VCSEL Technology Takes Off


By Kevin Fogarty and Ed Sperling Vertical cavity surface emitting laser (VCSEL) technology, a proven but mostly niche technology until recently, is suddenly a very hot commodity thanks to the introduction of facial recognition in phones and other mobile devices. VCELS primarily have been used as a low-cost way of tracking movement and transfering data in computer mice, laser printers and ... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Feb. 5


Photonic-magnetic memory Researchers at the Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) have developed a hybrid photonic-magnetic memory device that takes advantage of the speed of optical writing and stability of magnetic drives. "All-optical switching for data storage has been known for about a decade. When all-optical switching was first observed in ferromagnetic materials - amongst the mo... » read more

EDA Grabs Bigger Slice Of Chip Market


EDA revenues have been a fairly constant percentage of semiconductor revenues, but that may change in 2019. With new customers creating demand, and some traditional customers shifting focus from advanced nodes, the various branches of the EDA tool industry may be where sticky technical problems are solved. IC manufacturing, packaging and development tools all are finding new ways to handle t... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Jan. 14


Optical memory Researchers at the University of Oxford, University of Exeter, and University of Münster propose an all-optical memory cell that can store more optical data, 5 bits, in a smaller space than was previously possible on-chip. The optical memory cell uses light to encode information in the phase change material Ge2Sb2Te5. A laser causes the material to change between ordered and... » read more

Blog Review: Dec. 5


Mentor's Harry Foster digs into verification effectiveness in FPGA projects and what it means that so many non-trivial bugs escape into production. Cadence's Paul McLellan checks out an effort to integrate photonics with CMOS and find the tradeoffs in three different approaches, plus the view of photonics as applied to military aircraft. Synopsys' Richard Solomon shares some highlights on... » read more

Die-to-Die Interconnects for Chip Disaggregation


Today, data growth is at an unprecedented pace. We’re now looking at petabytes of data moving into zettabytes. What that translates to is the need for considerably more compute power and much more bandwidth to process all that data. In networking, high-speed SerDes PHYs represent the linchpin for blazing fast back and forth transmission of data in data centers. In turn, demand is increa... » read more

Week In Review: Design, Low Power


M&A SMIT Holdings acquired S2C, a provider of FPGA prototyping hardware and software as well as interfaces and accessories, for $19 million, plus up to US$2 million in milestone based payments to the key management team. S2C was founded in 2003. SMIT, based in Hong Kong, makes pay TV broadcasting access and mobile point-of-sale payment systems for the Chinese market. Tools & IP Syn... » read more

Layout Driven Design With L-Edit Photonics


Advances in integrated circuit technology and fabrication have made it possible to leverage traditional CMOS fabrication processes and materials and apply them to the design of Photonic Integrated Circuits (PICs). The combination of PICs with traditional electronic integrated circuits, called integrated photonics, is the ability to move, modulate, and detect light on a single IC. While there is... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Oct. 2


Photonic sensor Researchers at Washington University in St. Louis devised a way to record environmental data using a wireless photonic sensor resonator with a whispering-gallery-mode (WGM) architecture capable of resonating at light frequencies and also at vibrational or mechanical frequencies. Optical sensors are not affected by electromagnetic interference, a major benefit in noisy or har... » read more

Week In Review: Design, Low Power


Arm announced a new processor targeted at autonomous driving applications. The Cortex-A76AE is a superscalar, out-of-order processor that incorporates Split-Lock safety technology. Split-Lock allows CPU clusters in an a SoC to be configured either in ‘split mode’ for high performance, allowing two (or four) independent CPUs in the cluster to be used for diverse tasks and applications, or ... » read more

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