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New Memories Add New Faults


New non-volatile memories (NVM) bring new opportunities for changing how we use memory in systems-on-chip (SoCs), but they also add new challenges for making sure they will work as expected. These new memory types – primarily MRAM and ReRAM – rely on unique physical phenomena for storing data. That means that new test sequences and fault models may be needed before they can be released t... » read more

MBIST-supported Trim Adjustment to Compensate Thermal Behavior of MRAM


Abstract: "Spin Transfer Torque Magnetic Random Access Memory (STT-MRAM) is one of the most promising candidates to replace conventional embedded memory such as Static RAM and Dynamic RAM. However, due to the small on/off ratio of MRAM cells, process variations may reduce the operating margin of a chip. Reference trimming was suggested as one of the ways to reduce variation impact to the chi... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Chipmakers and OEMs Samsung has announced its latest foldable smartphones--the Galaxy Z Fold3 5G and Galaxy Z Flip3 5G. The systems are based on Samsung’s 5nm application processor. One system is the company’s most affordable foldable phone. The Galaxy Z Fold3 is $1,799.99, while the Galaxy Z Flip3 is $999.99. Samsung also announced two smartwatches—the Galaxy Watch4 and Galaxy Watch4... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: March 30


Harvesting body heat Researchers at University of Colorado Boulder, Harbin Institute of Technology, Southeast University, and Huazhong University of Science and Technology designed a stretchy thermoelectric generator that can be worn against the skin to power small wearable electronics using body heat. The stretchy material polyimine is used as the base of the device. A series of thin therm... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: March 16


Adaptable neural nets Neural networks go through two phases: training, when weights are set based on a dataset, and inference, when new information is assessed based on those weights. But researchers at MIT, Institute of Science and Technology Austria, and Vienna University of Technology propose a new type of neural network that can learn during inference and adjust its underlying equations to... » read more

Blog Review: June 26


Arm's Krish Nathella and Dam Sunwoo dig into research to make a practical implementation of a temporal data prefetcher that overcomes the huge on- and off-chip storage and traffic overheads usually associated with them. Cadence's Paul McLellan notes that while concerns about uncover bias in computer vision algorithms usually focus on people, a team at Facebook found that object recognition t... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: Aug. 21


World’s smallest transistor The Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) has developed what researchers say is the world’s smallest transistor. Researchers have devised a single-atom transistor. The transistor switches an electrical current via a single atom, which resides in a gel electrolyte. The device also works at room temperature. While others have developed single-atom transist... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: Aug. 14


Strange metals The National High Magnetic Field Laboratory (National MagLab) has unraveled the behavior in a new class of high-temperature superconductor (HTS) materials called cuprates. Cuprates are sometimes referred as a "strange" or "bad" metal. They don't conduct electricity well despite being a superconducting material. Superconductors are devices that have zero electrical resistance,... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: March 27


Equalizing batteries Engineers at the University of Toledo propose a bilevel equalizer technology to improve the life span of batteries by combining the high performance of an active equalizer with the low cost of a passive equalizer. "Whenever we are talking about batteries, we are talking about cells connected in a series. Over time, the battery is not balanced and limited by the weakest ... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: Feb. 13


Watching nanowires grow Using X-ray techniques, the University of Siegen and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) have observed the formation of tiny nanowires in gallium arsenide (GaAs) materials in real time. GaAs is used for fiber optics, infrared systems, RF devices in mobile phones and solar panels in spacecraft. Observing the growth of GaAs nanowires could lead to a better unde... » read more

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