Open Source Processors: Fact Or Fiction?


Open source processors are rapidly gaining mindshare, fueled in part by early successes of RISC-V, but that interest frequently is accompanied by misinformation based on wishful thinking and a lack of understanding about what exactly open source entails. Nearly every recent conference has some mention of RISC-V in particular, and open source processors in general, whether that includes keyno... » 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

System Bits: May 14


Faster U.S. supercomputers on the way The U.S. Department of Energy awarded a contract for more than $600 million to Cray for an exascale supercomputer to be installed at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory during 2021. Cray will provide its Shasta architecture and Slingshot interconnect for what is dubbed the Frontier supercomputer. Advanced Micro Devices will have a key role in building the... » read more

System Bits: April 8


Computers trained to design materials Researchers in the University of Missouri’s College of Engineering are applying deep learning technology to educate high-performance computers in the field of materials science, with the goal of having those computers design billions of potential materials. “You can train a computer to do what it would take many years for people to otherwise do,” ... » read more

The Building Blocks Of Future Compute


Eric Hennenhoefer, vice president of research at Arm, sat down with Semiconductor Engineering to talk about privacy, security, high-performance computing, accelerators, and Arm’s research. What follows are excerpts of that conversation. SE: Privacy, cybersecurity, silicon photonics, quantum computing are all hot topics today. What do you find really interesting with these emerging areas? ... » read more

PCIe In High-Performance FPGAs


In today's world, when the entire computing industry is talking about high-performance and high-speed applications using FPGAs, what are the factors that can assure such performance and speed? The value and success of today’s high performance computing applications in the areas of DNA Sequencing, High Frequency Trading (HFT) and Encryption/Decryption are predicated upon how fast data can be t... » read more

Fabs Meet Machine Learning


Aki Fujimura, chief executive of D2S, sat down with Semiconductor Engineering to discuss Moore’s Law and photomask technology. Fujimura also explained how artificial intelligence and machine learning are impacting the IC industry. What follows are excerpts of that conversation. SE: For some time, you’ve said we need more compute power. So we need faster chips at advanced nodes, but cost... » read more

Bugs With Long Tails Can Be Costly Pests


I don’t think Van Gogh was considering high performance computing or server architecture, but he made a lot of sense when he said "great things are done by a series of small things brought together." A series of very small things can, and do, create big things: that’s the fundamental premise of long-tail marketing: Amazon, for one has built a strong business from selling millions of niche i... » read more

The Future Of FinFETs


The number of questions about finFETs is increasing—particularly, how long can they continue to be used before some version of gate-all-around FET is required to replace them. This discussion is confusing in many respects. For one thing, a 7nm finFET for TSMC or Samsung is not the same as a 7nm finFET for Intel or GlobalFoundries. There are a bunch of other nodes being proposed, as well, i... » read more

Foundry Challenges in 2018


The silicon foundry business is expected to see steady growth in 2018, but that growth will come with several challenges. On the leading edge, GlobalFoundries, Intel, Samsung and TSMC are migrating from the 16nm/14nm to the 10nm/7nm logic nodes. Intel already has encountered some difficulties, as the chip giant recently pushed out the volume ramp of its new 10nm process from the second half ... » read more

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