The Return Of Body Biasing


Body biasing is making a comeback across a wide swath of process nodes as designers wrestle with how to build mobile devices with more functionality and longer battery life. Consider an ultra-low-power IoT device with a wireless sensor, for example, which is meant to last for years without changing a battery. Body biasing can be used to create an ultra-low-leakage sleep state. “In that ... » read more

Choosing Power-Saving Techniques


Engineers have come up with a long list of ways to save power in chip and system designs, but there are few rules to determine which approaches work best for any given design. There is widespread confusion about what techniques should be used where, which IP or subsystem is best, and how everything should be packaged together. The choices include everything from the proper level of clock and... » read more

Plotting The Next Semiconductor Road Map


The semiconductor industry is retrenching around new technologies and markets as Moore's Law becomes harder to sustain and growth rates in smart phones continue to flatten. In the past, it was a sure bet that pushing to the next process node would provide improvements in power, performance and cost. But after 22nm, the economics change due to the need for multi-patterning and finFETs, and th... » read more

FinFET Scaling Reaches Thermal Limit


In 1974, Robert H. Dennard was working as an IBM researcher. He introduced the idea that MOSFETs would continue to work as voltage-controlled switches in conjunction with shrinking features, providing doping levels, the chip's geometry, and voltages are scaled along with those size reductions. This became known as Dennard's Law even though, just like Moore's Law, it was anything but a law. T... » read more

Internet of FD-SOI Things?


Are fully-depleted silicon-on-insulator (FD-SOI) wafers having a moment? Certainly SOI wafers are not new. Soitec’s SmartCut layer transfer technology was patented in 1994, and wafers with implanted oxide layers were available before that. Still, adoption of SOI wafers has been limited. Though they offer improved device isolation and reduced parasitics, the increased wafer cost has been an ob... » read more

Tech Talk: 14nm And Stacked Die


Aashish Malhotra, marketing director for the ASIC Business Unit at GlobalFoundries, talks about 14nm process technology, the IP ecosystem, and why that technology node will be used as a platform for 2.5D and 3D stacked die across a wide range of markets including the Internet of Everything. [youtube vid=ukTRuedB7ZU] » read more

Moore’s Law Reset?


GlobalFoundries today took the wraps off its 22nm FD-SOI process, promising to extend Moore's Law technologically without altering the economic equation—at least for the next couple of process nodes. Subramani Kengeri, vice president of global design solutions at [getentity id="22819" comment="GlobalFoundries"], said 22nm FD-SOI will provide the same 30% improvement in PPA that has been c... » read more

Managing Dynamic Power


Working with finFETs is a study in contrasts. While leakage is now under control for the first time in several process generations due to the advent of different gate technology, dynamic power density caused by tightly packed transistors and higher clock speeds has become the big issue. “FinFET technology helps with reducing static/leakage power so when your logic is not active, you can sh... » read more

Rethinking Power


Power typically has been the last factor to be considered in the PPA equation, and it usually was somebody else's problem. Increasingly it's everyone's problem, and EDA companies are beginning to look at power differently than in the past. While the driving forces vary by market and by process node, the need to save energy at every node and in almost all designs is pervasive. In the server m... » read more

IP And FinFETs At Advanced Nodes


Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss IP and finFETs at advanced nodes with Bernard Murphy, CTO of Atrenta; Warren Savage, president and CEO of IPextreme; Aveek Sarkar, vice president of engineering and product support at Ansys-Apache; Randy Smith, vice president of marketing at Sonics. What follows are excerpts of that conversation. SE: As we push into the next nodes, we’ve got a ... » read more

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