Power/Performance Bits: Oct. 29


Chip scanning Researchers at the University of Southern California and the Paul Scherer Institut in Switzerland developed an x-ray technique to non-destructively scan chips to make sure they conform to specifications. Such a system could be used to identify manufacturing defects or malicious alterations, the team said. Called ptychographic x-ray laminography, the technique utilizes x-rays f... » read more

Week in Review – IoT, Security, Autos


Products/Services Achronix Semiconductor joined Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing’s IP Alliance Program, part of the foundry’s Open Innovation Platform. Achronix’s Speedcore eFPGA IP is available today on TSMC 16nm FinFET Plus (16FF+) and N7 process technologies, and it will be soon available on TSMC 12nm FinFET Compact Technology (12FFC). Cadence Design Systems announced that its di... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: July 10


Semicon West It’s Semicon West time again. Here’s the first wave of announcements at the event: Applied Materials has unveiled a pair of tools aimed at accelerating the industry adoption for new memories. First, Applied rolled out the Endura Clover MRAM PVD system. The system is an integrated platform for MRAM devices. Second, the company introduced the Endura Impulse PVD platform for P... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Feb. 19


Flexible energy harvesting rectenna Researchers from MIT, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, University Carlos III of Madrid, Boston University, University of Southern California, and the Army Research Laboratory created a flexible rectenna capable of converting energy from Wi-Fi signals into electricity to power small devices and sensors. The device uses a flexible RF antenna to capture e... » read more

Five DAC Keynotes


The ending of Moore's Law may be about to create a new golden age for design, especially one fueled by artificial intelligence and machine learning. But design will become task-, application- and domain-specific, and will require that we think about the lifecycle of the products in a different way. In the future, we also will have to design for augmentation of experience, not just automation... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: July 25


Metrology for the intelligence community The semiconductor industry continues to move full speed ahead with traditional chip scaling. There are several challenges in the arena. One of the big but lessor known challenges is metrology. Metrology, the science of characterizing and measuring films and structures, is becoming more complex, challenging and expensive at each node. Looking to solv... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Feb. 28


Power converter for IoT At the International Solid-State Circuits Conference, researchers from MIT presented a new power converter that is efficient at a wide range of currents, which could be a boon for IoT sensors that have variable power requirements. The device maintains its efficiency at currents ranging from 500 picoamps to 1 milliamp, a span that encompasses a 200,000-fold increase in... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: Sept. 6


DARPA ALD The University of Colorado at Boulder has developed an atomic layer deposition (ALD) technology that can be performed at room temperatures. The technology, dubbed electron-enhanced ALD (EE-ALD), has been developed as part of the Local Control of Materials Synthesis (LoCo) program at the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). The LoCo program is developing tech... » read more

System Bits: Jan. 26


Precisely controlling graphene molecules Researchers at UCLA’s California NanoSystems Institute have found that in the same way gardeners may use sheets of plastic with strategically placed holes to allow plants to grow but keep weeds from taking root, the same basic approach can be applied in terms of placing molecules in the specific patterns they need within tiny nanoelectronic devices, w... » read more

A Nobel Prize For Modeling And Simulation


This year, a Nobel Prize has been awarded for devising a computer model and simulation process. Bloomberg, which interviewed Marinda Wu by phone, said: “The models let us slow down…and let us look at them one piece at a time.” This enables them to optimize things. At this point you may be thinking one of three things. Either 1) I don’t remember that prize being awarded or, 2) at last ED... » read more

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