Getting started in structured assembly in complex SoC designs

The integration level of a system-on-chip (SoC) is defined in RTL, just like the rest of the design. Historically, RTL has been built through text editors. However, a decade or more ago, the sheer complexity of that task for the largest SoCs became unmanageable; now, most SoCs cross that threshold. Why is this? The number … Read more

Has China’s domestic chip industry reached an inflection point?

There’s been a fundamental shift in the $550 billion semiconductor industry in the post-Covid times: chip companies in China are growing and expanding faster than the rest of the industry after the U.S. sanctions were put in place in 2020. A Bloomberg report shows that 19 of the world’s 20 fastest-growing semiconductor firms are in … Read more

Intel: Trouble in the IDM 2.0 paradise?

Just when the U.S. Congress passed the $52 billion CHIPS Act with bipartisan support, the news Intel was craving for months, its CEO Pat Gelsinger was standing on the wreckage of disastrous second-quarter results in which the chipmaker missed revenue targets in the crucial data-center business. And its foundry revenue stood at a meager $122 … Read more

HYPERRAM 3.0 memory doubles bandwidth for low pin-count

HYPERRAM—the expansion memory for scratchpad and data buffering—has reached its third generation and is ready to serve a wide range of applications such as video buffering, factory automation, artificial intelligence (AI) edge processing, and automotive vehicle-to-everything (V2X) communications. The third generation of HYPERRAM devices from Infineon Technologies support the newly extended HyperBus interface to enable … Read more

The CHIPS Act stalemate threatens U.S. IC manufacturing revival

The roadblocks in the way of Produce Semiconductors for America Act—commonly known as the CHIPS Act—have put America’s semiconductor revival in IC manufacturing in the doldrums. Intel has pulled the plug on the groundbreaking of its Ohio fab in response to the slow passage of the CHIPS Act, while its CEO Pat Gelsinger sent a … Read more

The 3-nm fab race: Samsung reportedly nears the finish line

Just a few days after TSMC provided details of its 3-nm process node at the company’s 2022 North America Technology Symposium, there are reports that fab archrival Samsung is starting its 3 nm-based chip manufacturing this week. TSMC plans to begin its 3 nm production by the end of this year. It’s important to note … Read more

Measuring Conduction Voltage of Semiconductors in Operation for Real Time Temperature Evaluation

Junction temperature is directly related to system reliability. With TO packaged transistors, it was possible to add a thermocouple to the case and get a good idea of the junction temperature this doesn’t work for most SMD parts Directly measuring the junction of SMD components is almost impossible, for the following reasons. There is no … Read more

The Development and Performance of an Integrated Gate Commutated Thyristor (IGCT)

This article discusses the Integrated Gate Commutated Thyristor and its different segment layouts. The IGCT is a semiconductor switch with low on-state loss, making it ideal for medium to the highest power inverters; an application that must strive to maximize power output and energy efficiency to deliver a competitive product. Although application-specific aspects including topology, … Read more

Understanding Thermal Management of Chip-Scale GaN Devices

This article discusses the challenges that thermal management raises due to increased power density, especially with chip-scale-packaging (CSP). Wide bandgap (WBG) power semiconductors are being adopted into mainstream designs due to order-of-magnitude improvements in electrical figures-of-merit (FOMs). These huge performance improvements require revisiting many design assumptions, including thermal management [1]. This article discusses the challenges that … Read more

Broadcom’s VMware bid takes it deeper into cloud software realm

VMware, the cloud computing software outfit led by Intel’s current CEO Pat Gelsinger till a few years ago, is the next acquisition target of Broadcom, known as a highly acquisitive company in the semiconductor industry. At the outset, it seems another bid to align Broadcom to the software side of the rapidly growing data center … Read more