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Designing Chips In A ‘Lawless’ Industry


The guideposts for designing chips are disappearing or becoming less relevant. While engineers today have many more options for customizing a design, they have little direction about what works best for specific applications or what the return on investment will be for those efforts. For chip architects, this is proving to be an embarrassment of riches. However, that design freedom comes wit... » read more

CEO Outlook: Chiplets, Longer IC Lifetimes, More End Markets


Experts at the Table: Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss chiplets, longer IC lifetimes, and a spike in the number of end applications with Lip-Bu Tan, CEO of Cadence; Simon Segars, CEO of Arm; Joseph Sawicki, executive vice president of Siemens IC EDA; John Kibarian, CEO of PDF Solutions; Prakash Narain, president and CEO of Real Intent; Dean Drako, president and CEO of IC Manage; an... » read more

An Introduction To Domain-Specific Accelerators


After 50 years, Moore’s Law, Dennard Scaling, and Amdahl’s Law are failing. The semiconductor industry much change, and processor paradigms must change with it. So what exactly are domain-specific accelerators and why are they so important in light of the failure of these semiconductor scaling laws? » read more

The Road To Domain-Specific Accelerators


For about fifty years, IC designers have been relying on different types of semiconductor scaling to achieve gains in performance. Best known is Moore’s Law, which predicted that the number of transistors in a given silicon area and clock frequency would double every two years. This was combined with Dennard scaling, which predicted that with silicon geometries and supply voltages shrinki... » read more

Steep Spike For Chip Complexity And Unknowns


Cramming more and different kinds of processors and memories onto a die or into a package is causing the number of unknowns and the complexity of those designs to skyrocket. There are good reasons for combining all of these different devices into an SoC or advanced package. They increase functionality and can offer big improvements in performance and power that are no longer available just b... » read more

Foundry Wars Begin


Leading-edge foundry vendors are gearing up for a new, high-stakes spending and technology race, setting the stage for a possible shakeup across the semiconductor manufacturing landscape. In March, Intel re-entered the foundry business, positioning itself against Samsung and TSMC at the leading edge, and against a multitude of foundries working at older nodes. Intel announced plans to build ... » read more

Applications, Challenges For Using AI In Fabs


Experts at the Table: Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss chip scaling, transistors, new architectures, and packaging with Jerry Chen, head of global business development for manufacturing & industrials at Nvidia; David Fried, vice president of computational products at Lam Research; Mark Shirey, vice president of marketing and applications at KLA; and Aki Fujimura, CEO of D2S. Wh... » read more

New Uses For AI


AI is being embedded into an increasing number of technologies that are commonly found inside most chips, and initial results show dramatic improvements in both power and performance. Unlike high-profile AI implementations, such as self-driving cars or natural language processing, much of this work flies well under the radar for most people. It generally takes the path of least disruption, b... » read more

The Future Of Transistors And IC Architectures


Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss chip scaling, transistors, new architectures, and packaging with Jerry Chen, head of global business development for manufacturing & industrials at Nvidia; David Fried, vice president of computational products at Lam Research; Mark Shirey, vice president of marketing and applications at KLA; and Aki Fujimura, CEO of D2S. What follows are excerpt... » read more

Chiplets For The Masses


Chiplets are a compelling technology, but so far they are available only to a select few players in the industry. That's changing, and the industry has taken little steps to get there, but timing for when you will be able to buy a chiplet to integrate into your system remains uncertain. While new fabrication nodes continue to be developed, scaling is coming to an end, be it for physical or e... » read more

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