HBM Issues In AI Systems


All systems face limitations, and as one limitation is removed, another is revealed that had remained hidden. It is highly likely that this game of Whac-A-Mole will play out in AI systems that employ high-bandwidth memory (HBM). Most systems are limited by memory bandwidth. Compute systems in general have maintained an increase in memory interface performance that barely matches the gains in... » read more

How Much Power Will AI Chips Use?


AI and machine learning have voracious appetites when it comes to power. On the training side, they will fully utilize every available processing element in a highly parallelized array of processors and accelerators. And on the inferencing side they, will continue to optimize algorithms to maximize performance for whatever task a system is designed to do. But as with cars, mileage varies gre... » read more

Power Management Becomes Top Issue Everywhere


Power management is becoming a bigger challenge across a wide variety of applications, from consumer products such as televisions and set-top-boxes to large data centers, where the cost of cooling server racks to offset the impact of thermal dissipation can be enormous. Several years ago, low-power design was largely relegated to mobile devices that were dependent on a battery. Since then, i... » read more

Implementing Strong Security For AI/ML Accelerators


A number of critical security vulnerabilities affecting high-performance CPUs identified in recent years have rocked the semiconductor industry. These high-profile vulnerabilities inadvertently allowed malicious programs to access sensitive data such as passwords, secret keys and other secure assets. The real-world risks of silicon complexity The above-mentioned vulnerabilities are primaril... » read more

Chip Design Is Getting Squishy


So many variables, uncertainties and new approaches are in play today across the chip industry today that previous rules are looking rather dated. In the past, a handful of large companies or organizations set the rules for the industry and established an industry roadmap. No such roadmap exists today. And while there are efforts underway to create new roadmaps for different industries, inte... » read more

The Challenges Of Building Inferencing Chips


Putting a trained algorithm to work in the field is creating a frenzy of activity across the chip world, spurring designs that range from purpose-built specialty processors and accelerators to more generalized extensions of existing and silicon-proven technologies. What's clear so far is that no single chip architecture has been deemed the go-to solution for inferencing. Machine learning is ... » read more

The MCU Dilemma


The humble microcontroller is getting squeezed on all sides. While most of the semiconductor industry has been able to take advantage of Moore's Law, the MCU market has faltered because flash memory does not scale beyond 40nm. At the same time, new capabilities such as voice activation and richer sensor networks are requiring inference engines to be integrated for some markets. In others, re... » read more

Blog Review: Feb. 12


Complexity is growing by process node, by end application, and in each design. The latest crop of blogs points to just how many dependencies and uncertainties exist today, and what the entire supply chain is doing about them. Mentor's Shivani Joshi digs into various types of constraints in PCBs. Cadence's Neelabh Singh examines the complexities of verifying a lane adapter state machine in... » read more

Big Growth Areas: Connectivity, AI, Reliability


Connectivity and artificial intelligence (AI) will be the biggest drivers for 2020, with an emphasis on improved reliability across all areas. New standards, new applications, and new pressures being placed on old technology will created boundless opportunities for those ready to fill the need. Of course, there will also be a lot of carnage along the way, and we can expect to see a lot of that ... » read more

Scaling, Packaging, And Partitioning


Prior to the finFET era, most chipmakers either focused on shrinking or packaging, but they rarely did both. Going forward, the two will be inseparable, and that will lead to big challenges with partitioning of data and processing. The key driver here, of course, is that device scaling no longer provides appreciable benefits in power, performance and cost. Nevertheless, scaling does provide ... » read more

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