Planning For Failures In Automotive


The automotive industry is undergoing some fundamental shifts as it backs away from the traditional siloed approach to one of graceful failure, slowing the evolution to fully autonomy and rethinking how to achieve its goals for a reasonable cost. For traditional automakers, this means borrowing some proven strategies from the electronics world rather than trying to evolve traditional automot... » read more

The Race For Better Computational Software


Anirudh Devgan, president of Cadence, sat down with Semiconductor Engineering to talk about computational software, why it's so critical at the edge and in AI systems, and where the big changes are across the semiconductor industry. What follows are excerpts of that conversation. SE: There is no consistent approach to how data will be processed at the edge, in part because there is no consis... » read more

Degradation Monitoring – From Vision to Reality


Reliability physics has historically focused on models for time-to-failure, but that approach is reaching its limit. Those models generally were developed using data gathered from very simple test structures that could be stressed to failure. Today, with electronics playing a such a critical role in our everyday life, failures are no longer an option. The underlying ICs being implemented call f... » read more

Factoring Reliability Into Chip Manufacturing


Making chips that can last two decades is possible, even if it's developed at advanced process nodes and is subject to extreme environmental conditions, such as under the hood of a car or on top of a light pole. But doing that at the same price point as chips that go into consumer electronics, which are designed to last two to four years, is a massively complex challenge. Until a couple of y... » read more

Test Moving Forward And Backward


Test, once considered an important but rather mundane way of separating good chips from the not-so-good and the total rejects, is taking on a whole new life. After decades of largely living in the shadows behind design and advancements in materials and lithography, test has quietly shifted into a much more critical and more public role. But it has taken several rather significant shifts acro... » read more

Algorithms And Security


From a security standpoint, the best thing AI has going for it is that it's in a state of perpetual change. That also may be the worst thing. The problem, at least for now, is that no one knows for sure. What’s clear is that security is not a primary concern when it comes to designing and building AI systems. In many cases it’s not even an action item because architectures are constantly... » read more

The Growing Uncertainty Of Sign-Off At 7/5nm


Having enough confidence in designs to sign off prior to manufacturing is becoming far more difficult at 7/5nm. It is taking longer due to increasing transistor density, thinner gate oxides, and many more power-related operations that can disrupt signal integrity and impact reliability.  For many years, designers have performed design rule checks as part of physical verification of the desi... » read more

How To Reduce Thermal Guard-Banding


Accuracy in temperature sensors can have a big impact in designs from 40nm down to 7nm and beyond, reducing the amount of guard-banding that is required, which in turn can lower the power and extend the life and reliability of components. But at these process geometries, not all sensors measure temperature equally. Thermal guard-banding is a very important consideration for design teams, and... » read more

4 Issues In Test


When most design engineers think about test, they envision a large piece of equipment in the fab they probably will never actually see or interact with. But as chips become more complex—driven by an explosion in both quantity and different types of data—test is emerging as one of the big challenges in design and manufacturing. There are four primary segments for test, each with its own s... » read more

Ensuring Chip Reliability From The Inside


Monitoring activity and traffic is emerging as an essential ingredient in complex, heterogeneous chips used in automotive, industrial, and data center applications. This is particularly true in safety-critical applications such as automotive, where much depends on the system operating exactly right at all times. To make autonomous and assisted driving possible, a mechanism to ensure systems ... » read more