By Adele HARSAt the recent FD-SOI Forum in Shanghai, the IoT (Internet of Things) was the #1 topic in all the presentations.The event was sponsored by the SOI Consortium, the Shanghai Institute of Microsystem and Information Technology / Chinese Academy of Sciences (SIMIT/CAS), and VeriSilicon. By all accounts it was a great success. Speakers included experts from Synopsys, ST, GF, Soitec, IBS, Synapse Design, VeriSilicon, Wave Semi and IBM (see below for key slides and links to the full presentations). The goal was to gather IC industry decision makers, technology owners, opinion leaders and market analysts to exchange and assess the opportunities that FD-SOI technology brings in terms of ultra-low power operation at high performance for mobile and IoT.Here are some of the points made by the speakers:FinFET is a tough (Intel is running 15 months behind) and capex consuming technology (exponential situation in terms of costs), so not everybody will be able to … [Read more...] about Is China Interested in FD-SOI? You Bet.
Semiconductor fabrication process pdf
Capacitors. Open up your computer and they stick out like rocks on a sandy beach. They’re the one kind of electronic device that never made it to Lilliput. If they finally obeyed Moore’s Law by squeezing themselves down to the microscale, it would make life a lot easier for electronics engineers. With tiny but powerful capacitors you could make cheaper, even tinier cardiac pacemakers and computers. They’d be great in nonvolatile memory, microsensors and actuators, RFID tags, and microelectromechanical systems, applications in which the power supplies can weigh up to 10 times as much as the other parts combined. And because, like all capacitors, such devices would be able to release their charge very rapidly, they could be coupled with high-energy batteries to provide periodic surges, as conventional capacitors do to power the flash in smartphone cameras. (Miniaturized supercapacitors could thus lead to even thinner smartphones.) Our group at the University of … [Read more...] about How a Microscopic Supercapacitor Will Supercharge Mobile Electronics
Editor’s Picks Dudley Buck's Forgotten Cryotron Computer Today, silicon microchips underlie every aspect of digital computing. But their dominance was never a foregone conclusion. Throughout the 1950s, electrical engineers and other researchers explored many alternatives to making digital computers. One of them seized the imagination of the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA): a superconducting supercomputer. Such a machine would take advantage of superconducting materials that, when chilled to nearly the temperature of deep space—just a few degrees above absolute zero—exhibit no electrical resistance whatsoever. This extraordinary property held the promise of computers that could crunch numbers and crack codes faster than transistor-based systems while consuming … [Read more...] about Will the NSA Finally Build Its Superconducting Spy Computer?
Last September, Israeli jets bombed a suspected nuclear installation in northeastern Syria. Among the many mysteries still surrounding that strike was the failure of a Syrian radar—supposedly state-of-the-art—to warn the Syrian military of the incoming assault. It wasn’t long before military and technology bloggers concluded that this was an incident of electronic warfare—and not just any kind. Post after post speculated that the commercial off-the-shelf microprocessors in the Syrian radar might have been purposely fabricated with a hidden “backdoor” inside. By sending a preprogrammed code to those chips, an unknown antagonist had disrupted the chips’ function and temporarily blocked the radar. That same basic scenario is cropping up more frequently lately, and not just in the Middle East, where conspiracy theories abound. According to a U.S. defense contractor who spoke on condition of anonymity, a “European chip maker” recently … [Read more...] about The Hunt for the Kill Switch
Fabbers--machines that rapidly create useful items on demand from computer-generated design specifications--have been fantasy fodder for decades. And for good reason: a machine that could make a huge variety of reasonably complicated objects, and yet was attainable by ordinary people, would transform human society to a degree that few creations ever have. To understand why, consider the vision offered by Neil A. Gershenfeld, professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, in Cambridge, in his recent book, Fab: The Coming Revolution on Your Desktop--From Personal Computers to Personal Fabrication (Basic Books, 2005). Gershenfeld describes his ongoing project to equip ordinary folks with machines that were once used exclusively by manufacturers to prototype new designs. With such machines, people can, in effect, "download" such complex objects as bicycles, chemical sensors, radios--and eventually robots, and maybe even prosthetic limbs--much as they now download music and video … [Read more...] about Homemade
Editor’s Picks First Single-Molecule LED Building a Single-molecule Transistor from Scratch Carbon Nanotube Transistors Go Head-to-Head With Silicon Forty years ago, a New York University graduate student named Arieh Aviram opened his Ph.D. dissertation with a bold suggestion: “Taking a clue from nature, [which] utilizes molecules for the carrying out of many physical phenomena, it may be possible to miniaturize electronic components down to molecular size.” What Aviram was proposing was revolutionary: … [Read more...] about Whatever Happened to the Molecular Computer?
