Automotive manufacturers are reducing their production of vehicles because of the worldwide shortage in critical microchips, partly caused by the Trump administration's restrictions on doing business with Chinese companies, according to industry officials. Peter Wennink, the CEO of ASML, the world's largest supplier of advanced lithography systems for chip fabrication, sees Washington's hostile stance toward trade with China continuing with the advent of the Biden administration.
QuantumScape and other companies are competing to improve the longevity and performance of batteries going into electric vehicles, Scott Patterson and Ben Foldy write. Fixing the dendrite issue in lithium-ion batteries will go a long way in achieving that goal, they note.
Intel brought out four new systems in its Next Unit of Computing product line. The Phantom Canyon NUC pairs a "Tiger Lake" CPU with Nvidia's RTX 2060 graphics card, while the NUC 11 Enthusiast system updates the NUC 8 Hades Canyon release from 2018.
Seagate Technology introduced a hard-disk drive capable of storing up to 20 terabytes of data, with the possibility of expanding the HDD to store 30TB and 50TB. The HDD uses heat-assisted magnetic recording technology and is meant for use in enterprises as an alternative to solid-state drives.
Functional verification in the IC design process faces a number of technical challenges in the near future, Brian Bailey writes. Neil Hand of Siemens EDA (formerly known as Mentor Graphics) says, "Verification today utilizes a whole suite of tools, including data analytics, where you are looking at how to take this big sea of data and make it actionable for the verification engineer."
Qualcomm Technologies agreed to acquire Nuvia, a chip startup founded by three former system-on-a-chip designers from Apple, for $1.4 billion. Nuvia, established in 2019, has chip designs that can be used in a variety of applications, including advanced driver-assistance systems, laptops, servers and smartphones.
Intel will reportedly outsource the fabrication of its Core i3 processors during the latter half of this year to Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., which will produce the CPUs with the foundry's 5-nanometer process technology, TrendForce reports. Meanwhile, TSMC forecasts its first-quarter revenue would be in the range of $12.7 billion and $13 billion.
Panasonic's Shawn Watanabe said at the virtual CES 2021, "Two or three years from now, we will be able to introduce a cobalt-free, high-energy-density cell." Reducing or eliminating the use of cobalt in lithium-ion batteries would greatly reduce the production cost of those batteries.
Arm CEO Simon Segars predicts the introduction of Mac models with the Arm-based M1 chip will usher in an era of Arm-based PCs, in addition to Macs and other Apple products. "What we're starting to see now is real innovation going on in a market where there hasn't been a huge amount of innovation," Segars said.
Socionext selected HBM2E intellectual property in the Synopsys DesignWare portfolio to augment the memory in chip designs for applications in artificial intelligence and high-performance computing. The HBM2E IP will work at 3 gigabits per second as part of an AI engine and accelerator system-on-a-chip device design.
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