New Architectures, Much Faster Chips


The chip industry is making progress in multiple physical dimensions and with multiple architectural approaches, setting the stage for huge performance increases based on more modular and heterogeneous designs, new advanced packaging options, and continued scaling of digital logic for at least a couple more process nodes. A number of these changes have been discussed in recent conferences. I... » read more

The Next Leap


Some interesting new technologies are about to go on display. Chipmakers and systems companies have been working on quantum computing, photonics, and specialized AI processors, for the past several years, and those efforts are beginning to gain momentum. The goal is no longer a doubling of performance and power. It's now orders of magnitude improvement, and next week's Hot Chips conference i... » read more

Week In Review: Design, Low Power


Cadence added new machine learning functionality to its Xcelium Logic Simulator to speed verification closure on randomized regressions. Xcelium ML directly interfaces to the simulation kernel and learns iteratively over an entire simulation regression, guiding the Xcelium randomization kernel on subsequent regression runs to achieve matching coverage with reduced simulation cycles. Kioxia adop... » read more

System-in-Package For Heterogeneous Designs


System integration is increasingly being done using 3D packaging technologies rather than integrating everything onto a huge SoC. One motivation is the ability to not just to split up a design in a single process, but to package die from different processes. Sometimes there are economic reasons. Several presentations at HOT CHIPS had a partition of the design into the processor itself, and a... » read more

Chiplets, Faster Interconnects, More Efficiency


Big chipmakers are turning to architectural improvements such as chiplets, faster throughput both on-chip and off-chip, and concentrating more work per operation or cycle, in order to ramp up processing speeds and efficiency. Taken as a whole, this represents a significant shift in direction for the major chip companies. All of them are wrestling with massive increases in processing demands ... » read more

Finding Security Holes In Hardware


At least three major security holes in processors were identified by Google's Project Zero over the past year, with more expected to roll out in coming months. Now the question is what to do about them. Since the beginning of the PC era, two requirements for hardware were backward compatibility and improvements in performance with each new version of processors. No one wants to replace their... » read more

Flexible, Energy-Efficient Neural Network Processing At 16nm


At Hot Chips 30, held in August in Silicon Valley, Harvard University (Paul Whatmough, SK Lee, S Xi, U Gupta, L Pentecost, M Donato, HC Hseuh, Professor Brooks and Professor Gu) made a presentation on “SMIV: A 16nm SoC with Efficient and Flexible DNN Acceleration for Intelligent IOT Devices. ” (Their complete presentation is available now on the Hot Chips website for attendees and will be p... » read more

Week In Review: Design, Low Power


Wafer company Soitec and European missile manufacturer MBDA joined together to buy the assets of Dolphin Integration. The IP and EDA tool provider, founded in 1985 in Grenoble, France, has been struggling, recently concluding insolvency proceedings and going into receivership. The new joint venture will absorb Dolphin's 155 employees and be owned 60% by Soitec, 40% by MBDA. The two companies co... » read more

Architects Firmly In Control


Moore's Law isn't dead, but it certainly isn't what it used to be. While there may be three or four more generations of node shrinks ahead, the power/performance benefits of scaling are falling off. This is evident in new chip architectures that were introduced at this year's Hot Chips conference. Originally started to show off the latest CPUs and co-processors, in past years the focus has b... » read more

Week in Review: IoT, Security, Auto


Cybersecurity Check Point Software Technologies reports that facsimile machines (yes, people still use them!) can be subject to hacking through vulnerabilities in their communication protocols. The HP Officejet Pro All-in-One fax printers and other fax machines can be compromised with a hacker only knowing a fax number, according to the company. Check Point Research says a design flaw in Andro... » read more

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