Winners And Losers At The Edge


The edge is a vast collection of niches tied to narrow vertical markets, and it is likely to stay that way for years to come. This is both good and bad for semiconductor companies, depending upon where they sit in the ecosystem and their ability to adapt to a constantly shifting landscape. Some segments will see continued or new growth, including EDA, manufacturing equipment, IP, security an... » read more

New Approaches For Dealing With Thermal Problems


New thermal monitoring, simulation and analysis techniques are beginning to coalesce in chips developed at leading-edge nodes and in advanced packages in order to keep those devices running at optimal temperatures. This is particularly important in applications such as AI, automotive, data centers and 5G. Heat can kill a chip, but it also can cause more subtle effects such as premature aging... » read more

Making Silicon Photonics Chips More Reliable


Silicon photonics has the ability to dramatically improve on-die and chip-to-chip communication within a package at extremely low power, but ensuring that signal integrity remains consistent over time isn't so simple. While this technology has been used commercially for at least the past decade, it never has achieved mainstream status. That's mostly due to the fact that Moore's Law scaling h... » read more

Domain-Specific Processors Enable More Than Moore


Last month was the 55th anniversary of Gordon Moore’s famous paper Cramming more components onto integrated circuits. He took a long-term view of the trends in integrated circuits being implemented using successively smaller feature sizes in silicon. Since that paper, integrated circuit developers have been relying on three of his predictions: The number of transistors per chip increas... » read more

3nm: Blurring Lines Between SoCs, PCBs And Packages


Leading-edge chipmakers, foundries and EDA companies are pushing into 3nm and beyond, and they are encountering a long list of challenges that raise questions about whether the entire system needs to be shrunk onto a chip or into a package. For 7nm and 5nm, the problems are well understood. In fact, 5nm appears to be more of an evolution from 7nm than a major shift in direction. But at 3nm, ... » read more

Moore And More


For more than 50 years, the semiconductor industry has enjoyed the benefits of Moore's Law — or so it seemed. In reality, there were three laws rolled up into one: Each process generation would have a higher clock speed at the same power. This was not discovered by Moore, but by Dennard, who also invented the DRAM. Process generations continue to get faster and lower power, but the power... » read more

Bigger, Faster, More Diverse And Expensive


Aart de Geus, chairman and co-CEO of Synopsys, sat down with Semiconductor Engineering to talk about the race toward AI everywhere, how splintering markets are affecting design, and why software is now such a critical component of hardware development. SE: We're seeing big advances in compute performance due to advanced packaging and heterogeneous architectures. Is that sustainable? de Ge... » read more

More Knobs, Fewer Markers


The next big thing in chip design may be really big — the price tag. In the past, when things got smaller, so did the cost per transistor. Now they are getting more expensive to design and manufacture, and the cost per transistor is going up along with the number of transistors per area of die, and in many cases even the size of the die. That's not exactly a winning economic formula, which... » read more

CEO Outlook: 2020 Vision


The start of 2020 is looking very different than the start of 2019. Markets that looked hazy at the start of 2019, such as 5G, are suddenly very much in focus. The glut of memory chips that dragged down the overall chip industry in 2019 has subsided. And a finely tuned supply chain that took decades to develop is splintering. A survey of CEOs from across the industry points to several common... » read more

The Week In Review: Semiconductors


The tech-centric NASDAQ index this week broke 9,000, which was a first. Key to the latest run-up were reports of a breakthrough on the trade war with China and continued low interest rates. Chuck Peddle, who helped democratize computing and fuel Moore's Law with his $25 processor chip, passed away last week. Peddle designed the MOS Technology 6502, which was the basis for the KIM-1 single-bo... » read more

← Older posts