What’s the Right Path For Scaling?


The growing challenges of traditional chip scaling at advanced nodes are prompting the industry to take a harder look at different options for future devices. Scaling is still on the list, with the industry laying plans for 5nm and beyond. But less conventional approaches are becoming more viable and gaining traction, as well, including advanced packaging and in-memory computing. Some option... » read more

Foundries See Growth, New Issues In 2019


The silicon foundry business is poised for growth in 2019, although the industry faces several challenges across a number of market segments next year. Generally, foundry vendors saw steady growth in 2018, but many are ending the year on a sour note. Weak demand for Apple’s new iPhone XR and a downturn in the cryptocurrency market have impacted several IC suppliers and foundries, causing t... » read more

Foundries Prepare For Battle At 22nm


After introducing new 22nm processes over the last year or two, foundries are gearing up the technology for production—and preparing for a showdown. GlobalFoundries, Intel, TSMC and UMC are developing and/or expanding their efforts at 22nm amid signs this node could generate substantial business for applications like automotive, IoT and wireless. But foundry customers face some tough choic... » read more

Prediction of SRAM Reliability Under Mechanical Stress Induced by Harsh Environments


On the example of a 28nm SRAM array, this work presents a novel reliability study which takes into account the effect of externally applied mechanical stress in circuit simulations. This method is able to predict the bit failures caused by the stress via the piezoresistive effect. The stability of each single SRAM cell is simulated using static noise margin. Finally, the whole array’s behavio... » read more

Zeno Semi Expands On-Chip Memory


San Jose, Calif.-based startup Zeno Semiconductor is testing modifications and a smaller process node for the single-transistor 28nm SRAM chip it introduced in 2016, which could boost space for on-chip CPU memory by more than 2.5X, according to the co-founder and CEO of the company, Yuniarto Widjaja. The Zeno-1 transistor is built on standard CMOS processes, has a bi-stable bipolar transisto... » read more

Week In Review: Design, Low Power


Arm announced a new processor targeted at autonomous driving applications. The Cortex-A76AE is a superscalar, out-of-order processor that incorporates Split-Lock safety technology. Split-Lock allows CPU clusters in an a SoC to be configured either in ‘split mode’ for high performance, allowing two (or four) independent CPUs in the cluster to be used for diverse tasks and applications, or ... » read more

Hybrid Memory


Gary Bronner, senior vice president of Rambus Labs, talks about the future of DRAM scaling, why one type of memory won’t solve all needs, and what the pros and cons are of different memories. https://youtu.be/R0hhDx2Fb7Q » read more

Processing In Memory


Adding processing directly into memory is getting a serious look, particularly for applications where the volume of data is so large that moving it back and forth between various memories and processors requires too much energy and time. The idea of inserting processors into memory has cropped up intermittently over the past decade as a possible future direction, but it was dismissed as an e... » read more

Next-Gen Memory Ramping Up


The next-generation memory market is heating up as vendors ramp a number of new technologies, but there are some challenges in bringing these products into the mainstream. For years, the industry has been working on a variety of memory technologies, including carbon nanotube RAM, FRAM, MRAM, phase-change memory and ReRAM. Some are shipping, while others are in R&D. Each memory type is di... » read more

AI Architectures Must Change


Using existing architectures for solving machine learning and artificial intelligence problems is becoming impractical. The total energy consumed by AI is rising significantly, and CPUs and GPUs increasingly are looking like the wrong tools for the job. Several roundtables have concluded the best opportunity for significant change happens when there is no legacy IP. Most designs have evolved... » read more

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