III-V technology, outperforms ... » read more

Mission Profiles In The Automotive Development Process


The automotive industry's roadmap for the coming years is e-mobility and autonomous driving. Its implementation is likely to bring about changes on a par with the invention of the automobile itself. While the motor vehicle used to be primarily a mechanical product, it is now an entirely electronic system. Many of the new functions increase the safety of the driver and other road users, and t... » read more

A 10.5 μW Programmable SAR ADC Frontend With SC Preamplifier For Low-Power IoT Sensor Nodes


Massive deployment of wireless autonomous sensor nodes requires their lifetime extension and cost reduction. The analog frontend (AFE) plays a key role in this context. This paper presents a successive approximation register analog-to-digital converter (SAR ADC) with a switched-capacitor programmable gain switched preamplifier (SC PGSA), as a basic component of an integrated ultra-low power AFE... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: June 16


GaN power modules Gallium-nitride (GaN) devices are emerging in several markets, such as power semiconductors and RF. GaN, a binary III-V compound, is a wide-bandgap technology, meaning it is faster and more efficient than silicon-based devices. GaN has 10 times the breakdown field strength with double the electron mobility than silicon. Generally, some GaN vendors don’t use a traditio... » 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

Packaging And Package Design For AI At The Edge


Industrial applications will acquire significantly more data directly from machines in coming years. To properly handle this increase in data, it must already be prepared at the machine. The data of the individual sensors can be processed, or an initial data merger can take place here at the so-called “edge.” Algorithms and methods from the field of artificial intelligence increasingly a... » read more

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