Waiting For Chiplet Interfaces


There aren't many success stories related to chiplets today for a very simple reason—there are few standard interfaces defined for how to connect them. In fact, the only way to use them is to control both sides of the interface with a proprietary interface and protocol. The one exception is the definition of HBM2, which enables large quantities of third-party DRAM to be connected to a logi... » read more

Chiplet Momentum Builds, Despite Tradeoffs


Chip design is a series of tradeoffs. Some are technical, others are related to cost, competitive features or legal restrictions. But with the nascent 'chiplet' market, many of the established balance points are significantly altered, depending on market segments and ecosystem readiness. Chiplets provide an alternative mechanism for integrating intellectual property (IP) blocks into a semico... » read more

Creating A Roadmap For Hardware Security


The U.S. Department of Defense and private industry consortiums are developing comprehensive and cohesive cybersecurity plans that will serve as blueprints for military, industrial and commercial systems. What is particularly noteworthy in all of these efforts is the focus on semiconductors. While software can be patched, vulnerabilities such as Spectre, Meltdown and Foreshadow need to be de... » read more

Making Chip Packaging Simpler


Packaging is emerging as one of the most critical elements in semiconductor design, but it's also proving difficult to master both technically and economically. The original role of packaging was simply to protect the chips inside, and there are still packages that do just that. But at advanced nodes, and with the integration of heterogeneous components built using different manufacturing pr... » read more

Getting Down To Business On Chiplets


Government agencies, industry groups and individual companies are beginning to rally around various chiplet models, setting the stage for complex chips that are quicker and cheaper to build using standardized interfaces and components. The idea of putting together different modules like LEGOs has been talked about for the better part of a decade. So far, only Marvell has used this concept co... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Chipmakers A U.S. federal grand jury has indicted Chinese DRAM maker Jinhua Integrated Circuit Co. (JHICC), Taiwan's UMC and three individuals, charging them with alleged crimes related to a conspiracy to steal, convey, and possess stolen trade secrets from Micron Technology for the benefit of a company controlled by the China government. In addition, the U.S. filed a civil lawsuit seeking... » read more

Node Skipping Reaches New Heights


By Mark LaPedus For years, silicon foundries have rolled out their respective leading-edge processes roughly on a two-year cadence. The long-standing goal has been to keep foundry customers on a competitive price, power and performance curve. But as leading-edge chipmakers move from the 28nm node and beyond, the predictable process progression is changing. And the phenomenon of “node skip... » read more

Intel Turns Up Heat in Silicon Foundry Business


By Mark LaPedus Intel Corp. continues to make waves in the foundry arena. The chip giant has recently announced three new and major customers within its embryonic foundry business. Some speculate there are more customers on the horizon, reportedly including a rumored on-and-off again foundry deal with Apple Inc. At this point, Intel is a niche player in the foundry business, as the compan... » read more

Performance Plus Lower Power


By Pallab Chatterjee Power and performance often have been seen as something of a tradeoff. Chipmakers focus on one or the other, or they extract a little improvement in both at each new process node. That way of thinking is changing, though. At the recent Linley processor conference, the central theme for both standalone and embedded processors was that architectures have to optimized for ... » read more

Energy Star Meets Data Security


By Pallab Chatterjee Security technology and low power typically don’t go together in the same sentence, let alone the same device. All of that is starting to change, though. With 2% of the world’s energy being consumed by data centers, the new Energy Star guidelines and their associated tax incentives have been driving IT updates and upgrades since 2009 . The security industry is n... » read more