Foundry Wars, Take Two


Samsung, GlobalFoundries, TSMC and Intel all have declared their intention to fill in nearly every node possible with multiple processes, different packaging options, and new materials. In fact, the only number that hasn't been taken so far is 9nm. It's not that one foundry's 10nm is the same as another's. Each company defines its nodes differently, and these days comparing nodes is almost m... » read more

Building Functional Safety And Security Into Medical IoT Devices: IEC 62304 Conformance


As the IoT marches on – security and safety issues continue to be a top priority for embedded systems developers. Building security into your medical IoT device not only helps to reduce the chance of a data breach or cyber attack, but also introduces new ways to optimize software, reduces time to market, and increases the potential for product innovation in a very competitive global market. ... » read more

Quality Issues Widen


As the amount of semiconductor content in cars, medical and industrial applications increases, so does the concern about how long these devices will function properly—and what exactly that means. Quality is frequently a fuzzy concept. In mobile phones, problems have ranged from bad antenna placement, which resulted in batteries draining too quickly, to features that take too long to load. ... » read more

What Next For OSATs


Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss IC-packaging and business trends with Tien Wu, chief operating officer at Taiwan’s Advanced Semiconductor Engineering ([getentity id="22930" comment="ASE"]), the world’s largest outsourced semiconductor assembly and test (OSAT) vendor. What follows are excerpts of that conversation. SE: What’s the outlook for the IC industry in 2017? Wu:... » read more

The Path To (Virtually) Zero Defective Parts Per Million


Despite thorough wafer and package testing, a small number of defective ICs can make their way into systems. These test "escapes" often return as field failures, increasing costs and eroding profit margins. They can also present a hazard if deployed in safety-critical systems, which is why companies purchasing semiconductors for automotive, medical, or aerospace applications often demand a zero... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Jan. 10


Antiferromagnetic magnetoelectric RAM Researchers at Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR), Swiss Nanoscience Institute, and the University of Basel developed a concept for a new, low power memory chip. In particular, the group focused on finding an alternative to MRAM using magnetoelectric antiferromagnets, which are activated by an electrical voltage rather than by a current. "... » read more

The Role Of Energy-Efficient Circuits In Wearable Healthcare Applications


As beneficial as they are, health monitors for conditions like high blood pressure, arrhythmia, and epilepsy can be uncomfortable and inconvenient due to all of their protruding wires. This opens up an opportunity for designers of wearable healthcare applications. “Wearable electronics are needed for proactive healthcare,” said Dr. Jerald Yoo, an associate professor in the Department of ... » read more

Medical IoT Showing Signs Of Life


Mention the [getkc id="76" comment="Internet of Things"] and many people think of fitness trackers on their wrists, or an Internet-connected thermostat at home. IoT technology, however, is also extending into the world of clinics, doctors’ offices, and hospitals. Research and Markets is calling it the Internet of Healthcare Technology, bringing together IoT applications, services, and ... » read more

Automating Inter-Layer In-Design Checks In Rigid-Flex PCBs


Flexible PCBs (flex/rigid-flex) make it possible to create a variety of products that require small form factors and light weight, such as wearable, mobile, military, and medical devices. As flexible PCB fabrication technology has matured in response to demands for smaller, lighter products, new design challenges have emerged. This paper discusses some of the key challenges to address and also ... » read more

Designing Power-Efficient, Implantable Medical Devices


Medical devices used for treatment traditionally tend to be big, bulky, and full of wires, making them uncomfortable or inconvenient for the patient to use. For Dr. Rikky Muller and Cortera Neurotechnologies, power-efficient, implantable medical devices provide a viable alternative. Muller is an assistant professor of electrical engineering and computer sciences at UC Berkeley. She is also a... » read more

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