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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

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

Power/Performance Bits: Dec. 1


Self-erasing chip Researchers from the University of Michigan developed self-erasing chips that could be used to prevent counterfeiting or detect tampering. The technology is based on a new material that temporarily stores energy, changing the color of the light it emits. It self-erases in a matter of days, or it can be erased on demand. "It's very hard to detect whether a device has been t... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: Nov. 17


Intel’s gate-all-around FETs At the upcoming IEEE International Electron Devices Meeting (IEDM), Intel is expected to present papers on its efforts to develop gate-all-around transistors. One paper from Intel describes a more conventional gate-all-around transistor technology called a nanosheet FET. Another paper involves a next-generation NMOS-on-PMOS nanoribbon transistor technology. (F... » read more

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