Week In Review: Design, Low Power

ESD revenue hits record $3.75B; Samsung LPDDR5X DRAM at 8.5 GBPS; $200M supercomputing center in Oregon; Renesas acquires Steradian


Tools and IP

Electronic system design revenue hit a record $3.75 billion in the second quarter, according to a report from ESD Alliance, a SEMI Technology Community. That number represents a 17.5% year-over-year increase. Walden C. Rhines, the report’s executive sponsor, said it was the largest such jump in over a decade and that all product categories and geographic regions recorded second quarter growth. The product and application category with the most revenue growth year-over-year was services at 23.2% for a total of $130.7 million. The Americas led the geographic regions with a 20.2% increase to $1.64 billion.

Samsung Foundry’s reference flow for die-on-die stacking now features the Cadence Integrity 3D-IC platform. The companies say the collaboration allows customers to optimize TSV placement in stacked die designs. “The Integrity 3D-IC platform brings together leading silicon and package implementation with system analysis capabilities, helping designers improve overall productivity,” said Vivek Mishra, corporate vice president of the Digital and Signoff Group at Cadence. “By leveraging Samsung Foundry’s advanced 3D-IC capabilities and the Integrity 3D-IC platform, our customers have access to an optimal solution for high-quality, multi-die implementation.”

Samsung Foundry also adopted Keysight’s E4727B Advanced Low-Frequency Noise Analyzer (A-LFNA) for measuring and analyzing flicker noise (1/f noise) and random telegraph noise (RTN) in chips. “Accurate low-frequency noise measurement and modeling are increasingly important in development of PDKs, especially for the advanced technology nodes at 5, 4, and 3 nanometers,” said Charles Plott, Director of Product Management for PathWave Software Solutions at Keysight.

Additionally, Keysight announced enhancements for its Nemo Device Application Test Suite powered by AI and ML. “Service providers and mobile app developers need a reliable way to verify the real end-user experience of accessing over-the-top (OTT) applications from a smartphone connected to the cellular network,” said Matti Passoja, Head of Nemo Wireless Solutions at Keysight. “Keysight combines a unique set of in-house software technology solutions to create an automated app test method that uses real applications to provide more accurate insights into the network performance, even under the most complex and dynamic circumstances.”

IBM introduced its first complete SoC dedicated to AI. The company said it used approximate computing to create bit-formats like floating point and integer representation, which in turn make training an AI model more efficient. The chip architecture uses a simplified layout and creates energy savings through a design that sends data directly from one compute engine to the next, according to IBM.

The bespoke silicon zeitgeist is rattling nearly every aspect of the semiconductor industry, from software to advanced packaging and beyond. Read more here.

Designing AI/ML inferencing chips is a challenge, and there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. Each processor type has benefits and drawbacks. Read more here.


Samsung completed validation of its LPDDR5X DRAM at 8.5 gigabits per second for use on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon mobile platform. Samsung described the speed as “the industry’s fastest.” The company said it has recently seen strong demand for LPDRR DRAM from both the PC market and the automobile industry.

The new HBM3 standard for high-bandwidth memory comes with certain challenges and bottlenecks in a data center environment. Frank Ferro, senior director of product management at Rambus, discusses this and more in a video here.

High Performance Computing

Oregon State University said it will use a $50 million donation from NVIDIA CEO Jensen Huang to build a $200 million supercomputing research center scheduled to open in 2025. The university has $50 million in other donations for the project and reportedly plans to request $75 million in state funding during the upcoming legislative session. The center will be powered by Nvidia chips and computing systems.


Renesas completed its acquisition of 4D imaging radar company Steradian. In a news release, Renesas said the transaction will allow it to create new products as well as combine these products with “Renesas’ ADAS SoCs (System-on-Chips) for processing radar signals, power management ICs (PMICs), and timing products together with software for object recognition. Together, these solutions will simplify the design of automotive radar systems and contribute to faster product development.”

Upcoming Events

Oct. 24-28, Hardwear.io Security Trainings and Conference, The Hague, Netherlands

Oct. 25-27, PAINE: Physical Assurance & Inspection of Electronics, Huntsville, AL

Oct. 26-27, Arm DevSummit, San Francisco, CA   

Nov. 3, The Future of More Than Moore – Chiplets, Advanced Packaging, and More – SEMI Pacific Northwest Forum, online and in-person at Beaverton, OR

Nov. 14-17, Supercomputing SC22, Dallas, TX

Nov. 15-18, Semicon Europa, Munich, Germany (co-located with electronica)

Find more events here.

In Case You Missed It

Check out the Systems & Design newsletter and the Low Power, High Performance newsletter for these highlights and more:

  • IC architectures are shifting as OEMs narrow their focus
  • Strengthening the global semi supply chain
  • How to make the right decisions about clock network architecture
  • Dealing with heat in near-memory compute architectures

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