The processor/memory interface involves increasing challenges in efficiently moving data, this analysis notes. "The memory standards are evolving to both increase the performance, and architecturally by addressing reliability, availability and serviceability (RAS), which is directly tried to the robustness of the channel," says Vadhiraj Sankaranarayanan of Synopsys.
Four industry experts talk about how microchip design is evolving to address new markets, such as artificial intelligence and machine learning, and how the new difficulties in IC design and manufacturing are affecting profit margins as a result in this roundtable interview. John Lee of ANSYS says, "We do see more respins, and we see a lot of challenges in time to ramp and time to volume."
Worldwide revenue from microprocessor sales will be around $77.3 billion this year, a decrease of 4% from 2018, IC Insights forecasts, citing excess inventories in data center servers, fewer smartphone shipments and the US-China trade war. The market research firm predicts the microprocessor market will increase 2.7% to $79.3 billion during 2020 and rise to approximately $82.3 billion in 2021.
Arm's new Functional Safety Partnership Program will include a collaboration with Green Hills Software, which has worked with the semiconductor intellectual property company's architecture since 1997. Functional safety is a crucial element in critical embedded systems for avionics, automotive, industrial and railway applications.
Researchers at the NanoBio Lab in Singapore report development of lithium-sulfur cathodes that promise to make production of lithium-sulfur batteries easier and quicker. The research team additionally is working on the battery's anode, electrolyte and separator, using nanomaterials engineering, with the aim of offering a complete battery cell system that could compete with lithium-ion batteries.
Arm is collaborating with GlobalFoundries to provide secure system-on-a-chip technology on the foundry's 22FDX process platform for cellular internet of things applications. Arm's Vincent Korstanje says, "Customers designing for mobile and IoT applications will benefit from the CryptoIsland technology on GF's 22FDX highly integrated, energy-efficient platform, providing new levels of security that is easy to deploy at a cost point that scales."
Industrial internet of things systems need to have hardware-based cybersecurity for optimal operating results, this analysis notes. Steve Hanna of Infineon Technologies says, "Hardware-based security not only implies tamper-resistance, but it also enables benefits in terms of time to market, scalability, and performance."
Emulation has become essential for chip design optimization and analysis early in the process. "The key is to have the data ready from the emulator for consumption of more accurate data creation in downstream power analysis, integrity and optimization tools," said Frank Schirrmeister of Cadence.
As technology grows more complex, the focus is shifting to conserving power and develop cooling mechanisms for internet of things and mobile devices. Jay Roy of Synopsys says, "For companies like Amazon or Facebook, which are trying to adopt AI, cooling requirements are becoming dominant in terms of pricing. They are forcing the people who are working on the design to become much more power aware."
UltraSoC will focus on cybersecurity with its new line of products set to debut in first quarter 2020. The systems-on-chip line will be designed to "detect, block and record cyber-attacks in a broad range of applications -- from vehicles and factory robots to consumer devices," writes Neil Tyler.