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

Week In Review: Design, Low Power


Achronix and Mentor uncorked an optimized HLS flow for Achronix's FPGA technology products. The integrated development environment enables designers to quickly go from C++ to FPGA using Mentor's Catapult HLS and Achronix's ACE design tools. Initially used for 5G wireless applications to reduce the overall development effort and improve QoR, it is suitable for any design targeting Achronix techn... » read more

Week in Review: IoT, Security, Auto


Deals SoftBank Corp. reached an agreement with Indonesia’s Link Net to work together on Internet of Things technology. Hidebumi Kitahara of SoftBank said in a statement, “The global mobile industry is now entering the 5G era, with IoT becoming the central focal point of innovation. This partnership with Link Net shows our strong commitment to further boost technology innovation in the glob... » read more

Week In Review: Design, Low Power


M&A Siemens acquired Austemper Design Systems, which provides tools for functional safety and safety-critical designs. Founded in 2015, Texas-based Austemper adds state-of-the-art safety analysis, auto-correction and fault simulation technology to address random hardware faults, as well as correct and harden vulnerable areas, subsequently performing fault simulation to ensure the design is... » read more

The Week In Review: Design


M&A IoT-focused memory chipmaker Adesto Technologies acquired S3 Semiconductors, a provider of mixed-signal and RF ASICs and IP. Based in Ireland, S3 Semiconductors was founded in 1986. S3 Semiconductors will become a business unit of Adesto and will continue to operate under its current model in the $35 million deal. S3 Semiconductor's parent company, S3 Group, will continue as a separate... » read more

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