The Next New Memories


Several next-generation memory types are ramping up after years of R&D, but there are still more new memories in the research pipeline. Today, several next-generation memories, such as MRAM, phase-change memory (PCM) and ReRAM, are shipping to one degree or another. Some of the next new memories are extensions of these technologies. Others are based on entirely new technologies or involve ar... » read more

Cloudy Outlook Seen For IC Biz


After a slowdown in the first half of 2019, chipmakers and equipment vendors face a cloudy outlook for the second half of this year, with a possible recovery in 2020. Generally, the semiconductor industry began to see a slowdown starting in mid- to late-2018, which extended into the first half of 2019. During the first half of this year, memory and non-memory vendors were negatively impacted... » read more

Using Memory Differently To Boost Speed


Boosting memory performance to handle a rising flood of data is driving chipmakers to explore new memory types and different ways of using existing memory, but it also is creating some complex new challenges. For most of the semiconductor design industry, memory has been a non-issue for the past couple of decades. The main concerns were price and size, but memory makers have been more than a... » read more

New Applications Call For New Memory Types


The semiconductor industry is on the verge of a transformative computing era driven by Big Data, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT). However, achieving the improvements in computing performance and efficiency needed for new AI and IoT applications represent some of the biggest technology challenges the industry has faced. Among the most critical requirements is del... » read more

Memory Options And Tradeoffs


Steven Woo, Rambus fellow and distinguished inventor, talks with Semiconductor Engineering about different memory options, why some are better than others for certain tasks, and what the tradeoffs are between the different memory types and architectures.     Related Articles/Videos Memory Tradeoffs Intensify In AI, Automotive Applications Why choosing memories and archi... » read more

3D NAND Race Faces Huge Tech And Cost Challenges


Amid the ongoing memory downturn, 3D NAND suppliers continue to race each other to the next technology generations with several challenges and a possible shakeout ahead. Micron, Samsung, SK Hynix and the Toshiba-Western Digital duo are developing 3D NAND products at the next nodes on the roadmap, but the status of two others, Intel and China’s Yangtze Memory Technologies Co. (YMTC), is les... » read more

Challenges In Making And Testing STT-MRAM


Several chipmakers are ramping up a next-generation memory type called STT-MRAM, but there are still an assortment of manufacturing and test challenges for current and future devices. STT-MRAM, or spin-transfer torque MRAM, is attractive and gaining steam because it combines the attributes of several conventional memory types in a single device. In the works for years, STT-MRAM features the ... » read more

Using Analog For AI


If the only tool you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. But development of artificial intelligence (AI) applications and the compute platforms for them may be overlooking an alternative technology—analog. The semiconductor industry has a firm understanding of digital electronics and has been very successful making it scale. It is predictable, has good yield, and while every de... » read more

The Good And Bad Of 2D Materials


Despite years of warnings about reaching the limits of silicon, particularly at leading-edge process nodes where electron mobility is limited, there still is no obvious replacement. Silicon’s decades-long dominance of the integrated circuit industry is only partly due to the material’s electronic properties. Germanium, gallium arsenide, and many other semiconductors offer superior mobili... » read more

In-Memory Vs. Near-Memory Computing


New memory-centric chip technologies are emerging that promise to solve the bandwidth bottleneck issues in today’s systems. The idea behind these technologies is to bring the memory closer to the processing tasks to speed up the system. This concept isn’t new and the previous versions of the technology fell short. Moreover, it’s unclear if the new approaches will live up to their billi... » read more

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