5/3nm Wars Begin


Several foundries are ramping up their new 5nm processes in the market, but now customers must decide whether to design their next chips around the current transistor type or move to a different one at 3nm and beyond. The decision involves the move to extend today’s finFETs to 3nm, or to implement a new technology called gate-all-around FETs (GAA FETs) at 3nm or 2nm. An evolutionary step f... » read more

Analog: Avoid Or Embrace?


We live in an analog world, but digital processing has proven quicker, cheaper and easier. Moving digital data around is only possible while the physics of wires can be safely abstracted away enough to provide reliable communications. As soon as a signal passes off-chip, the analog domain reasserts control for modern systems. Each of those transitions requires a data converter. The usage ... » read more

Priorities Shift In IC Design


The rush to the edge and new applications around AI are causing a shift in design strategies toward the highest performance per watt, rather than the highest performance or lowest power. This may sound like hair-splitting, but it has set a scramble in motion around how to process more data more quickly without just relying on faster processors and accelerators. Several factors are driving th... » read more

Moore’s Law, Supply Chains And Security


The debate about the future of Moore's Law continues, while other parts of the industry look for alternatives. In between, supply chains are being pulled in multiple directions, with safety and security often in the middle. All across the semiconductor industry, significant changes are underway. Some of these have been in the works for some time. Others are new or accelerating faster than an... » read more

Open Source Hardware Risks


Open-source hardware is gaining attention on a variety of fronts, from chiplets and the underlying infrastructure to the ecosystems required to support open-source and hybrid open-source and proprietary designs. Open-source development is hardly a new topic. It has proven to be a successful strategy in the Linux world, but far less so on the hardware side. That is beginning to change, fueled... » read more

Where Technology Breakthroughs Are Needed


After years of delays, extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography is finally in production at the 7nm logic node with 5nm in the works. EUV, a next-generation lithography technology, certainly will help chipmakers migrate to the next nodes. But EUV doesn’t solve every problem. Nor does it address all challenges in the semiconductor industry. Not by a long shot. To be sure, the industry needs... » read more

Die-To-Die Connectivity


Manmeet Walia, senior product marketing manager at Synopsys, talks with Semiconductor Engineering about how die-to-die communication is changing as Moore’s Law slows down, new use cases such as high-performance computing, AI SoCs, optical modules, and where the tradeoffs are for different applications.   Interested in more Semiconductor Engineering videos? Sign-up for our YouTu... » read more

Thermal Challenges And Moore’s Law


Steven Woo, fellow and distinguished inventor at Rambus, looks at the evolution of graphics cards over a couple of decades and how designs changed to deal with more graphics and more heat, and why smaller, faster and cheaper doesn’t apply in this market. » read more

Solving The Memory Bottleneck


Chipmakers are scrambling to solve the bottleneck between processor and memory, and they are turning out new designs based on different architectures at a rate no one would have anticipated even several months ago. At issue is how to boost performance in systems, particularly those at the edge, where huge amounts of data need to be processed locally or regionally. The traditional approach ha... » read more

Scaling Battery Technology


Batteries are an essential ingredient for the growth of electronics from small devices used for IoT as well as large batteries for electric cars. Historically, battery energy density improves 5%-8% per year. While this is much slower than the historical improvements from Moore’s Law, it’s still the kind of growth that can result in leaps in efficiency, opening the door for a better experien... » read more

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