Quantum Effects At 7/5nm And Beyond


Quantum effects are becoming more pronounced at the most advanced nodes, causing unusual and sometimes unexpected changes in how electronic devices and signals behave. Quantum effects typically occur well behind the curtain for most of the chip industry, baked into a set of design rules developed from foundry data that most companies never see. This explains why foundries and manufacturing e... » read more

Blog Review: May 23


Cadence's Paul McLellan digs into the problems of test for 3D ICs s well as new approaches to cell-aware test, modular test and realistic IR drop at CDNLive EMEA. Mentor's Colin Walls shares four more embedded software tips, including always initializing a variable and when to use ++i instead of i++. Synopsys' Taylor Armerding points to a new way that phishing attacks could get around Mic... » read more

200mm Fab Crunch


Growing demand for analog, MEMS and RF chips continues to cause acute shortages for both 200mm fab capacity and equipment, and it shows no sign of letting up. Today, 200mm fab capacity is tight with a similar situation projected for the second half of 2018 and perhaps well into 2019. In fact, 2018 will likely represent the third consecutive year that 200mm fab capacity will be tight. The sam... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing


Fab tools and test VLSI Research released its annual "Customer Satisfaction Survey" and listed "THE BEST Suppliers" of 2018. VLSI Research received feedback from more than 94% of the chip market and 76% of subsystems customers for this year’s survey. Who are the winners? Applied Materials reported its second quarter results, along with its business outlook. Compared to the second quarter ... » read more

The Week In Review: Design


Tools & IP Synopsys uncorked ASIL B, C, and D ready versions of its DesignWare EV6x Embedded Vision Processors for automotive SoCs. An included Safety Enhancement Package provides hardware safety features, safety monitors, and lockstep capabilities for safety-critical designs. The processors integrate scalar, vector DSP, and CNN processing units for automotive systems that require deep lea... » read more

The Power Of De-Integration


The idea that more functionality can be added into a single chip, or even into a single system, is falling out of vogue. For an increasing number of applications, it's no longer considered the best option for boosting performance or lowering power, and it costs too much. Hooman Moshar, vice president of engineering at Broadcom, said in a keynote speech at Mentor's User2User conference this w... » read more

RF SOI Wars Begin


Several foundries are expanding their fab capacities for RF SOI processes amid huge demand and shortages of this technology for smartphones. A number of foundries are increasing their 200mm RF SOI fab capacities to meet soaring demand. Then, GlobalFoundries, TowerJazz, TSMC and UMC are expanding or bringing up RF SOI processes in 300mm fabs in an apparent race to garner the first wave of RF ... » read more

FinFET Metrology Challenges Grow


Chipmakers face a multitude of challenges in the fab at 10nm/7nm and beyond, but one technology that is typically under the radar is becoming especially difficult—metrology. Metrology, the art of measuring and characterizing structures, is used to pinpoint problems in devices and processes. It helps to ensure yields in both the lab and fab. At 28nm and above, metrology is a straightforward... » read more

How 5G Differs From Previous Network Technologies


The Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain is the wireless industry’s leading annual event, and this year’s edition in late February was buzzing with talk of 5G wireless technology and its evolving uses and technology requirements. First, Gregg Bartlett and Dr. Bami Bastani, Sr. Vice Presidents of GlobalFoundries' CMOS and RF business units, respectively, outlined 5G-related semico... » read more

Chipmakers Look Beyond Scaling


Gary Patton, CTO of GlobalFoundries, sat down with Semiconductor Engineering to discuss the rollout of EUV, the rising cost of designing chips at the most advanced nodes, and the growing popularity of 22nm planar FD-SOI in a number of markets. What follows are excerpts of that conversation. SE: You've just begun deploying EUV. Are you experiencing any issues? Patton: It's a very complicat... » read more

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