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The Great Quantum Computing Race


Quantum computing is heating up, as a growing number of entities race to benchmark, stabilize, and ultimately commercialize this technology. As of July 2021, a group from China appears to have taken the lead in terms of raw performance, but Google, IBM, Intel and other quantum computer developers aren’t far behind. All of that could change overnight, though. At this point, it's too early t... » read more

One-On-One: Lip-Bu Tan


Lip-Bu Tan, CEO of Cadence, sat down with Semiconductor Engineering to talk about the impact of massive increases in data across a variety of industries, the growing need for computational software, and the potential implications of U.S.-China relations. What follows are excerpts of that discussion. SE: What do you see as the biggest change for the chip industry? Tan: We're in our fifth g... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: April 13


Speedy data transfer Researchers from MIT, Intel, and Raytheon developed a new data transfer system that both boosts speeds and reduces energy use by taking elements from both traditional copper cables and fiber optics. "There's an explosion in the amount of information being shared between computer chips -- cloud computing, the internet, big data. And a lot of this happens over conventiona... » read more

Chasing After Carbon Nanotube FETs


Carbon nanotube transistors are finally making progress for potential use in advanced logic chips after nearly a quarter century in R&D. The question now is whether they will move out of the lab and into the fab. Several government agencies, companies, foundries, and universities over the years have been developing, and are now making advancements with carbon nanotube field-effect transi... » read more

IC Materials For Extreme Conditions


The number of materials being researched for chips used in extreme environments, such as landing on the planet Venus, is growing. While GaN has captured much of the attention for power conversion circuits, it's just one of several applications for semiconductors in extreme environments. The high voltage, high temperature, and caustic atmospheres found in many industrial and aerospace environ... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: March 16


Tripping up neural networks For years, Russia has been an active area in R&D. In one example, Russia's Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology (Skoltech) has demonstrated how certain patterns can cause neural networks to make mistakes in recognizing images. Leveraging the theory behind this research, Skoltech can design defenses for pattern recognition systems that are vulnerable t... » 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

Power Converter Chip Research Booms


Power electronics are booming, fueled by demand ranging from induction chargers for wearable and portable electronics, to charging stagings for electric vehicles. An estimated 80% of all U.S. electricity will pass through some form of power converter by 2030, said Yogesh Ramadass, director of power management at Texas Instruments' Kilby Labs. Transportation applications, in particular, deman... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Feb. 16


Superconducting microprocessor Researchers at Yokohama National University created a superconducting processor with zero electrical resistance. Huge amounts of power are being used by computers today, and compared to the human brain, they are many orders of magnitude less efficient. Superconductors have been a popular approach to making computers more efficient, but this requires extreme co... » read more

Week In Review: Auto, Security, Pervasive Computing


Security Microsoft and Synopsys are working together on a secure cloud-based chip development environment for United States Department of Defense’s Rapid Assured Microelectronics Prototypes (RAMP) program. “Through this integration on the RAMP program, Synopsys' trusted design, verification and silicon IP solutions will be available in Microsoft Azure," said Mujtaba Hamid, head of Silicon ... » read more

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