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Security Provisioning Moves Out Of The Factory


Security credentials traditionally have been provisioned during chip manufacturing, often as a final part of the testing process. That's starting to change. Logistics management can be improved by pushing that process out — even as far as the on-boarding process. And simpler on-boarding can hide most of the details from the user. “The IT approach to provisioning IoT devices has primar... » read more

Chiplets For The Masses


Chiplets are a compelling technology, but so far they are available only to a select few players in the industry. That's changing, and the industry has taken little steps to get there, but timing for when you will be able to buy a chiplet to integrate into your system remains uncertain. While new fabrication nodes continue to be developed, scaling is coming to an end, be it for physical or e... » read more

More Silicon Wafer Consolidation


The silicon wafer business typically flies under the radar, but it’s a fundamental part of the semiconductor business. Every chipmaker needs to buy silicon wafers in one size or another. In the supply chain, silicon wafer vendors produce and sell bare or raw silicon wafers to chipmakers, who in turn process them into chips. So it’s important to keep an eye on the market. Today, the s... » read more

Power Converter Chip Research Booms


Power electronics are booming, fueled by demand ranging from induction chargers for wearable and portable electronics, to charging stagings for electric vehicles. An estimated 80% of all U.S. electricity will pass through some form of power converter by 2030, said Yogesh Ramadass, director of power management at Texas Instruments' Kilby Labs. Transportation applications, in particular, deman... » read more

Breaking The 2nm Barrier


Chipmakers continue to make advancements with transistor technologies at the latest process nodes, but the interconnects within these structures are struggling to keep pace. The chip industry is working on several technologies to solve the interconnect bottleneck, but many of those solutions are still in R&D and may not appear for some time — possibly not until 2nm, which is expected t... » read more

FeFETs Bring Promise And Challenges


Ferroelectric FETs (FeFETs) and memory (FeRAM) are generating high levels of interest in the research community. Based on a physical mechanism that hasn’t yet been commercially exploited, they join the other interesting new physics ideas that are in various stages of commercialization. “FeRAM is very promising, but it's like all promising memory technologies — it takes a while to get b... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Chipmakers The U.S. Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) and several chip executives have sent a joint letter to President Biden, urging the administration to include substantial funding for semiconductor manufacturing and research in the U.S. As reported, the share of global semiconductor manufacturing capacity in the U.S. has decreased from 37% in 1990 to 12% today. “Semiconductors pow... » read more

Week In Review: Auto, Security, Pervasive Computing


Automotive/Mobility With the chip supply so tight it is shutting down automotive production lines, U.S. chip company CEOs signed a Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) letter asking the U.S. president to include funding incentives for the chip manufacturing in U.S. economic recovery plans. The letter references the CHIPS for America Act and asks the president to work with Congress to suppo... » read more

Servers Are Becoming More Heterogeneous


The number of CPUs in a server is growing, and so is the number of vendors that make those processors. CPU server build has been one, two, four, and occasionally more x86 processors, with IBM’s Power and Z series as the major exception. While x86 processors aren't necessarily being replaced, they are being complimented and augmented with new processor designs for a variety of more speciali... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Packaging and test Intel has invested an additional $475 million in its chip assembly and test manufacturing facility in the Saigon Hi-Tech Park (SHTP) in Vietnam. This takes Intel’s total investment in the Vietnam facility to $1.5 billion. The site assembles and tests Intel’s 5G products and processors. TSMC recently announced a huge increase in capital spending for 2021. A large perce... » read more

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