Easier Low Power ICs With Reference Flows


By Terence Chen and Alexander Volkov Power-sensitive ICs for wearables and internet of things (IoT) products are in demand for markets ranging from automotive to military/aerospace to consumer. As with most ICs, cost and time-to-market pressures are important determiners of success. Reducing risk by using a vendor-created reference flow can confer a serious business advantage. Reference f... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Fast Arm-based supercomputer Japan has taken the lead in the supercomputer race, jumping ahead of the U.S. But China continues to make its presence felt in the arena. Fugaku, an ARM-based supercomputer jointly developed by Japan’s Riken and Fujitsu, is now ranked the world’s fastest supercomputer in the 55th TOP500 list. Fugaku turned in a high performance Linpack (HPL) result of 415.5... » read more

China Speeds Up Advanced Chip Development


China is accelerating its efforts to advance its domestic semiconductor industry, amid ongoing trade tensions with the West, in hopes of becoming more self-sufficient. The country is still behind in IC technology and is nowhere close to being self-reliant, but it is making noticeable progress. Until recently, China’s domestic chipmakers were stuck with mature foundry processes with no pres... » read more

The Next Advanced Packages


Packaging houses are readying their next-generation advanced IC packages, paving the way toward new and innovative system-level chip designs. These packages include new versions of 2.5D/3D technologies, chiplets, fan-out and even wafer-scale packaging. A given package type may include several variations. For example, vendors are developing new fan-out packages using wafers and panels. One is... » read more

Pandemics And Panic Chip Buying


U.S.-China trade tensions are creating uncertainty in the semiconductor market, but it is also causing another event right now—panic chip buying. At present, some but not all foundry vendors are seeing “rush orders” for select products and are running their fabs at full capacity. It’s not just leading-edge devices, but also mature technologies. A surge of chip orders started in Ma... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Chipmakers Jim Keller, senior vice president in the Technology, Systems Architecture and Client Group (TSCG) and general manager of the Silicon Engineering Group (SEG) at Intel, has resigned amid a major reorganization at the company. Here's one report about the situation. Cree as well as China’s Yutong Group and StarPower are working together to accelerate the commercial adoption of sili... » read more

The Good And Bad Of Chiplets


The chiplet model continues to gain traction in the market, but there are still some challenges to enable broader support for the technology. AMD, Intel, TSMC, Marvell and a few others have developed or demonstrated devices using chiplets, which is an alternative way to develop an advanced design. Beyond that, however, the adoption of chiplets is limited in the industry due to ecosystem issu... » read more

Latest IC Outlook: More Uncertainty


So far in 2020, it’s been a difficult period in the semiconductor industry amid the Covid-19 pandemic outbreak and other issues. And heading into the second half of 2020, the industry faces more challenges, if not uncertainty, in the market. Many segments in the semiconductor industry face some headwinds, but there might be some positive news in the equipment business. To be sure,... » read more

‘More Than Moore’ Reality Check


The semiconductor industry is embracing multi-die packages as feature scaling hits the limits of physics, but how to get there with the least amount of pain and at the lowest cost is a work in progress. Gaps remain in tooling and methodologies, interconnect standards are still being developed, and there are so many implementations of packaging that the number of choices is often overwhelming. ... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Chipmakers The Trump administration has held talks with Intel and TSMC to build more leading-edge fabs in the U.S., according to the Wall Street Journal and other news outlets. IC Insights has released its rankings of the top-10 chip vendors in terms of sales for the first quarter. Intel remains in first place, followed by Samsung and TSMC. The big surprise is China-based fabless IC supplie... » read more

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