The Limits Of Energy Harvesting


Energy harvesting, once considered an inexpensive alternative to low-power design and a way of achieving nearly unlimited power in mobile devices, has settled down to more modest expectations. This approach to generating energy through a variety of means—from solar to motion to ambient RF and even pH differences between soil and trees—has been proven to work. The problem is that it doesn... » read more

New Challenges For Data Centers


Rita Horner, senior technical marketing manager in Synopsys’ Solutions Group, looks at the impact of a significant rise in data, why this often leads to big cost increases, and where the bottlenecks are occurring. » read more

Make Your Own Energy


Regenerative braking and other forms of energy capture are becoming more popular and increasingly effective. What started as a way of increasing the range of electric or hybrid vehicles is now being applied to everything from green buildings to industrial robots. The automotive industry is still the main driver of this technology. The idea that braking can generate energy has been around for... » read more

Week In Review: Design, Low Power


Intel acquired vision and video FPGA IP company Omnitek. Founded in 1998, the Basingstoke, England-based company has produced FPGA IP cores for video processing including conversion and enhancement, creating arbitrary image warps on a real time video stream, connectivity, and deep learning and AI inferencing. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Qualcomm and Apple have dropped all litigatio... » read more

Moore’s Law Now Requires Advanced Packaging


Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss advanced packaging with Calvin Cheung, vice president of engineering at ASE; Walter Ng, vice president of business management at UMC; Ajay Lalwani, vice president of global manufacturing operations at eSilicon; Vic Kulkarni, vice president and chief strategist in the office of the CTO at ANSYS; and Tien Shiah, senior manager for memory at Samsung. W... » read more

Target: 50% Reduction In Memory Power


Memory consumes about 50% or more of the area and about 50% of the power of an SoC, and those percentages are likely to increase. The problem is that static random access memory (SRAM) has not scaled in accordance with Moore's Law, and that will not change. In addition, with many devices not chasing the latest node and with power becoming an increasing concern, the industry must find ways to... » read more

Optimization Challenges For Safety And Security


Complexity challenges long-held assumptions. In the past, the semiconductor industry thought it understood performance/area tradeoffs, but over time it became clear this is not so simple. Measuring performance is no longer an absolute. Power has many dimensions including peak, average, total energy and heat, and power and function are tied together. Design teams are now dealing with the impl... » read more

The Growing Challenge Of Thermal Guard-Banding


Guard-banding for heat is becoming more difficult as chips are used across a variety of new and existing applications, forcing chipmakers to architect their way through increasingly complex interactions. Chips are designed to operate at certain temperatures, and it is common practice to develop designs with some margin to ensure correct functionality and performance throughout the operat... » read more

Power Budgets At 3nm And Beyond


There is high confidence that digital logic will continue to shrink at least to 3nm, and possibly down to 1.5nm. Each of those will require significant changes in how design teams approach power. This is somewhat evolutionary for most chipmakers. Five years ago there were fewer than a handful of power experts in most large organizations. Today, everyone deals with power in one way or another... » read more

Memory Tradeoffs Intensify in AI, Automotive Applications


The push to do more processing at the edge is putting a strain on memory design, use models and configurations, leading to some complex tradeoffs in designs across a variety of markets. The problem is these architectures are evolving alongside these new markets, and it isn't always clear how data will move across these chips, between devices, and between systems. Chip architectures are becom... » read more

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