The future of the semiconductor industry lies in "heterogeneous integration of different technologies," not pitch shrinkage, said Etron Technology founder and CEO Nicky Lu. "The mystery of scaling solved by the chip industry can now apply to creating nano-modules for artificial intelligence, IoT, and living things," he said.
Artificial intelligence, new communications protocols and the cloud are providing opportunities and challenges within the chip industry, said a group of industry CEOs. Arm CEO Simon Segars outlines a few challenges, such as, "The cost of building a 7nm chip is not for the faint of heart. Managing complexity gets worse at every node."
China has added Loongson, Shenwei and Phytium to its government procurement list for 2018 and 2019. The move represents the first time that China's procurement plan has included servers powered by domestically manufactured central processing units.
Penn State University researchers have discovered that a piezoelectric ceramic foam can be supported by a flexible polymer to improve mechanical and thermal energy harvesting. "We were able to show theoretically that the piezoelectric performance of nanoparticle/nanowire composites is critically limited by the large disparity in stiffness of the polymer matrix and piezoceramics, but the 3D composite foam is not limited by stiffness," Penn State professor Sulin Zhang said.
Intel has announced the impending release of Nervana Neural Net L-1000. The commercial neural network processor chip will be three to four times faster than Intel's previous NNP chip, Intel's Naveen Rao said.
Qualcomm will release Snapdragon XR1, a dedicated chip for use in virtual reality and augmented reality headsets, sources say. The chip is expected to feature a main processing unit, security capabilities, a graphics processor and artificial intelligence power.
Electronic design automation companies must understand the architecture their products will run on and the implications of a move to the cloud before they make the transition, per Michal Siwinski of Cadence. EDA companies must also keep in mind that pulling data back from the cloud is more expensive than accessing data from within a data center, DellEMC's Richard Paw said.
Apple partner Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. has reportedly started manufacturing next-generation A12 chips for new iPhone models. The processor uses a 7-nanometer design to run faster and more efficiently than the iPhone 8 or iPhone X.
STMicroelectronics "will assess and evaluate the potential for acquisitions" as it works to maintain its leadership position, CEO Jean-Marc Chery says. While the company will continue to focus on the European automotive and industrial markets, ST also sees China as a location that can provide growth opportunities.
Samsung Electronics said it is planning to begin production on its 7LPP 7-nanometer chip this year. The company also said that it will soon have five artificial intelligence research hubs and plans to expand its roster of AI experts.
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