Memory Issues For AI Edge Chips


Several companies are developing or ramping up AI chips for systems on the network edge, but vendors face a variety of challenges around process nodes and memory choices that can vary greatly from one application to the next. The network edge involves a class of products ranging from cars and drones to security cameras, smart speakers and even enterprise servers. All of these applications in... » read more

Scaling Up Compute-In-Memory Accelerators


Researchers are zeroing in on new architectures to boost performance by limiting the movement of data in a device, but this is proving to be much harder than it appears. The argument for memory-based computation is familiar by now. Many important computational workloads involve repetitive operations on large datasets. Moving data from memory to the processing unit and back — the so-called ... » read more

Taming Novel NVM Non-Determinism


New memory technologies may have non-deterministic characteristics that add calibration to the test burden — and may require recalibration during their lifetime. Many of these memories are in development as a result of the search for a storage-class memory (SCM) technology that can bridge the gap between larger, slower memories like flash and faster DRAM memory. There are several approache... » read more

Battling Persistent Hacks At The Flash Level


Hardware vendors are beginning to close up security vulnerabilities across a broader range of technology than in the past, a sign that they are taking potential hardware breaches much more seriously. Awareness of security flaws has been growing since the introduction of Meltdown, Spectre and Foreshadow, and more recently, the Cable Haunt attack. The general conclusion among chipmakers is tha... » read more

The MCU Dilemma


The humble microcontroller is getting squeezed on all sides. While most of the semiconductor industry has been able to take advantage of Moore's Law, the MCU market has faltered because flash memory does not scale beyond 40nm. At the same time, new capabilities such as voice activation and richer sensor networks are requiring inference engines to be integrated for some markets. In others, re... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: Dec. 16


Imec-Leti alliance At the recent IEEE International Electron Devices Meeting (IEDM), Imec and Leti announced plans to collaborate in select areas. The two R&D organizations plan to collaborate in two areas—artificial intelligence (AI) and quantum computing. Imec and Leti have been separately working on AI technologies based on various next-generation memory architectures. Both entitie... » read more

DRAM Scaling Challenges Grow


DRAM makers are pushing into the next phase of scaling, but they are facing several challenges as the memory technology approaches its physical limit. DRAM is used for main memory in systems, and today’s most advanced devices are based on roughly 18nm to 15nm processes. The physical limit for DRAM is somewhere around 10nm. There are efforts in R&D to extend the technology, and ultimate... » read more

Utilizing Computational Memory


For systems to become faster and consume less power, they must stop wasting the power required to move data around and start adding processing near memory. This approach has been proven, and products are entering the marketplace designed to fill a number of roles. Processing near memory, also known as computational memory, has been hiding in the shadows for more than a decade. Ever since the... » read more

Magnetic Memories Reach For Center Stage


Wearable heart rate sensors. Networked smoke detectors. Smart lighting. Smart doorbells. While desktop computers and even smartphones are powerful standalone tools, Internet of Things devices share a need to collect data from the environment, store it, and transmit it to some other device for action or further analysis. In many systems, data storage and working memory account for the majorit... » read more

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

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