Week In Review: Design, Low Power


Tools & IP Arm unveiled several new processor IPs. Targeting next-gen smartphones, the Cortex-A78 CPU provides a 20% increase in sustained performance over Cortex-A77-based devices within a 1-watt power budget, and more efficient management of compute workloads and on-device ML. The Mali-G78 GPU provides a 25% increase in performance over the Malti-G77. It supports up to 24 cores and in... » read more

Week In Review: Auto, Security, Pervasive Computing


An effort to fund U.S. science and technology initiatives with at least $100 billion is getting a thumbs up from the SIA (Semiconductor Industry Association). The Endless Frontier Act —  a bipartisan, bicameral bill introduced on Thursday in the U.S. House of Representatives — will invest money into semiconductor research and development and other related fields such as material science, q... » read more

Scaling CMOS Image Sensors


After a period of record growth, the CMOS image sensor market is beginning to face some new and unforeseen challenges. CMOS image sensors provide the camera functions in smartphones and other products, but now they are facing scaling and related manufacturing issues in the fab. And like all chip products, image sensors are seeing slower growth amid the coronavirus outbreak. Manufactured a... » read more

Power Semi Wars Begin


Several vendors are rolling out the next wave of power semiconductors based on gallium nitride (GaN) and silicon carbide (SiC), setting the stage for a showdown against traditional silicon-based devices in the market. Power semiconductors are specialized transistors that incorporate different and competitive technologies like GaN, SiC and silicon. Power semis operate as a switch in high-volt... » 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

Week in Review: IoT, Security, Auto


Products/Services Visa agreed to acquire the token and electronic ticketing business of Rambus for $75 million in cash. The business involved is part of the Smart Card Software subsidiary of Rambus. It includes the former Bell ID mobile-payment businesses and the Ecebs smart-ticketing systems for transit providers. Meanwhile, Rambus expanded its CryptoManager Root of Trust product line. “Sec... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: June 18


Making microvias in packages At the recent IEEE Electronic Components and Technology Conference (ECTC) in Las Vegas, Georgia Institute of Technology, Tokyo Ohka Kogyo (TOK) and Panasonic presented a paper on a technology that enables ultra-small microvias for advanced IC packages. Researchers demonstrated a picosecond UV laser technology as well as materials, which enabled 2μm to 7μm vias... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Fab tools and test Lam Research has developed a new self-maintaining or self-cleaning chamber for its etch tools. With the technology, Lam announced a new industry benchmark has been set for productivity in etch processing using its self-maintaining equipment. Etch process modules are typically cleaned weekly or monthly. Recently, Lam and a chipmaker reached the milestone of going 365 days... » read more

Week in Review: IoT, Security, Auto


Internet of Things Smart-building technology is a factor in marketing new facilities to prospective tenants. The new Cambridge Crossing development in Cambridge, Mass., aspires to attract tech-oriented tenants much like nearby Kendall Square, this analysis notes. Philips has agreed to lease seven floors in Cambridge Crossing’s first office building, making that location its North American he... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Materials Wesfarmers, an Australian diversified firm, has made an unsolicited bid to acquire Lynas, one of the world’s largest suppliers of rare earths outside of China. Rare earths are chemical elements found in the Earth’s crust. They are used in cars, consumer electronics, computers, communications, clean energy and defense systems. The big market for rare earths is magnets. In semicond... » read more

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