Embedded Flash Scaling Limits


Embedded nonvolatile flash memory has played a key role in chips for years, but the technology is beginning to face some scaling and cost roadblocks and it’s not clear what comes next. Embedded flash is used in several markets, such as automotive, consumer and industrial. But the automotive sector appears to be the most concerned about the future of the technology. Typically, a car incorpo... » read more

Syntiant: Analog Deep Learning Chips


Startup Syntiant Corp. is an Irvine, Calif. semiconductor company led by former top Broadcom engineers with experience in both innovative design and in producing chips designed to be produced in the billions, according to company CEO Kurt Busch. The chip they’ll be building is an inference accelerator designed to run deep-learning processes 50x more efficiently than traditional stored-prog... » read more

Why IIoT Security Is So Difficult


Despite the high risk of a market filled with billions of at least partially unprotected devices, it is likely to take five years or more to reach a "meaningful" level of security in the Industrial IoT. The market, which potentially includes every connected device with an integrated circuit, is fragmented into vertical industries, specialty chips, and filled with competing OEMs, carriers, in... » 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

Designing Hardware For Security


By Ed Sperling and Kevin Fogarty Cyber criminals are beginning to target weaknesses in hardware to take control of devices, rather than using the hardware as a stepping stone to access to the software. This shift underscores a significant increase in the sophistication of the attackers, as evidenced by the discovery of Spectre and Meltdown by Google Project Zero in 2017 (made public in Ja... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing


Chipmakers and OEMs After more than four years as chief executive of GlobalFoundries, Sanjay Jha will hand over the company’s top position to Thomas Caulfield, senior vice president and general manager at the foundry vendor. Caulfield, who joined GlobalFoundries in 2014, will become CEO. He has been running the company's fab in New York. "Jha intends to work closely with the company’s shar... » read more

Fan-Out Wars Begin


Several packaging houses are developing the next wave of high-density fan-out packages for premium smartphones, but perhaps a bigger battle is brewing in the lower density fan-out arena. Amkor, ASE, STATS ChipPAC and others sell traditional low-density fan-out packages, although some new and competitive technologies are beginning to appear in the market. Low-density fan-out, or sometimes cal... » read more

The Week In Review: Design


M&A Synopsys acquired one-time programmable non-volatile memory IP provider Kilopass. Founded in 2001, Kilopass' 1T and 2T bitcell IP supports up to 4-Mbit OTP instances in 180-nm to 7-nm process technologies. The acquisition will add to Synopsys' growing OTP NVM portfolio: last October, Synopsys acquired Sidense, another provider of the technology. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. ... » read more

Shortages Hit Packaging Biz


Rising demand for chips is hitting the IC packaging supply chain, causing shortages of select manufacturing capacity, various package types, leadframes and even some equipment. Spot shortages for some IC packages began showing up earlier this year, but the problem has been growing and spreading since then. Supply imbalances reached a boiling point in the third and fourth quarters of this yea... » read more

The New Road Warriors


Chip vendors and other companies that have little or no experience in automotive are flooding into this market as the race for assisted and autonomous driving begins to heat up. This market is expected to pay big dividends for companies that succeed in helping to build the vehicles of the future in this century. IC Insights earlier this year forecast the auto chip market would grow 22% this ... » read more

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