Blog Review: Nov. 22


ARM's Jem Davies talks about an upcoming documentary on AI and where the lines need to be drawn between machine intelligence and human emotional intelligence. Mentor's Saunder Peng examines the impact of merging physical verification databases, which can cost time and resources, and how that can be streamlined. Cadence's Paul McClellan takes a look back at the Xerox Alto and how it change... » read more

Semiconductor Wafer Demand: Growing Pains


Semico Research is forecasting total semiconductor unit growth to exceed 13% this year, the first double-digit growth year since 2010. The exceptional unit growth is what the industry hopes for, but it does come with some growing pains. MOS logic, optoelectronics, MEMS and sensors, and even analog and discrete products are experiencing more than 10% unit growth in 2017. The challenge is that... » read more

Variation Spreads At 10/7nm


Variation between different manufacturing equipment is becoming increasingly troublesome as chipmakers push to 10/7nm and beyond. Process variation is a well-known phenomenon at advanced nodes. But some of that is actually due to variations in equipment—sometimes the exact same model from the same vendor. Normally this would fall well below the radar of the semiconductor industry. But as t... » read more

Evolution Of The MCU


Microcontrollers are taking on a variety of new and much more complex computing tasks, evolving from standalone chips to more highly integrated devices that can rival complex microprocessors. Microcontroller units (MCUs) are being designed into everything from assisted and autonomous driving to smart cards. They often are the central processing elements for a slew of connected devices that i... » read more

MCU Sales Up in 2017 And 2018


Microcontroller (MCU) sales are expected to grow over 9% this year while units increase over 16%. IoT and automotive are the major reason for the growth in general MCUs; however, the product group has been transitioning into several distinct segments that are being buried within the data of the broad MCU market. Over the past five years total MCU revenues have essentially remained flat; however... » read more

Radar Versus LiDAR


Demand is picking up for vision, radar and LiDAR sensors that enable assisted and autonomous driving capabilities in cars, but carmakers are now pushing for some new and demanding requirements from suppliers. The automotive market always has been tough on suppliers. OEMs want smaller, faster and cheaper devices at the same or improved safety levels for both advanced driver-assistance systems... » read more

Big Push For 3D Sensing With iPhone X


3D sensing is a buzzword that has been thrown around quite a bit this year in connection with the rumors surrounding the tenth-anniversary iPhone. Although the iPhone X will be the first large-scale consumer push for 3D sensing, the technology has been around for years, particularly in industrial applications such as machine vision. 3D sensing is already used in the PC – think Intel’s RealS... » read more

Foundries Accelerate Auto Efforts


Foundries are ramping up their efforts in automotive chip production in preparation for a surge in semiconductors used in assisted and autonomous driving. All of the major foundry vendors are scrambling to assemble the pieces and expand their process portfolios for automotive customers. The foundries are seeing a growing demand from automotive IC customers amid the push toward advanced drive... » read more

Foundry Roadmaps: Real Solutions, Or Just Hedging?


Major semiconductor foundries have revealed their advanced technology roadmaps for the next few years. They’re all investing billions of dollars into the development of process technologies and packaging options. The number of alternatives has been described as ‘dizzying’. How can all the foundries remain profitable? How does the customer decide which ‘route’ to take? For the 2... » read more

Blog Review: May 31


Mentor's Michael White predicts that 10nm will come on the scene in a big way this year with a leap to an estimated 9% foundry market share. At the recent RISC-V Workshop, Cadence's Paul McLellan considers whether fully open-source silicon is really viable. Synopsys' Robert Vamosi investigates the security risks posed by the proliferation of connected aftermarket automotive products and a... » read more

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