Week In Review: Design, Low Power

Infineon acquires ML startup Imagimob; CXL DRAM; IBM, Google quantum investment; Toyota fuel diversity.



Ansys has signed a definitive agreement to acquire EDA tool company Diakopto. Diakopto specializes in software tools that find the cause of layout parasitics. Its products are ParagonX, for analyzing and debugging IC designs and layout parasitics, and EM/IR analysis/verification tool PrimeX. The deal is expected to close in the second quarter of 2023.

SEMI’s FlexTech community issued an RFP (request for proposal) for advances in materials, FHE (flexible hybrid electronics) design tools, additive-enabled processing, hybrid electronics packaging, FHE manufacturing, AI/ML applications, soft robotics, and power solutions. Selected projects will receive cash awards ranging from $250,000 to $1 million. The program is funded by the Army Research Laboratory (ARL).

Products & deals

Samsung Electronics’ 12nm-class 16-gigabit (Gb) DDR5 DRAM is now in mass production. Compared with the previous generation, Samsung says this DRAM reduces power use by up to 23%. One of the target markets is large global IT companies that want to reduce the energy consumption and carbon footprint of their servers and data centers. In December, Samsung worked with AMD to evaluate compatibility with AMD. Also, Samsung Electronics announced it has developed a 128-gigabyte (GB) DRAM for Compute Express Link (CXL) 2.0 — which supports memory pooling. Intel is also working closely with Samsung and testing the DRAM on Intel’s Xeon platform. The new CXL DRAM supports PCle 5.0 interface (x8 lanes) and provides bandwidth of up to 35 GBps. Mass production of the CXL 2.0 DRAM will start mass later this year.

Minimizing power, energy, or thermal impacts requires a concerted approach throughout the entire design, development, and implementation flow. Huge opportunities still remain for additional power and energy savings, but many of those involve questioning system-level decisions that have been blindly accepted for generations and many implementation nodes.

Rambus extended its patent license agreement with system-on-chip (SoC) designer Socionext. The company is using a broad portfolio of Rambus patented technologies in SoCs. Socionext designs SoCs for customers, using its Solution SoC method. Recent examples of Socionext’s work includes working with Techsor Inc. on low-power Zeta tags for a system using the ZETA LPWA (low power wide area) wireless communication standard, Both companies are members of the ZETA Alliance. Socionext’s target markets are automotive (computing, cockpit HMI, sensor edge), data center and networking (including 5G), smart devices (including AR/VR), industrial/office, and RF-CMOS technology / IoT and radar sensing.

Infineon acquired Imagimob, a Stockholm-based startup focusing on machine learning for edge devices. With the startup’s tiny machine learning (tinyML) and automated machine learning (AutoML) products in its portfolio, Infineon hopes to offer “new levels of control and energy efficiency on our products while preserving privacy,” said Thomas Rosteck, president of Infineon’s Connected Secure Systems division in a press release.

Also, Infineon will be leading Europe’s AIMS5.0 (Artificial Intelligence in Manufacturing Leading to Sustainability and Industry 5.0) research project to improve European manufacturing and supply chain operations using AI. AIMS5.0 is funded by the European Union’s Key Digital Technologies Joint Undertaking (KDT JU) to the tune of 70 million Euros, with 53 company and research participants.

NXP and TSMC are working on an embedded MRAM IP for automotive in TSMC’s 16 nm FinFET technology. NXP’s high-performance S32 automotive zonal processors and general purpose automotive MCUs will be combined with MRAM, which is faster than flash at updating code for OTA (over-the-air) updates, on the 16 nm process. The first products are scheduled to sample in early 2025.

Power and performance

Toyota made the case for automotive fuel diversity this week. Gill Pratt, chief executive of the Toyota Research Institute, told reporters that relying on battery-powered vehicles to reduce emissions may not be realistic in the short term, considering the lack of battery resources and the diversity of fuel sources used in power grids.

U.S. materials company Anovion Technologies is investing $800 million in a factory in the U.S. state of Georgia to produce premium synthetic graphite anode materials for EV batteries. The company plans to build a 1.5 million-square-foot facility that the company expects will produce 40,000 metric tonnes per annum when operational.

SAE International released documents of recommended standards for conductive power transfer primarily for transit vehicles using a conductive automatic charging connection capable of transferring direct current (DC) power. The standards define the physical, electrical, functional, testing, and performance requirements.

KLA and imec signed an agreement to establish the Semiconductor Talent and Automotive Research (STAR) initiative, to advance the talent and infrastructure needed for the electrification of automotive industry and automation of mobility.

Quantum Computing 

Google and IBM will invest $150 million at the University of Chicago and the University of Tokyo, to build the first quantum supercomputer, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Research notes

Read the latest power and performance tech papers: 

Upcoming Events

  • International Memory Workshop (IMW) 2023, May 21 – 24.
  • Embedded Vision Summit, May 22 – 24
  • SEMICON Southeast Asiam May 23 – 25
  • Electronic Components and Technology Conference (ECTC), May 30 – June 2
  • RISC-V Summit Europe, June 5 – 9

Further reading

Check out the latest Low Power-High Performance and Systems & Design newsletters for these highlights and more:

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