Non-Traditional Chips Gaining Steam

Flexible hybrid electronics are beginning to roll out in the form of medical devices, wearable electronics and even near-field communications tags in retail, setting the stage for a whole new wave of circuit design, manufacturing and packaging that reaches well beyond traditional chips. FHE devices begin with substrates made of ceramics, glass, plastic, polyimide, polymers, polysilicon, stai... » read more

IIoT Security Threat Rising

The rapid growth of the Industrial Internet of Things is raising questions about just how secure these systems are today, how to improve security, and who exactly should be responsible for that. These issues are interlaced with a shift in where a growing volume of data gets processed, the cost and speed of moving large amounts of data, and the increasing frequency and cost of attacks. "Di... » read more

FD-SOI Adoption Expands

Fully depleted silicon-on-insulator (FD-SOI) is gaining ground across a number of new markets, ranging from IoT to automotive to machine learning, and diverging sharply from its original position as a less costly alternative to finFET-based designs. For years, [getkc id="220" kc_name="FD-SOI"] has been viewed as an either/or solution targeted at the same markets as bulk [gettech id="31093" c... » read more

New Thermal Issues Emerge

Thermal monitoring is becoming more critical as gate density continues to increase at each new node and as chips are developed for safety critical markets such as automotive. This may sound counterintuitive because the whole point of device scaling is to increase gate density. But at 10/7 and 7/5nm, static current leakage is becoming a bigger issue, raising questions about how long [getkc id... » read more

The Advantages Of FD-SOI Technology

If my memory serves me well, it was at the 1989 Device Research Conference where the potential merits of SOI (Silicon on Insulator) technology were discussed in a heated evening panel discussion. At that panel discussion, there were many advocates for SOI, as well as many naysayers. I didn’t really think more about SOI technology until the mid-nineties, when I was sitting in a meeting where t... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing

Chipmakers Intel and Micron have ended their long-running NAND joint development partnership. The companies will continue to develop NAND, but they will work independently on future generations of 3D NAND. The companies have agreed to complete the development of their third-generation of 3D NAND technology, which will be delivered towards the end of 2018. That is expected to be a 96-layer ... » read more

The Week In Review: Design

M&A Synopsys finalized its acquisition of Black Duck Software, which provides software for managing and securing open source software in projects, adding to Synopsys' burgeoning software analysis and security business. The cash deal was approximately $547 million net of cash acquired. STMicroelectronics acquired Atollic, maker of the Eclipse-based TrueSTUDIO Integrated Development Envir... » read more

Shortages Hit Packaging Biz

Rising demand for chips is hitting the IC packaging supply chain, causing shortages of select manufacturing capacity, various package types, leadframes and even some equipment. Spot shortages for some IC packages began showing up earlier this year, but the problem has been growing and spreading since then. Supply imbalances reached a boiling point in the third and fourth quarters of this yea... » read more

The New Road Warriors

Chip vendors and other companies that have little or no experience in automotive are flooding into this market as the race for assisted and autonomous driving begins to heat up. This market is expected to pay big dividends for companies that succeed in helping to build the vehicles of the future in this century. IC Insights earlier this year forecast the auto chip market would grow 22% this ... » read more

The Return Of Body Biasing

Body biasing is making a comeback across a wide swath of process nodes as designers wrestle with how to build mobile devices with more functionality and longer battery life. Consider an ultra-low-power IoT device with a wireless sensor, for example, which is meant to last for years without changing a battery. Body biasing can be used to create an ultra-low-leakage sleep state. “In that ... » read more

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