What Is Spin Torque MRAM?


The memory market is going in several different directions at once. On one front, the traditional memory types, such as DRAM and flash, remain the workhorse technologies. Then, several vendors are readying the next-generation memory types. As part of an ongoing series, Semiconductor Engineering will explore where the new and traditional memory technologies are heading. For this segment, P... » read more

What Does An IoT Chip Look Like?


By Ed Sperling and Jeff Dorsch Internet of Things chip design sounds like a simple topic on the face of it. Look deeper, though, and it becomes clear there is no single IoT, and certainly no type of chip that will work across the ever-expanding number of applications and markets that collectively make up the IoT. Included under this umbrella term are sensors, various types of processors, ... » read more

Wear Down Your Virtual Prototype


Just when you think you know all variations of embedded software development you are exposed to another domain of unique and interesting challenges. This happened to me awhile back when I started to learn about the software for Flash Memory controllers. You can read a lot about Flash market growth predictions or about the physical challenges of the next generation storage technologies he... » read more

Cloud Computing Chips Changing


An explosion in cloud services is making chip design for the server market more challenging, more diverse, and much more competitive. Unlike datacenter number crunching of the past, the cloud addresses a broad range of applications and data types. So while a server chip architecture may work well for one application, it may not be the optimal choice for another. And the more those tasks beco... » read more

Time For Massively Parallel Testing


Time is money in electronics, as in other industries, and the more time that is invested in testing chips means more costs being added to the product in question. To speed up testing for memory devices and other semiconductors, test equipment vendors have resorted to parallel testing technology, simultaneously testing multiple chips at a time. The industry also is turning to system-level tes... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing


Chipmakers At this week’s Flash Memory Summit, Samsung rolled out several new products, including its next-generation 3D NAND device and a solid-state drive (SSD) with capacities up to 32 terabytes. At the same time, Samsung introduced a new and high-performance SSD solution, dubbed the Z-SSD. Samsung’s Z-SSD shares the fundamental structure of V-NAND and has a unique circuit design and... » read more

What’s Next For NAND?


NAND flash memory is a key enabler in today’s systems, but it’s a difficult business. NAND suppliers require deep pockets and strong technology to survive in the competitive landscape. And going forward, vendors face new challenges on several fronts. On one front, for example, the overall NAND market is currently in the doldrums, amid soft product prices and a mild capacity glut. Demand ... » read more

One-On-One: Dave Hemker


Dave Hemker, CTO at [getentity id="22820" comment="Lam Research"], sat down with Semiconductor Engineering to look at some of the key issues on the process and manufacturing side, and some of the key developments that will reshape the semiconductor industry in the future. What follows are excerpts of that conversation. SE: One of the big discussion topics these days is [getkc id="208" commen... » read more

Rethinking Main Memory


With newer, bigger programs and more apps multitasking simultaneously, the answer to making any system run faster, from handheld to super computer, was always just to add more DRAM. . . and more, and more and more. From data centers to wearables, that model no longer works. By offloading the storage of programs to less expensive solid-state drives (SSDs) and only using a small amount of exp... » read more

Why Is Semiconductor Schedule Predictability Boring?


Why is it not sexy to talk about the manageability of system-on-chip (SoC) projects? As an IP vendor, we are constantly bombarded with questions about how our technology can enhance performance, reduce latency, and lower power consumption. At the same time, reducing cost and time to market for the SoC design conflict with these requirements, even though they rank right up there among the top en... » read more

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