Mostly Upbeat Outlook For Chips


2019 has started with cautious optimism for the semiconductor industry, despite dark clouds that dot the horizon. Market segments such as cryptocurrencies and virtual reality are not living up to expectations, the market for smart phones appears to be saturated, and DRAM prices are dropping, leading to cut-backs in capital expenditures. EDA companies are talking about sales to China being pu... » read more

Blog Review: Jan. 16


Mentor's Harry Foster takes a look at how quickly FPGAs are adopting recent verification techniques, with formal gaining at a rapid pace. Cadence's Paul McLellan checks out the details of two new RISC-V based cores: Western Digital's open source SweRV and Esperanto's Maxion. Synopsys' Taylor Armerding digs into a recent cybersecurity report from the U.S. government and finds a troubling n... » read more

Week in Review: IoT, Security, Auto


Internet of Things Automotive, health care, manufacturing, and the public sector could be transformed this year by Internet of Things technology, Bob Violino writes. Taqee Khaled, director of strategy at Nerdery, a digital business consultancy, predicts 2019 will see rapid evolution in enterprise IoT pilot initiatives and implementations. "This acceleration is due, in part, to advances in manu... » read more

Blog Review: Jan. 9


Cadence's Paul McLellan considers the challenges facing copper interconnects as resistance gets harder to deal with and the pros and cons of potential replacement materials. Mentor's Harry Foster digs into how FPGA design and verification engineers spend their time, and why the time designers spend designing has increased. Synopsys' Taylor Armerding contends that the way we use passwords ... » read more

Chip Industry In Rapid Transition


Wally Rhines, CEO Emeritus at Mentor, a Siemens Business, sat down with Semiconductor Engineering to talk about global economics, AI, the growing emphasis on customization, and the impact of security and higher abstraction levels. What follows are excerpts of that conversation. SE: Where do you see the biggest changes happening across the chip industry? Rhines: 2018 was a hot year for fab... » read more

Lies, Damn Lies, And TOPS/Watt


There are almost a dozen vendors promoting inferencing IP, but none of them gives even a ResNet-50 benchmark. The only information they state typically is TOPS (Tera-Operations/Second) and TOPS/Watt. These two indicators of performance and power efficiency are almost useless by themselves. So what, exactly, does X TOPS really tell you about performance for your application? When a vendor ... » read more

What’s the Right Path For Scaling?


The growing challenges of traditional chip scaling at advanced nodes are prompting the industry to take a harder look at different options for future devices. Scaling is still on the list, with the industry laying plans for 5nm and beyond. But less conventional approaches are becoming more viable and gaining traction, as well, including advanced packaging and in-memory computing. Some option... » read more

Fundamental Shifts In 2018


What surprised the industry in 2018?  While business has been strong, markets are changing, product categories are shifting and clouds are forming on the horizon. As 2018 comes to a close, most companies are pretty happy with the way everything turned out. Business has been booming, new product categories developing, and profits are meeting or beating market expectations. "2018 was indeed a... » read more

The DNA of an Artificial Intelligence SoC


Over the past decade, a few advancements have made artificial intelligence (AI) one of the most exciting technologies of our lifetime. In 2012, Geoffrey Everest Hinton demonstrated his generalized back propagation neural network algorithm in the Imagenet challenge, which revolutionized the field of computer vision. However, the math was developed years prior to 2012, and it was the available m... » read more

Fab Equipment Challenges For 2019


After a period of record growth, the semiconductor equipment industry is facing a slowdown in 2019, in addition to several technical challenges that still need to be resolved. Generally, the equipment industry saw enormous demand in 2017, and the momentum extended into the first part of 2018. But then the memory market began deteriorating in the middle of this year, causing both DRAM and NAND ... » read more

← Older posts