editor's blog
Subscribe Now

Continued FinFET Roll

The Synopsys Users’ Group scheduled a panel session on FinFETs at their recent session. This is consistent with pretty much every EDA company providing FinFET content for their users; they’re the latest hot topic, and represent a non-trivial change.

But the popularity of the topic was driven home rather starkly. They used the auditorium at the Santa Clara Convention Center, and even so, it was standing-room only, and many, many people had to be turned away when there wasn’t more room for standing. So interest was obviously quite keen. Which reflect the fact that FinFETs are in transition: once the far-out concept for some future technology node, this stuff is becoming real for lots of real engineers.

And, for the most part, the panel said the usual things you might expect about why FinFETs are necessary or good and what’s different about using them. The Synopsys speaker talked about the tools, of course, but it was still too early to see the results of the lead lots they had put through.

And it was refreshing to have Cavium on the panel as a user, with the candor to discuss what they felt was the biggest drawback about FinFETs: parasitic capacitances. As in, there are too many of them. So they were having trouble keeping dynamic power down. They requested EDA help both in optimizing dynamic power consumption and with EM analysis.

Not that they thought that FinFETs were a bad idea in general; they agreed with the litany of benefits that is typically trotted out. But their willingness to say, “They’re good but…” helped give a real-world feel to the kind of panel that can too often be simply an echo chamber for laudatory talking points.

Leave a Reply

featured blogs
Nov 19, 2018
At the Linley Fall Processor Conference recently, the keynote on the second day was by Cliff Young of Google titled Codesign in Google TPUs: Inference, Training, Performance, and Scalability . The TPU is Google's Tensor Processing Unit. It is actually a family, since, as...
Nov 16, 2018
If you aren'€™t from the packaging world, then chances are likely you might think '€œpacking'€ refers to objects being placed in to a box instead of packaging integrated circuits (IC'€™s) on a substrate. Packaging has advanced since it began, and as with many areas i...
Nov 14, 2018
  People of a certain age, who mindfully lived through the early microcomputer revolution during the first half of the 1970s, know about Bill Godbout. He was that guy who sent out crudely photocopied parts catalogs for all kinds of electronic components, sold from a Quon...
Nov 13, 2018
Podcast Interview with the authors of The Hitchhikers Guide to PCB Design eBook by Mike Beutow with PCB Chat....