Power/Performance Bits: Dec. 1


Hiding wires from the sun There's a problem with most solar cells: the electricity-carrying metal wire grid on top prevents sunlight from reaching the semiconductor below. A team from Stanford University tackled this problem, discovering a way to hide the reflective upper contact and funnel light directly to the semiconductor below. For the study, the researchers placed a 16-nanometer-thi... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: Nov. 10


Etching superconducting materials Superconductors are devices that have zero electrical resistance, making them attractive for a range of applications. But superconductors must be cooled down to temperatures at or near absolute zero on the Kelvin scale to work. This, in turn, limits their applications. Absolute zero equates to −273.15° on the Celsius scale and −459.67° on the Fahrenheit ... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Aug. 11


Tilting magnets for memory UC Berkeley researchers discovered a new way to switch the polarization of nanomagnets, which may offer a way for high-density storage to move from hard disks onto integrated circuits and potentially open the door to a memory system that can be packed onto a microprocessor. Creating and switching polarity in magnets without an external magnetic field has been a ... » read more

More People Use Phones Than Toothbrushes…


“Business Has Only Two Functions – Marketing and Innovation” — Milan Kundera There may be more to running a successful business than marketing and innovation, but these two functions were front-and-center at SEMICON West 2014. This year’s industry gathering was an important, and positive, step forward together. Because of the gravity of the challenges facing our industry – funda... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: Oct. 8


X-Ray Vision Researchers led by the University of Manchester have developed a new type of X-ray vision. The technology can look inside objects and map the properties in 3D and in real time. This technology is called pair distribution function-computed tomography. Applications include materials science, biomaterials, geology, environmental science and palaeontology. The technology enable... » read more

Experts At The Table: Who Pays For Low Power?


By Ed Sperling Low-Power/High-Performance Engineering sat down to discuss the cost of low power with Fadi Gebara, research staff member for IBM’s Austin Research Lab; David Pan, associate professor in the department of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Texas; Aveek Sarkar, vice president of product engineering and support at Apache Design; and Tim Whitfield, director ... » read more

Experts At The Table: Who Pays For Low Power?


By Ed Sperling Low-Power/High-Performance Engineering sat down to discuss the cost of low power with Fadi Gebara, research staff member for IBM’s Austin Research Lab; David Pan, associate professor in the department of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Texas; Aveek Sarkar, vice president of product engineering and support at Apache Design; and Tim Whitfield, director o... » read more

Experts At The Table: Who Pays For Low Power?


By Ed Sperling Low-Power/High-Performance Engineering sat down to discuss the cost of low power with Fadi Gebara, research staff member for IBM’s Austin Research Lab; David Pan, associate professor in the department of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Texas; Aveek Sarkar, vice president of product engineering and support at Apache Design; and Tim Whitfield, director o... » read more

The Rise Of Semiconductor IP Subsystems


The semiconductor IP (SIP) market arose when SIP vendors created IP functions that mirrored those found in the discrete semiconductor market and made those functions available to SoC designers in the form of hard or soft SIP blocks. As the SoC and SIP markets evolved, it was a natural evolution that many discrete SIP functions be converged into larger blocks that mimic system-level functions (i... » read more

DSA: High Stakes Game Of Alphabet Soup


By Mark LaPedus Directed self-assembly (DSA) is making progress for potential use in semiconductor production, but the industry must make some major advances in a sometimes forgotten and unsung segment—materials. DSA is a complementary patterning technology that makes use of block copolymer materials to enable fine pitches in chip designs. But today’s block copolymers based on poly (MMA... » read more

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