DRAM Scaling Challenges Grow


DRAM makers are pushing into the next phase of scaling, but they are facing several challenges as the memory technology approaches its physical limit. DRAM is used for main memory in systems, and today’s most advanced devices are based on roughly 18nm to 15nm processes. The physical limit for DRAM is somewhere around 10nm. There are efforts in R&D to extend the technology, and ultimate... » read more

Blog Review: Nov. 20


Arm's Ben Fletcher points to research into a new low-cost alternative to through-silicon vias in 3D stacked ICs, particularly cost-sensitive IoT designs, where communication between silicon layers is completely wireless. Cadence's Paul McLellan checks in on the progress of DARPA's OpenROAD project to build a no-human-in-the-loop open source EDA flow for leading-edge nodes. Mentor's Colin ... » read more

Blog Review: Oct. 9


In a video, Cadence's Tom Hackett continues his introduction to finite element analysis (FEA) and the important role it can play in electronics deign. Mentor's Colin Walls considers dynamic memory allocation in real-time operating systems and the problems of non-deterministic behavior and ill-defined failure modes. Synopsys' Taylor Armerding contends that ethical hackers are a necessary p... » read more

Challenges Grow For Finding Chip Defects


Several equipment makers are developing or ramping up a new class of wafer inspection systems that address the challenges in finding defects in advanced chips. At each node, the feature sizes of the chips are becoming smaller, while the defects are harder to find. Defects are unwanted deviations in chips, which impact yield and performance. The new inspection systems promise to address the c... » read more

Using Machine Learning In Fabs


Amid the shift towards more complex chips at advanced nodes, many chipmakers are exploring or turning to advanced forms of machine learning to help solve some big challenges in IC production. A subset of artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, uses advanced algorithms in systems to recognize patterns in data as well as to learn and make predictions about the information. In the fab, ... » read more

Blog Review: Aug. 28


Cadence's Paul McLellan takes a look at the numerous challenges in designing and manufacturing Cerebras' massive 400,000 processor, 1.2 trillion transistor chip. Synopsys' Taylor Armerding points to a lack of robust mobile app security and why building in security from the beginning can lead to greater productivity and cost saving. Mentor's Paul Johnston takes a look at what's in store at... » read more

Blog Review: Aug. 21


Cadence's Paul McLellan considers the path to autonomous vehicles and the many barriers that stand in the way. Mentor's Colin Walls notes that the fundamental function of an RTOS is to give the developer control of time and points to some of the time oriented services that assist. Synopsys' Taylor Armerding points to ways the financial services industry could improve cybersecurity, from u... » read more

Blog Review: July 31


Cadence's Meera Collier checks out a study that uses AI and natural language processing techniques to infer new discoveries in materials science from published academic literature and considers how it could be used in the future. Synopsys' Taylor Armerding considers whether the NIST Secure Software Development Framework, the latest standard aimed at improving software security, can succeed. ... » read more

Cloudy Outlook Seen For IC Biz


After a slowdown in the first half of 2019, chipmakers and equipment vendors face a cloudy outlook for the second half of this year, with a possible recovery in 2020. Generally, the semiconductor industry began to see a slowdown starting in mid- to late-2018, which extended into the first half of 2019. During the first half of this year, memory and non-memory vendors were negatively impacted... » read more

Falling Chip Forecasts


It’s time to take a pulse of the semiconductor market amid the memory downturn and trade frictions with China. For some time, the DRAM and NAND markets have been hit hard with falling prices and oversupply. Then, the Trump administration last year slapped tariffs on Chinese goods. China retaliated. And the trade war rages on between the U.S. and China. More recently, the U.S. Department... » read more

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