Electronic Design

IC design is focused on wrong problems

Mar 5th, 2013 | By

By Lou Covey
Editorial Director

The semiconductor design industry is focused on the wrong problems, according to Brad Brech, distinguished engineer at IBM at the ISQED symposium in Santa Clara yesterday.  Stating his position in the most diplomatic terms, that was the upshot of his talk on “sustaining Innovation for Smarter Computing in Data Centers.”

While chip design is focused on increasing speed and computing power, Brech said efficiency and cost control are the biggest concerns of the end customer now.

Brech said the chip industry is still focused on incremental increases in performance but the improvements we see in …



Esencia weighs in on the $10K Chip

Jan 4th, 2013 | By

ESL startup Esencia has been making noise about the changing of the guard in IC design as the industry moves from RTL to ESL. In this third part of our series on the Quest the the 10K Chip, Karl Kaiser, VP of engineering for Esencia, talks about Gary Smith’s view of the cost of IC design and where ESL can continually lower that cost.



Gary Smith considers the quest for the $10K chip

Dec 31st, 2012 | By

At the Design Automation Conference in June 2012, tech blogger JL Gray posed a question: Can you build a chip to prototype, that would interest a potential investor to take it all the way to production, for $10,000?  The question launched a 6-month investigation by New Tech Press to get an answer.  Dozens of entrepreneurs, analysts, investors and engineers accepted invitations to discuss the subject.  While most wished to remain anonymous a few agreed to go as far as to be captured on video.

We will be rolling out the series for the next few weeks with links to …



KLA-Tencor 450mm-Capable Surfscan® SP3 Systems

Jul 24th, 2012 | By

At Semicon West 2012 KLA-Tencor Corporation (NASDAQ: KLAC) talked with New Tech Press about new installations of the Surfscan® SP3 450, the first process control systems capable of handling and inspecting 450mm wafers.  Marketing division head Amir Azordegan siad the system is a precursor for the industry wide acceptance of 450mm process development. He claimed the Surfscan SP3 450 delivers critical capability for manufacturers of 450mm process equipment, such as wet clean tools, CMP pads, slurries and polishers, film deposition tools and annealing systems.  KLA-Tencor has received multiple orders for the tool and shipped six.

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The move to 450nm: if, why and when

Jul 23rd, 2012 | By

By Lou Covey
Editorial Director, New Tech Press

A successful trade show is one where industry news seems to point to a positive future.  As such Semicon West 2012 was successful.  The conference was abuzz with announcements supporting the transition to 450mm wafer production and extreme ultraviolet (EUV) methodologies. Intel announced a 10 percent equity investment to speed up ASML 450mm tool development, KLA Tencor announced QA technology for 450mm and Cymer announced that companies were buying their EUV source tech already.  Several analysts claimed that in a couple of years, the foundation will be established for a complete transition