Toward Neuromorphic Designs


Part one of this series considered the mechanisms of learning and memory in biological brains. Each neuron has many fibers, which connect to adjacent neurons at synapses. The concentration of ions such as potassium and calcium inside the cell is different from the concentration outside. The cellular membrane thus serves as a capacitor. When a stimulus is received, the neuron releases neur... » read more

What Happened To ReRAM?


Resistive RAM (ReRAM), one of a handful of next-generation memories under development, is finally gaining traction after years of setbacks. Fujitsu and Panasonic are jointly ramping up a second-generation ReRAM device. In addition, Crossbar is sampling a 40nm ReRAM technology, which is being made on a foundry basis by China’s SMIC. And not to be outdone, TSMC and UMC recently put ReRAM on ... » read more

Four Foundries Back MRAM


Four major foundries plan to offer MRAM as an embedded memory solution by this year or next, setting the stage for what finally could prove to be a game-changer for this next-generation memory technology. GlobalFoundries, Samsung, TSMC and UMC plan to start offering spin-transfer torque magnetoresistive RAM (ST-MRAM or STT-MRAM) as an alternative or a replacement to NOR flash, possibly start... » read more

What Is Spin Torque MRAM?


The memory market is going in several different directions at once. On one front, the traditional memory types, such as DRAM and flash, remain the workhorse technologies. Then, several vendors are readying the next-generation memory types. As part of an ongoing series, Semiconductor Engineering will explore where the new and traditional memory technologies are heading. For this segment, P... » read more

What Does An IoT Chip Look Like?


By Ed Sperling and Jeff Dorsch Internet of Things chip design sounds like a simple topic on the face of it. Look deeper, though, and it becomes clear there is no single IoT, and certainly no type of chip that will work across the ever-expanding number of applications and markets that collectively make up the IoT. Included under this umbrella term are sensors, various types of processors, ... » read more

Materials For Future Electronics


Examining the research underway in electronics materials provides a keyhole view into what may be possible in future electronics design. Although some of this research will not end up in commercial products, it does provide an indication of the kinds of problems that are being addressed, how they are being approached, and where the research dollars are being spent. Flexible electronics are a... » read more

New Memories And Architectures Ahead


Memory dominates many SoCs, and it is rare to hear that a design contains too much memory. However, memories consume a significant percentage of system power, and while this may not be a critical problem for many systems, it is a bigger issue for Internet of Things ([getkc id="76" kc_name="IoT"]) edge devices where total energy consumption is very important. Memory demands are changing in al... » read more

Tech Talk: Embedded Memories


Dave Eggleston, vice president of embedded memory at GlobalFoundries, talks about the pros and cons of new types of embedded memory, including which work best for certain applications and with various advanced packaging options. [youtube vid=7D9zoA9FFIw] » read more

Sorting Out Next-Gen Memory


In the data center and related environments, high-end systems are struggling to keep pace with the growing demands in data processing. There are several bottlenecks in these systems, but one segment that continues to receive an inordinate amount of attention, if not part of the blame, is the memory and storage hierarchy. [getkc id="92" kc_name="SRAM"], the first tier of this hierarchy, is... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Aug. 9


Phase-change memory Researchers at Stanford are working on phase-change memory technology, which could deliver the best of volatile and non-volatile memory. Phase-change materials can exist in two different atomic structures, each of which has a different electronic state. A crystalline, or ordered, atomic structure, permits the flow of electrons, while an amorphous, or disordered, struct... » read more

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