Deals: Mentor-Solido, Marvell-Cavium


Marvell today signed a definitive agreement to buy Cavium for roughly $6 billion, ending weeks of speculation about whether the deal would go through. And Mentor, a Siemens business, paid an undisclosed price to buy Solido Design Automation, which tracks variation in complex designs. Both deals are part of a new flurry of M&A activity across the semiconductor industry as the industry retools... » read more

Five Trends In IC Packaging


At one time, chip packaging was an afterthought. Chipmakers were more worried about IC design. Packaging was considered a mere commodity, which was simply used to house the design. More recently, though, chip packaging has become a hot topic. The IC design is still important, but packaging is a key part of the solution. In fact, the industry can go down two paths. The traditional way is t... » read more

What’s Next For Atomic Layer Etch?


After years in R&D, several fab tool vendors last year finally began to ship systems based a next-generation technology called atomic layer etch (ALE). [getkc id="284" kc_name="ALE"] is is moving into 16/14nm, but it will play a big role at 10/7nm and beyond. The industry also is working on the next wave of ALE technology for advanced logic and memory production. Used by chipmakers fo... » read more

Blog Review: Nov. 15


Cadence's Paul McLellan shares highlights from the Jasper User Group, including what to do when formal is not converging on a proof and formal in use at Arm. Synopsys' Anders Nordstrom explains how formal can verify SoC interconnects and get you from San Jose to Austin. Mentor's Jeff Miller argues that intelligent sensors are the basic building block for the IoT, and the market is growing... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing


Packaging and test A*STAR’s Institute of Microelectronics (IME) has formed a fan-out wafer-level packaging consortium comprising of OSATs, materials vendors, equipment suppliers and others. The group is called the FOWLP Development Line Consortium. As part of the announcement, Singapore’s IME has established a development line to accelerate the development of fan-out. Located in IME’s... » read more

The Week In Review: Design


IP Cryptographic flaws have been discovered in the IEEE P1735 standard for encrypting IP and managing access rights. A team from the University of Florida found "a surprising number of cryptographic mistakes in the standard. In the most egregious cases, these mistakes enable attack vectors that allow us to recover the entire underlying plaintext IP." The researchers warn that an adversary coul... » read more

Quantum Madness


The race is on to commercialize quantum computing for everything from autonomous vehicles to supercomputers for hire. IBM has been working on a 50-qubit computer. Intel and QuTech, its Dutch research partner, showed off a 17-qubit test chip last month. And Alphabet, Google's parent company, is developing a 20-qubit computer. These numbers sound paltry compared to the billions of transistors ... » read more

The Next Phase Of Machine Learning


Machine learning is all about doing complex calculations on huge volumes of data with increasing efficiency, and with a growing stockpile of success stories it has rapidly evolved from a rather obscure computer science concept into the go-to method for everything from facial recognition technology to autonomous cars. [getkc id="305" kc_name="Machine learning"] can apply to every corporate fu... » read more

Litho Options For Panel Fan-out


Several packaging houses are inching closer to production of panel-level fan-out packaging, a next-generation technology that promises to reduce the cost of today’s fan-out packages. In fact, ASE, Nepes, Samsung and others already have installed the equipment in their panel-level fan-out lines with production slated for 2018 or so. But behind the scenes, panel-level packaging houses contin... » read more

Chiplets Gaining Steam


Building chips from pre-verified chiplets is beginning to gain traction as a way of cutting costs and reducing time to market for heterogeneous designs. The chiplet concept has been on the drawing board for some time, but it has been viewed more as a possible future direction than a necessary solution. That perception is beginning to change as complexity rises, particularly at advanced nodes... » read more

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