RF GaN Gains Steam


Wide-bandgap semiconductors are hot topics these days. One wide-bandgap semi type--silicon carbide (SiC)--is the talk of the town and is gaining steam in electric vehicles and other systems. But let’s not forget about gallium nitride (GaN). GaN, a binary III-V material, has 10 times the breakdown field strength with double the electron mobility than silicon. GaN is used for LEDs, power ... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Market research Smartphone shipments in China stood at 98.9 million units in the third quarter of 2019, down 3.6% year-on-year, according to IDC. Of that, 5G phone shipments in China have grown from virtually zero not long ago to 485,000 units in the third quarter of 2019, according to IDC. Vendors shipped devices amid the launch of commercial 5G services in October. The early smartphone le... » read more

Week in Review: IoT, Security, Autos


Products/Services Rambus reports completing the sale of its Payments and Ticketing businesses to Visa for $75 million in cash. “With 30 years of experience pushing the envelope in semiconductor design, we look toward a future of continued innovation to carry on our mission of making data faster and safer,” Rambus President and CEO Luc Seraphin said in a statement. “Completing this transa... » read more

Week in Review – IoT, Security, Autos


Products/Services Rambus entered an exclusive agreement to acquire the Silicon IP, Secure Protocols, and Provisioning business from Verimatrix, formerly known as Inside Secure. Financial terms were not revealed. The transaction is expected to close this year. Rambus will use the Verimatrix offerings in such demanding applications as artificial intelligence, automotive, the Internet of Things, ... » read more

Week in Review: IoT, Security, Autos


Products/Services Huawei Technologies is again delaying the public introduction of its Mate X foldable smartphone. It is unlikely the product will be marketed in the U.S., given the ongoing trade war. The official rollout now seems likely to come in November, in time for the holiday shopping season. Samsung Electronics has had its problems with foldable phones, yet those were due to manufactur... » read more

Speed Returns As The Key Metric


For the foreseeable future, it's all about performance. For the past decade or so, power and battery life have been the defining characteristics of chip design. Performance was second to those. This was particularly important in smart phones and wearable devices, where time between charges was a key selling point. In fact, power-hungry processors killed the first round of smart watches. But ... » read more

Accelerating Endpoint Inferencing


Chipmakers are getting ready to debut inference chips for endpoint devices, even though the rest of the machine-learning ecosystem has yet to be established. Whatever infrastructure does exist today is mostly in the cloud, on edge-computing gateways, or in company-specific data centers, which most companies continue to use. For example, Tesla has its own data center. So do most major carmake... » read more

Week in Review: IoT, Security, Auto


Internet of Things Microsoft this week introduced IoT Plug and Play, a no-code toolkit for connecting Internet of Things devices to the cloud. The company touts it as a new modeling language to pump up the capabilities of IoT devices through the Microsoft Azure cloud service. The Azure IoT Device Catalog lists devices that support IoT Plug and Play, such as the STMicroelectronics SensorTile.bo... » read more

The Future Of Mobile PC Is Here


The smartphone has fundamentally changed the way other types of computing devices are being designed. Focus on energy-efficient compute, portable form factor, long battery life, and connectivity has spread far wider than just the smartphone in your hand. Nowhere has this design influence been more significant than in the area of notebook PC. The era we are just now entering is that of th... » read more

Hedging The Chip Industry


The chip industry has changed significantly since the last big downturn. And while there is no indication a downturn is on the horizon, analysts are beginning to ask questions about what comes next. Inventory is building at systems companies because of weaknesses in some of the key markets such as mobile phones and tablet computers, and there is a growing risk of trade wars due to recently impo... » read more

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