Mobile system-on-a-chip device suppliers are expected to start sampling their 5G-capable wares near the end of this year, a development that is expected to drive demand for foundries to make chips with 7-nanometer features, Digitimes Research predicts. While 7nm is the cutting edge in chip fabrication, most mobile SoCs are still made with a 28nm process.
The value of semiconductor-related merger and acquisition agreements declined to $23.2 billion in last year, compared with $28.1 billion the year before and $107.3 billion in 2015, IC Insights reports. Still, the 2018 figure was greater than the annual averages reported in the first half of this decade, David Manners notes.
Researchers in China have used graphene ink and a screen printing process to produce arrays of microsupercapacitors on substrates of flexible plastic or glass. The research team was able to make 130 microsupercapacitors in a series, providing more than 100 volts as a potential power source for electronics and flexible devices.
Newark Element14 is stocking microelectromechanical system gyroscopes from Tronics Microsystems, a TDK division. The Gypro line is suitable for control and optical stabilization, motion tracking and precision navigation applications.
The JEDEC Solid State Technology Association updated the JESD235 HBM DRAM standard, making the high-bandwidth memory specification more useful for high-performance computing, high-speed networking and high-performance graphics. The updated standard addresses changes in technology since it was first adopted in 2015.
Concurrency in microchip designs is making it harder for verification engineers to find harmful defects, leading to corner-case bugs in the designs, Brian Bailey writes. Tom Anderson of OneSpin Solutions says those bugs "occur when specific combinations of events happen at the same time and trigger behavior not previously exercised."
Although Qualcomm ultimately failed in its mission to acquire NXP Semiconductors due to geopolitics, the chip design company is determined to show that it can compete in automotive electronics, Junko Yoshida writes. Qualcomm's Nakul Duggal said in an interview at CES 2019, "At Qualcomm, we think we've been an automotive-focused company since we started to supply modem chips to General Motors in 2002."
Rambus purchased the assets of Diablo Technologies, adding to its portfolio in flash memory and hybrid DRAM technology; terms of the transaction weren't revealed. Rambus has been working with IBM on hybrid memory systems for nearly a year.
Artificial intelligence, augmented/virtual reality and 5G cellular communications are emerging technologies that are expected to increase server shipments in 2019, this analysis notes. Industry executives expect the commercialization of 5G services next year to drive the penetration of AI technology this year.
Researchers in Switzerland have developed a method of using a laser to change and control the polarization, wavelength and intensity of light in excited electrons in 2D materials. This work with these excitons could be promising for low-power quantum computing, offering transistors with less energy loss and heat dissipation, according to the team.
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