24 February 2009—Just down the road from Advanced Micro Devices’ gigantic US $2.5 billion ”Fab 36” CPU plant, a more modest facility is prototyping a revolutionary breed of plastic electronics. Comparatively cheap and low-power polymer-based transistors may someday drive computing applications such as animated product packaging and ”smart” signs, appliances, and clothes. More imminently, though, Plastic Logic, a company based in Cambridge, England, is hard at work on what it hopes will be a breakthrough 7-millimeter-thick electronic book, magazine, newspaper, and document reader. Now slated for commercial release next year, the Plastic Logic Reader will read popular document formats, including PDF, EPUB, and Adobe’s DRM/eBook, and will feature content from such sources as Ingram Digital, LibreDigital, and the Financial Times . Unlike other E Ink document readers, such as the Amazon Kindle, however, the transistors on the electronic backplane … [Read more...] about Inside the Plastic Electronics Revolution
IntroductionIBM: The Computer BrainIntel: Precision Biology Bell Labs: Quantum Computing The 2005 edition of the TR R&D Scorecard (pdf) shows that worldwide corporate spending is picking up (Big Spenders), but that the gains are unevenly distributed (Where the Growth Is). The biggest advances are in the life sciences, which also happen to be among the most research-intensive industries (Innovation Sectors): 2004 R&D spending among the biotech companies on the list shot up by an average of 69 percent over the previous year. The gain at pharmaceutical companies was less spectacular but still a strong 22 percent. IT companies, on the other hand, have as a group barely increased their R&D outlays; telecommunications and computer hardware companies, on average, spent less than in 2003. Spending in telecom remains particularly troubled, with several leading companies, including Motorola, Ericsson, and NTT, reporting double-digit decreases. In IT, however, software remains an … [Read more...] about R&D 2005
By Dieter Ernst, East-West Center, Honolulu, HIHow will China’s new role transform the global semiconductor industry?China has become the largest and fastest growing semiconductor market in the world, absorbing 40% of the worldwide semiconductor shipments. For US semiconductor firms, nothing compares to the China market.China however faces a fundamental dilemma. As the world’s leading exporter of electronic products, it remains heavily dependent on imports of semiconductors and technology, primarily from the US, but also from Japan, Korea, Taiwan and Europe. At least 80 percent of the semiconductors used in China’s electronics manufacturing are imported and virtually all leading-edge devices like multi-component semiconductors (MCOs). For instance, 43% of the inputs for handsets and networking equipment of China’s second largest telecom company, ZTE, are supplied by US companies (Avnet, Qualcomm, Broadcom, Jabil, Intel, Microsoft, Micron, Xilinx, Nvidia and … [Read more...] about From catching up to forging ahead: China’s new role in the semiconductor industry
Over its entire corporate history, chipmaking giant Intel has designed and built chips for exactly one customer: itself. Now, however, Intel has made a move that may indicate a fundamental strategy shift for the company: Achronix Semiconductor has reached a deal with Intel to build Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs) on Intel’s 22nm process technology. The manufacturing arrangement will get underway in 2011, and Achronix is touting Intel’s technology as a way for the company to deliver a 300 percent performance increase in its chips, while requiring 50 percent less power and costing 40 percent less to manufacturer compared to the 28nm technology the company is currently using.“Intel has the best process technology in the world and we are privileged to have formed this strategic relationship, which enables simultaneous improvements in speed, power, density, and cost,” said Achronix CEO John Lofton Holt, in a statement (PDF)FPGAs are integrated circuits that … [Read more...] about Intel to make chips for Achronix