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Chip Industry Startup Funding Annual Report & Analysis: 2022


Introduction New ideas fuel the semiconductor industry, and money enables those ideas. Tracking what startups get funded is one way to see which ideas are more viable and which problems need to be solved most urgently. In general, the more startups working on a solution to a particular problem, the greater the need for a viable solution — and the more likely one will be developed. Investo... » read more

Selecting The Right RISC-V Core


With an increasing number of companies interested in devices based on the RISC-V ISA, and a growing number of cores, accelerators, and infrastructure components being made available, either commercially or in open-source form, end users face an increasingly difficult challenge of ensuring they make the best choices. Each user likely will have a set of needs and concerns that almost equals th... » read more

Adapting To Broad Shifts Essential In 2022


Change creates opportunity, but not every company is able to respond quickly enough to take advantage of those opportunities. Others may respond too quickly, before they properly understand the implications. At the start of a typical year, optimism is in plentiful supply. Any positive trend is seen as continuing, and any negative is seen as turning around. Normally the later in the year that... » read more

Week In Review: Design, Low Power


Cadence unveiled a big data analytics infrastructure to unify massive data sets across all Cadence computational software. The Joint Enterprise Data and AI (JedAI) Platform aims to optimize multiple runs of multiple engines across an entire SoC design and verification flow. It combines data from its AI-driven Cerebrus implementation and Optimality system optimization solutions, along with the n... » read more

Near-Threshold Computing Gets A Boost


Near-threshold computing has long been used for power-sensitive devices, but some surprising, unrelated advances are making it much easier to deploy. While near-threshold logic has been an essential technique for applications with the lowest power consumption, it always has been difficult to use. That is changing, and while it is unlikely to become a mainstream technique, it is certainly bec... » read more

Week In Review: Design, Low Power


RISC-V RISC-V International announced four new specification and extension approvals. Efficient Trace for RISC-V defines an approach to processor tracing that uses a branch trace. RISC-V Supervisor Binary Interface architects a firmware layer between the hardware platform and the operating system kernel using an application binary interface in supervisor mode to enable common platform services... » read more

Embedded Software: Sometimes Easier, Often More Complex


Embedded software, once a challenge to write, update, and optimize, is following the route of other types of software. It is abstracted, simpler to use, and much faster to write. But in some cases, it's also much harder to get right. From a conceptual level, the general definition of embedded software has not changed much. It's still low-level drivers and RTOSes that run close to the hardwar... » read more

Choosing Which Tasks To Optimize In Chips


The optimization of one or more tasks is an important aspect of every SoC created, but with so many options now on the table it is often unclear which is best. Just a few years ago, most people were happy to buy processors from the likes of Intel, AMD and Nvidia, and IP cores from Arm. Some even wanted the extensibility that came from IP cores like Tensilica and ARC. Then, in 2018, John Henn... » read more

Startup Funding: March 2022


Semiconductor manufacturing, test, and inspection equipment startups did well in March. Investors funded a wide variety of equipment companies, including test equipment, materials handling, and those that make parts and components. In the manufacturing space, several companies developing manufacturing execution systems received funding, as well as a startup trying to prevent counterfeit parts f... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Chipmakers, OEMs Intel continues to build more fabs. First, the company announced fabs in Arizona and then Ohio. Now, Intel plans to invest up to €80 billion in the European Union over the next decade. As part of the effort, Intel plans to build two semiconductor fabs in Magdeburg, Germany. Construction is expected to begin in the first half of 2023 and production planned to come online in 2... » read more

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