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One Trillion Chips by 2017

One trillion. 1,000 billion. That’s a big number. But that’s how many semiconductor devices we’re on track to produce and ship in 2017. This according to IC Insights and its latest market-research report. Obviously, that total includes just about everything that could conceivably be considered a semiconductor device, including digital chips, analog chips, opto sensors, and more. To reach that impressive sum, the company projects 10% growth in unit shipments this year, and another 11% growth next year. Good times.

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A Hundred Billion Antenna Reconfigurations

Antenna_image.jpgCavendish Kinetics recently made an announcement regarding their ongoing reliability testing for their MEMS-based antenna-tuning technology.

We’ve talked about this tuning concept before (albeit with a different name); the short version is that, with all of the different bands that cell phones need to access, it becomes difficult to optimize the antenna for all of them in … Read More → "A Hundred Billion Antenna Reconfigurations"

What Does a 5nm Transistor Look Like? I

Synopsys and Imec recently announced that they’d be collaborating on TCAD activities for the 5nm node.

Yup. 5nm. You can count ‘em on one hand.

We get to see lots of ideas on how things might happen in the future, but once you start defining a specific node, well, it’s time to get specific about what that node’s gonna look like. So I had a quick conversation with Imec’s Aaron Thean on what the notable … Read More → "What Does a 5nm Transistor Look Like? I"

For those of you who read this r

For those of you who read this review and immediately found yourself clicking “add to shopping cart,” don’t hit “checkout” just yet. Your audio system will definitely still not sound right without some of these:

“Brilliant Pebbles” from Machina Dynamica:

http://www.machinadynamica.com/machina31.htm

See? We here at EE Journal are always lookin’ out for ya!

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TRAM and PCM at IEDM

Last December’s IEDM conference included a couple of sessions on non-volatile memory of the phase-change type. The most familiar of these is PCM – phase-change memory – where a substance is either melted and quenched before it can crystalize, leaving it in an amorphous state, or is allowed to solidify in an orderly, crystalline fashion. The resting state of the material – amorphous or crystalline – determines the resistivity, and hence the value, of the bit.

PCM has been a promising new technology for a long time now, and there will be more to say … Read More → "TRAM and PCM at IEDM"

Reviewing the $10,000 Ethernet Cable

AudioQuest sells a $10,000 Ethernet cable.

The people who buy this cable know why they need it, and it’s well worth the extra investment.

“Sure,” some may say, “it’s just data,” but the ones and zeros that arrive at the end of this cable completely transcend binarity. The discerning dataphile will immediately recognize a truth that goes far beyond traditional one-ness, conveying the deeper essence of “true”. Ordinary cables throw out flat, unbalanced ones that have no soul, but … Read More → "Reviewing the $10,000 Ethernet Cable"

Is Someone Tampering with Your IoT?

The stronger the hype, the likelier it will be accompanied by a “yesbut.”

A yesbut is that nagging question that needs to be asked in order to kick some critical thinking into gear. “Yes, but what about…?” Hype has a trajectory, however: in the beginning, only the hype sounds; it drowns out the few early-stage yesbuts. Yesbuts are killjoys, and no one wants them at a party. As the hype starts to wear out, however – as the party wanes, as the keg empties – the yesbuts grow in number and can … Read More → "Is Someone Tampering with Your IoT?"

A Touch Material for Any Surface

flexible material that can be made to conform to pretty much any shape. While this stretchability is a function of the substrate, its conductivity comes from a marriage between a carbon nanotube (CNT) and a Buckyball into a “nanobud.”

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(Image courtesy Canatu)

The company is Canatu, and they coat flexible plastic substrates via a room-temperature printing process with this CNTish material; that layer can then be … Read More → "A Touch Material for Any Surface"

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