Researchers at Los Alamos National Laboratory report identifying "very fast electron trapping by defect-related states" as the source of energy-conversion inefficiency in quantum dot solar cells, Steve Bush writes. The discovery is expected to improve the 10% efficiency of such cells.
While the Semiconductor Industry Association forecasts worldwide chip sales will increase 3.3% this year to about $346 billion, there are numerous challenges to designing and producing ICs, Ed Sperling writes. These factors include safety-critical design, scaling problems and industry inertia.
The emerging portable stimulus standard was the topic of a panel session at the recent DVCon. "It is [a] privilege to work with the people on the committee, who are incredibly smart and have passion and are doing really good work, but at the same time it is very frustrating," said Dave Brownell of Analog Devices.
Product engineers at Maxim Integrated play several roles in the transition between chip design and fabrication, Martin Rowe writes. Among their duties is testing the "first silicon" from the wafer fab, working with the design engineers.
China is proceeding with its plans to bolster its domestic semiconductor industry, without purchasing additional chip-related companies in foreign countries. "We have to be prepared for more failures when it comes to overseas acquisitions," said Sun Yuwang of China Fortune-Tech Capital.
Advanced Semiconductor Engineering and Qualcomm signed a memorandum of understanding two weeks ago with the government of Brazil on building an IC assembly and testing plant in that country. ASE says the deal, however, is not binding and requires further discussion before a formal investment agreement is concluded.
Flash memory-based products are upending the traditional dominance of hard-disk drives with their speed. "It has reached a point in its technology development to be able to scale hugely to drive a transformational shift in computing and information processing, as it is radically faster than a traditional spinning disk, with much higher capacity," says Mike Pilbeam of Dell EMC.
Princeton University researchers report the discovery of a different type of germanium selenium, which they have dubbed beta-GeSE. The compound material is similar to graphene in structure and is analogous to another 2D material, black phosphorus, per the team.
Samsung Electronics has collaborated with Rambus and eSilicon on designing and taping out a chip that will be made with Samsung's 14-nanometer FinFET process. The Interposer-Cube application-specific integrated circuit design will link a network processor with a HBM2 memory chip.
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