March Startup Funding: Money Springs Forth


Another month, another couple of billion-dollar rounds. Singapore-based Grab raised nearly $1.5 billion from the SoftBank Vision Fund, bringing its total private funding to more than $4.5 billion and valuing the company at around $14 billion. Grab has acquired Uber’s ride-hailing business in Southeast Asia and now competes chiefly with Go-Jek of Indonesia in Thailand and other emerging mar... » read more

System Bits: March 19


Nanomesh material could find use in sustainable applications Imec collaborated with KU Leuven to develop a nanomesh material made of a 3D structure with nanowires. This material could prove to make batteries more energy-efficient, while also improving catalytic converters and fuel cells, and making hydrogen production easier. The research team is touting the 3D nanometer-scale metal grid st... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Chipmakers How bad is the slowdown in the IC industry? The memory market is terrible, while other markets are slowing. One company—Renesas--is feeling the brunt. Citing the IC slowdown, Renesas will temporarily halt production at 13 of the company's 14 production facilities, according to a report from Nikkei. Renesas confirmed the move. “Renesas is considering implementing measures to ... » read more

150MM Alive and Kicking


Did you think chip making on 150mm wafers was a thing of the past? Think again. Many of the megatrends shaping our collective futures—mobility, autonomous driving and electric vehicles, 5G wireless communications, augmented- and virtual reality (AR/VR), and healthcare—depend on innovations created on the 150mm wafer size. While attention is often riveted on the race to the leading-edge n... » read more

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

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