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Chip Shortages Grow For Mature Nodes


The current wave of chip shortages is expected to last for the foreseeable future, particularly for a growing list of critical devices produced in mature process nodes. Chips manufactured at mature nodes typically fall under the radar, but they are used in nearly every electronic device, including appliances, cars, computers, displays, industrial equipment, smartphones, and TVs. Many of thes... » read more

Automotive IC Shortage Drags On


The current automotive semiconductor shortages won’t end anytime soon. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit in early 2020, it wreaked havoc on the worldwide supply chain, but it especially caught automakers flat-footed. When the auto OEMs canceled chip orders during a roughly eight-week period of plant shutdowns, they later found their supplies of critical ICs had evaporated. To make it an ev... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Jan. 26


Neural networks on MCUs Researchers at MIT are working to bring neural networks to Internet of Things devices. The team's MCUNet is a system that designs compact neural networks for deep learning on microcontrollers with limited memory and processing power. MCUNet is made up of two components. One is TinyEngine, an inference engine that directs resource management. TinyEngine is optimized t... » read more

Demand Picks Up For 200mm


Demand is growing for both 200mm fab capacity and equipment, setting the stage for possible shortages in coming months. But there are also some uncertainties, if not warning signs, in the 200mm market and the entire IC industry. Trade disputes, as well as the current coronavirus outbreak in China, likely will impact the chip and equipment markets. The size of the impact and the duration rema... » read more

Non-Volatile Memory Tradeoffs Intensify


Non-volatile memory is becoming more complicated at advanced nodes, where price, speed, power and utilization are feeding into some very application-specific tradeoffs about where to place that memory. NVM can be embedded into a chip, or it can be moved off chip with various types of interconnect technology. But that decision is more complicated than it might first appear. It depends on the ... » read more

Using Memory Differently To Boost Speed


Boosting memory performance to handle a rising flood of data is driving chipmakers to explore new memory types and different ways of using existing memory, but it also is creating some complex new challenges. For most of the semiconductor design industry, memory has been a non-issue for the past couple of decades. The main concerns were price and size, but memory makers have been more than a... » read more

Memory In Microcontrollers


Gideon Intrater, CTO of Adesto, talks about how to use microcontrollers for applications where more memory is required, such as automotive, communication, and AI at the edge. Options include moving MCUs toward a more aggressive process node, adding external non-volatile memory, and execute-in-place types of architectures. » read more

Driving AI, ML To New Levels On MCUs


One of the most dramatic impacts of technology of late has been the implementation of artificial intelligence and machine learning on small edge devices, the likes of which are forming the backbone of the Internet of Things. At first, this happened through sheer engineering willpower and innovation. But as the drive towards a world of a trillion connected devices accelerates, we must find wa... » read more

Challenges In Making And Testing STT-MRAM


Several chipmakers are ramping up a next-generation memory type called STT-MRAM, but there are still an assortment of manufacturing and test challenges for current and future devices. STT-MRAM, or spin-transfer torque MRAM, is attractive and gaining steam because it combines the attributes of several conventional memory types in a single device. In the works for years, STT-MRAM features the ... » read more

FD-SOI At The Edge


Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss changes in the FD-SOI world and what's behind them, with James Lamb, deputy CTO for advanced semiconductor manufacturing and corporate technical fellow at Brewer Science; Giorgio Cesana, director of technical marketing at STMicroelectronics; Olivier Vatel, senior vice president and CTO at Screen Semiconductor Solutions; and Carlos Mazure, CTO at Soi... » read more

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