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Progress On General-Purpose Quantum Computers


The race is on to scale up quantum computing, transforming it from an esoteric research tool into a commercially viable, general-purpose machine. Special-purpose quantum computers have been available for several years now. Systems like D-Wave’s Advantage focus on specific classes of problems that are amenable to modeling as quantum systems. Still, the ultimate goal of having a general purp... » read more

EDA Vendors Widen Use Of AI


EDA vendors are widening the use of AI and machine learning to incorporate multiple tools, providing continuity and access to consistent data at multiple points in the semiconductor design flow. While gaps remain, early results from a number of EDA tools providers point to significant improvements in performance, power, and time to market. AI/ML has been deployed for some time in EDA. Still,... » read more

System-In-Package Thrives In The Shadows


IC packaging continues to play a big role in the development of new electronic products, particularly with system-in-package (SiP), a successful approach that continues to gain momentum — but mostly under the radar because it adds a competitive edge. With a SiP, several chips and other components are integrated into a package, enabling it to function as an electronic system or sub-system. ... » read more

The Next Generation Of General-Purpose Compute At Hot Chips


At the recent HOT CHIPS, the first day opened with the chips that you first think of when you hear the word processor. These are the next generation of chips from the likes of Intel, AMD, and IBM. There were lots of other chips too, such as Arm's Neoverse N2, and NVIDIA's new data-processing unit (DPU), or AMD's next-generation graphics architecture. But for this post, anyway, I'm going to focu... » read more

Plasma processing for advanced microelectronics beyond CMOS


N. Marchack, L. Buzi, D. B. Farmer, H. Miyazoe, J. M. Papalia, H. Yan, G. Totir, and S. U. Engelmann , "Plasma processing for advanced microelectronics beyond CMOS", Journal of Applied Physics 130, 080901 (2021) https://doi.org/10.1063/5.0053666 ABSTRACT "The scientific study of plasma discharges and their material interactions has been crucial to the development of semiconductor process en... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Chipmakers, OEMs Reports have surfaced that TSMC has delayed its 3nm process. But TSMC says the technology remains on track. Volume production for TSMC’s 3nm is still scheduled for the second half of 2022. On the flip side, there is speculation that TSMC may increase its wafer prices by up to 20%, according to a report from the Taipei Times. Here's another report. This is due to chip shortag... » read more

Week In Review: Design, Low Power


The UK's Competition and Markets Authority is raising new challenges for Nvidia's proposed acquisition of Arm, suggesting in a new report that an in-depth Phase 2 investigation into the deal is warranted on competition grounds. Andrea Coscelli, chief executive of the CMA, said, “We’re concerned that Nvidia controlling Arm could create real problems for Nvidia's rivals by limiting their acce... » read more

New Approaches For Processor Architectures


Processor vendors are starting to emphasize microarchitectural improvements and data movement over process node scaling, setting the stage for much bigger performance gains in devices that narrowly target what end users are trying to accomplish. The changes are a recognition that domain specificity, and the ability to adjust or adapt designs to unique workloads, are now the best way to impro... » read more

Angstrom-Level Measurements With AFMs


Competition is heating up in the atomic force microscopy (AFM) market, where several vendors are shipping new AFM systems that address various metrology challenges in packaging, semiconductors and other fields. AFM, a small but growing field that has been under the radar, involves a standalone system that provides surface measurements on structures down to the angstrom level. (1 angstrom = 0... » read more

Week In Review: Design, Low Power


Mobix Labs finalized its acquisition of Cosemi Technologies, a provider of hybrid active optical cables, optical transceivers, and optical engines. Mobix Labs provides wireless connectivity solutions with CMOS-based mmWave beamformers, antenna solutions, and RF semiconductors. “Our Cosemi acquisition bridges the gap between wireless and wired applications, enabling Mobix Labs to bring a full ... » read more

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