Week In Review: Design, Low Power

Arm preps IPO, investors line up; Taiwan targets 40% of design market; Synopsys buys auto test and verification company; IBM’s analog AI chip; Rambus unfurls security IP for FPGAs; power semiconductors.


Arm filed its registration statement for a highly anticipated IPO. Chip industry heavyweights Apple, Samsung, NVIDIA, and Intel are all expected to invest. Find the SEC filing here.

Taiwan’s National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) laid out a 10-year initiative to bolster its IC design market share to 40% worldwide by 2033, with the first year’s budget of US $376 million.

The shift to “AI everything” has raised concerns that GPU chip production can’t keep up with demand. NVIDIA CEO Jensen Huang reassured the industry that supply will “substantially increase for the rest of this year and next year.”

Synopsys acquired PikeTec GmbH, a provider of solutions for the testing and verification of automotive software for control unit systems. Synopsys will combine its software-in-the-loop (SiL) and virtual hardware solutions with PikeTec’s test automation tools, and will target the software-defined vehicles market.

Scaling is still important when it comes to logic and low power, but it’s no longer the main avenue for improving performance. At the recent DAC conference, four industry experts discuss the path to commercialization of chiplets, including what’s missing, what changes are underway, and why they are increasingly necessary.

Energy Efficiency and Heat

MIT recently published research on a machine-learning system based on light, claiming it yields a “100-fold improvement in energy efficiency and a 25-fold improvement in compute density compared with current systems.”

IBM researchers created a prototype analog AI chip for speed recognition and transcription. They said the chip is 14 times more energy efficient at handling AI tasks.

Researchers at the University of Florida and Brookhaven National Lab explored the integration of distributed micro-batteries within heterogeneous 3D-ICs for improved energy efficiency and performance. Their simulation showed a 40% improvement in thermal distribution. Additionally, the proposed distributed battery techniques improve power delivery, enhance reliability, and enable optimized voltage regulation while improving efficiency,” according to their paper.

U.K.-based startup Heata is utilizing wasted heat from cloud computing to heat homes.

JEDEC has published a new standard for temperature sensors as used for memory module applications, in addition to several other new standards for electronic-device packages.


Semiconductor systems are becoming more focused on power, performance, and area for the primary scenarios they are likely to see in real-world applications, but increasingly at the expense of secondary tasks. A vector-driven approach makes sense in some cases, but not all.

Prototyping, an essential technology for designing complex chips in tight market windows, is becoming significantly more challenging for the growing number of designs that include AI/ML.

Design closure for chips is getting more complex at smaller process nodes. Here’s how to get beyond the “last mile” for closure.

Accellera formed a Federated Simulation Standard Proposed Working Group (PWG) to focus on the creation of a distributed and orchestrated multi-domain simulation framework. “The objective of the PWG is to identify industry interest and consolidate the requirements to drive standardization and development of an open API and federated simulation ecosystem,” stated Lu Dai, Accellera’s chairperson.

Products and Deals

Broadcom received UK approval for its VMWare acquisition, and expects to have the acquisition wrapped up by October.

Rambus announced new a new suite of security IP solutions for FPGAs, designed for a broad range of devices from high-performance accelerators for generative AI, to low-power solutions for IoT devices.

Infineon is now offering H7 variant of the Gen7 discrete 650 V TRENCHSTOP IGBTs for energy-efficient power applications.

Power Electronics

The semiconductor tech community is in agreement on many things — particularly the need for next-generation power efficiency and performance. Power semiconductors are ushering in the silicon carbide era.

The power electronics market is expected to increase 8.1% annually between 2022 and 2028, according to a recent Yole Group report, driven by xEV, DC charging infrastructure, and other automotive. Infineon Technologies, onsemi, and STMicroelectronics remain the top vendors, but China is showing the fastest growth.

Upcoming Events

Find upcoming chip industry events here, including:

  • Hot Chips 2023: Aug 27 – 29 (Hybrid/Stanford University)
  • Non-Volatile Memory Technology Symposium: Aug 30 – Sept 1 (Leuven, Belgium)
  • Accelerating Mainstream Adoption of Multi-Die Systems: Aug 31 (online)
  • SoCs/SiPs for Edge Intelligence & Accelerated Computing: Sept 5 – 8 (Santa Clara)
  • DVCON Taiwan: Sept 7 (Hsinchu, Taiwan)
  • AI Hardware Summit: Sept 12 – 14 (Santa Clara, Ca)
  • CadenceLIVE: Sept 12 (Boston, MA)
  • DVCon India: Sept 13- 14 (Bangalore)
  • Verification Futures: Sept 14 (Austin, TX and online)
  • SNUG Singapore: Sept 22

Further reading

Find the latest Low Power-High Performance and Systems & Design newsletters here, business and startups news, and our popular Knowledge Center featuring an index to our site.

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