The Week In Review: Design


Tools & IP Cadence and National Instruments are teaming up with the aim of improving the semiconductor development and test process. The two companies are jointly working on common transistor models to ensure consistent simulation behavior between NI AWR Microwave Office circuit design software and the Cadence Spectre simulation platform. Cadence also launched the Virtuoso RF Solution for ... » read more

200mm Fab Crunch


Growing demand for analog, MEMS and RF chips continues to cause acute shortages for both 200mm fab capacity and equipment, and it shows no sign of letting up. Today, 200mm fab capacity is tight with a similar situation projected for the second half of 2018 and perhaps well into 2019. In fact, 2018 will likely represent the third consecutive year that 200mm fab capacity will be tight. The sam... » read more

Chipmakers Look Beyond Scaling


Gary Patton, CTO of GlobalFoundries, sat down with Semiconductor Engineering to discuss the rollout of EUV, the rising cost of designing chips at the most advanced nodes, and the growing popularity of 22nm planar FD-SOI in a number of markets. What follows are excerpts of that conversation. SE: You've just begun deploying EUV. Are you experiencing any issues? Patton: It's a very complicat... » read more

Where Is Energy Harvesting?


With power management a top priority in sensor networks, why is energy harvesting—a proven technology with diverse energy sources—conspicuously absent from sensor designs that are the foundation of the Internet of Things? [getkc id="165" kc_name="Energy harvesting"] always has been a promising answer to the limits of battery power. The idea that a device can run for much longer periods o... » read more

The Bumpy Road To 5G


5G is coming, but not everywhere, not all at once, and not the fastest version of this technology right away. In fact, the probable scenario is that 5G will be rolled out first in densely populated urban areas, starting in 2020 or 2021, with increasingly widespread adoption over the next decade after that. But 5G is unlikely to ever completely replace 4G LTE, just as a smart phone today roll... » read more

Mixing 4G And 5G


5G networks will impact the number and types of ICs in end-user devices and the base stations used to transmit the signals (including the repeaters that rebroadcast those signals). And this is before we begin to consider the technology impact to the infrastructure required to support the data generated in a 5G ecosystem (servers, memory and so on). First, 5G is expected to transmit up to 10 ... » read more

Wireless Charging Creeps Forward


It's well known that electricity can travel long distances through the air, but expanding beyond the boundaries of a wire has never seemed a practical or reliable way to power delicate electronics. In fact, wireless power has been widely available for years. Whether this approach will be used to extend battery life isn't entirely clear. But it is attracting renewed attention as the balance b... » read more

Using Data Mining Differently


The semiconductor industry generates a tremendous quantity of data, but until very recently engineers had to sort through it on their own to spot patterns, trends and aberrations. That's beginning to change as chipmakers develop their own solutions or partner with others to effectively mine this data. Adding some structure and automation around all of this data is long overdue. Data mining h... » read more

Foundry Challenges in 2018


The silicon foundry business is expected to see steady growth in 2018, but that growth will come with several challenges. On the leading edge, GlobalFoundries, Intel, Samsung and TSMC are migrating from the 16nm/14nm to the 10nm/7nm logic nodes. Intel already has encountered some difficulties, as the chip giant recently pushed out the volume ramp of its new 10nm process from the second half ... » read more

Toward Self-Driving Cars


The automotive market for semiconductors is shifting into high gear. Right now the average car has about $350 worth of semiconductor content, but that is projected to grow another 50% by 2023 as the overall automotive market for semiconductors grows from $35 billion to $54 billion. This strong growth is being driven by the need to develop what we are calling the ‘connected car.’ The ... » read more

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