Making Chip Packaging Simpler


Packaging is emerging as one of the most critical elements in semiconductor design, but it's also proving difficult to master both technically and economically. The original role of packaging was simply to protect the chips inside, and there are still packages that do just that. But at advanced nodes, and with the integration of heterogeneous components built using different manufacturing pr... » read more

How To Build An Automotive Chip


The introduction of advanced electronics into automotive design is causing massive disruption in a supply chain that, until very recently, hummed along like a finely tuned sports car. The rapid push toward autonomous driving has changed everything. This year, Level 3 autonomy will begin hitting the streets, and behind the scenes, work is underway to design SoCs for Level 4. But how these chi... » 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

Fundamental Shifts In 2018


What surprised the industry in 2018?  While business has been strong, markets are changing, product categories are shifting and clouds are forming on the horizon. As 2018 comes to a close, most companies are pretty happy with the way everything turned out. Business has been booming, new product categories developing, and profits are meeting or beating market expectations. "2018 was indeed a... » read more

What Makes A Chip Design Successful Today?


"Transistors are free" was the rallying cry of the semiconductor industry during the 1990s and early 2000s. That is no longer true. The end of Dennard scaling made the simultaneous use of all the transistors troublesome, but transistors remained effectively unlimited. This led to an era where large amounts of flexibility could be built into a chip. It didn't matter if all of it was being use... » read more

Getting Down To Business On Chiplets


Government agencies, industry groups and individual companies are beginning to rally around various chiplet models, setting the stage for complex chips that are quicker and cheaper to build using standardized interfaces and components. The idea of putting together different modules like LEGOs has been talked about for the better part of a decade. So far, only Marvell has used this concept co... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Chipmakers A U.S. federal grand jury has indicted Chinese DRAM maker Jinhua Integrated Circuit Co. (JHICC), Taiwan's UMC and three individuals, charging them with alleged crimes related to a conspiracy to steal, convey, and possess stolen trade secrets from Micron Technology for the benefit of a company controlled by the China government. In addition, the U.S. filed a civil lawsuit seeking... » read more

The Week In Review: Design


M&A GlobalFoundries formed Avera Semiconductor, a wholly-owned subsidiary focused on custom ASIC designs. While Avera will use its relationship with GF for 14/12nm and more mature technologies, it has a foundry partnership lined up for 7nm. The new company's IP portfolio includes high-speed SerDes, high-performance embedded TCAMs, ARM cores and performance and density-optimized embedded SR... » read more

RISC-V: More Than a Core


The open-source RISC-V instruction set architecture (ISA) is attracting a lot of attention across the semiconductor industry, but its long-term success will depend on levels of cooperation never seen before in the semiconductor industry. The big question now is how committed the industry is to RISC-V's success. The real value that RISC-V brings is the promise of an ecosystem and the opportun... » read more

RISC-V Inches Toward The Center


RISC-V is pushing further into the mainstream, showing up across a wide swath of designs and garnering support from a long and still-growing list of chipmakers, tools vendors, universities and foundries. In most cases it is being used as a complementary processor than a replacement for something else, but that could change in the future. What makes RISC-V particularly attractive to chipmaker... » read more

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