Internet of Things chips will support a number of wireless communications protocols, including Bluetooth Low Energy/Bluetooth Smart, 802.15.4 and various Wi-Fi bands, including 802.11ah (HaLow). "The IoT has been in the public eye for a while. However, the mechanisms and protocols to enable the IoT to fulfill the fullest vision that has been set for it are just taking shape," Carl Weinschenk writes.
The power management integrated circuit market is expected to grow to nearly $40 billion by 2019, compared with about $35 billion this year, IHS Research forecasts. The market is dominated by Texas Instruments, STMicroelectronics and Infineon Technologies. Many other chip vendors are angling for their piece of the PMIC pie, including MediaTek, which aims to buy a controlling stake in Richtek Technology.
Researchers at Korea's Pohang University of Science & Technology used perovskite crystals, previously implemented in solar cells, to make a flexible nonvolatile memory device. "Defects are not good for solar cells, but they are essential in our memory devices," Jang-Sik Lee of Pohang University said.
Advanced Micro Devices put up a microsite devoted to the Polaris architecture for graphics processing units, noting that the forthcoming Polaris 10 and Polaris 11 GPUs will be fabricated with a 14-nanometer FinFET process.
Electronic design automation vendors are crafting ways to bridge analog and digital design elements, rather than forcing them into a complicated mixed-signal construct. "If you look at cellphones and [radio frequency], the internal layer is analog but the baseband is digital, so analog disappears. You have A-to-D converters on digital chips. But going forward, analog applications will not be so easily squeezed into digital," said Wally Rhines, chairman and CEO of Mentor Graphics.
IBM researchers have developed and described a quantum-computing chip, which they say implements the error-correction features needed for a universal quantum computer, still years away from realization. IBM's quantum computing group also launched a website to let outsiders test software algorithms on the chip.
Worldwide sales of chips reached $26.1 billion in March, a 0.3% gain from February, the Semiconductor Industry Association reported. For the first quarter, global sales hit $78.3 billion, off 5.5% from the fourth quarter of 2015 and 5.8% lower than a year ago.
Microsemi's cellular base-station assets were acquired for $21 million in cash by MaxLinear of Carlsbad, Calif., expanding MaxLinear's radio-frequency chip portfolio. "We like the really tough RF signal processing environments," said Adam Spice of MaxLinear.
The "Goldmont" generation of Atom processor architecture will be implemented in the forthcoming "Apollo Lake" Celeron and Pentium processors, according to Intel. Current "Airmont" Atom chips for high-end smartphones are being phased out by the chipmaker.
Cavium on Monday introduced the Octeon TX lines of system-on-a-chip devices for networking and data-storage applications. All of the chips are based on the 64-bit ARMv8.1 architecture, with sampling set for the second and third quarters.
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