SiC Chip Demand Surges


The silicon carbide (SiC) power semiconductor market is experiencing a sudden surge in demand amid growth for electric vehicles and other systems. But the demand also is causing a tight supply of SiC-based devices in the market, prompting some vendors to add fab capacity in the midst of a tricky wafer-size transition. Some SiC device makers are transitioning from 4- to 6-inch wafers in the f... » read more

Chip Dis-Integration


Just because something can be done does not always mean that it should be done. One segment of the semiconductor industry is learning the hard way that continued chip integration has a significant downside. At the same time, another another group has just started to see the benefits of consolidating functionality onto a single substrate. Companies that have been following Moore's Law and hav... » read more

The Bumpy Road To 5G


5G is coming, but not everywhere, not all at once, and not the fastest version of this technology right away. In fact, the probable scenario is that 5G will be rolled out first in densely populated urban areas, starting in 2020 or 2021, with increasingly widespread adoption over the next decade after that. But 5G is unlikely to ever completely replace 4G LTE, just as a smart phone today roll... » read more

The Week In Review: Design


Tools Synopsys debuted new versions of its circuit simulation and custom design products. FineSim SPICE provides 2X faster simulation and Monte Carlo analysis speed, CustomSim FastSPICE offers 2X speed-up for post-layout SRAM simulation and maintains multi-core scalability by providing additional 2X speed-up on four cores, and HSPICE delivers 1.5X speed-up for large post-layout designs, accord... » read more

LiDAR Goes Back To The Future


LiDAR is emerging as an increasingly important piece of the enabling technology in autonomous driving, along with advanced computer vision and radar sensor chips. But LiDAR systems also are finding their way into a variety of other applications, such as industrial automation, including robotics, and unmanned aerial vehicles. Advanced mapping is another rapidly growing market for LiDAR, which... » read more

Here Comes High-Res Car Radar


A dozen or so startups are developing high-resolution radar chips that use various modulation schemes and processes, such as CMOS, FD-SOI and even metamaterials. In theory, high-resolution radar could boost the capabilities of today’s radar for cars, as well as eliminate the need for a separate LiDAR system. But the technology is still in the research stage and has yet to be proven commerc... » read more

GaN Power Semi Biz Heats Up


The market for devices based on gallium nitride (GaN) technology is heating up amid the push for faster and more power efficient systems. Today, [getkc id="217" kc_name="GaN"] is widely used in the production of LEDs. In addition, it is gaining steam in the radio-frequency (RF) market. And the GaN-based power semiconductor market finally appears ready to take off, after several false starts ... » read more

What To Do With A GaN PDK


Wolfspeed's Jeremy Fisher provides a hands on demo of how his group achieved a first-pass run of a 40GHz MMIC chip using using a PDK for its 0.14 micron process. [youtube vid=i7dsQG8CTO4] » read more

Will III-V Power Devices Happen?


In a previous blog post, I provided a review of the overall power device market and trends driving changes in device evolution that entail materials innovation. For the industry to make such a shift, the advantages over mature, low-cost silicon technologies must be compelling and something the industry absolutely has to implement. Now I’d like to focus on new materials offering competitive be... » read more

System Bits: Sept. 6


How might AI affect urban life in 2030? In an ongoing project hosted by Stanford University to inform societal deliberation and provide guidance on the ethical development of smart software, sensors and machines, a panel of academic and industrial thinkers has looked ahead to 2030 to forecast how advances in artificial intelligence (AI) might affect life in a typical North American city. Th... » read more

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