Flash for IoT, Automotive, and Mobile

Micron Launches New NAND Products

by Bryon Moyer

Memory is memory, right? OK, OK, yeah, there’s different types. DRAM, SRAM, non-volatile (typically NOR and NAND). But, within each family, memory is memory. Right?

Well, maybe not. Micron had a couple of NAND announcements, and the features they highlighted were definitely targeted at specific markets: consumer IoT (CIoT), industrial IoT (IIoT), automotive, and mobile. So – perhaps density aside – why would it matter where the memory is going? Let’s take a walk through the situation to see.


It’s All in the Sequence

How is Your Register Behaving?

by Amelia Dalton

Registers: It’s a dirty job but someone has to do it. In this week’s Fish Fry, we take a closer look at register behavior modification and sequence automation with Anupam Bakshi of Agnisys. Anupam and I also discuss design intent and the future of verification intent. Whether we like it or not, we all need a little help sometimes, right? In the second part of our EDA special, we welcome Bob Smith from the Electronic System Design Alliance. Bob and I discuss how the ESDA is helping facilitate IP fingerprinting and 3D system scaling, as well as bridging the gap between hardware and software in embedded system design.


Big Data Moves to “Electronics”

Optimal+ Covers Board, System Manufacturing

by Bryon Moyer

Last year, right around this time, we took a look at a company called Optimal+. They were harvesting reams of semiconductor test data so that analysts could rummage through, looking for clues to manufacturing tweaks that could improve yield or throughput without compromising quality. With latency of up to around 10 minutes, it provided something close to real-time feedback.

And any new learnings could be tested on mounds of historical data to see “what would have happened” had the new rule been in place. If good things would have happened, then they could immediately roll the new rule out.


Next Door to Genius

Was Microsoft Built on Pirated Software from Digital Research?

by Jim Turley

This story is part grave digging, part mythology, part forensic analysis, and part courtroom drama. It’s new and it’s old. It’s about computers and it’s about people; good guys and bad guys; intrigue and betrayal. And it’s all true. Well, most of it, anyway.

Some of you already know the story – or think you do – and it starts like this. A computer science professor named Gary Kildall, working out of his house in tiny Pacific Grove, California, invented his own programming language called PL/M as well as an operating system he called CP/M. When he wasn’t teaching, he consulted part-time for Intel, but the chip company wasn’t interested in his new OS.


Mentor’s Latest Xpedition

Expediting System Design

by Kevin Morris

Respin! Respin! Respin! Are you afraid yet? For three decades, the electronic design automation (EDA) industry has relied on that fear. They learned way back in the 1980s that the quickest path to the biggest budget when selling software tools was through fear of the dreaded, career-limiting IC design respin. Want to sell me something that makes my engineers more productive or my designs more optimal? Meh… Maybe. Want to sell me something that prevents me from taking the blame for a respin on my project? How much money do you need?


New Inspectors Are Afoot

KLA-Tencor and AMAT Announce New Systems

by Bryon Moyer

At Semicon West this year, inspection seemed to be all the rage with two of the big equipment makers. Both KLA-Tencor (KT) and Applied Materials (AMAT) had new inspection stories, which we shall inspect today.

The motivator on all of them is – let’s see if you can guess this: complexity. Complexity and noise. Um, complexity, noise, and the increasingly tiny defects that now matter. OK, amongst the motivators are such diverse elements as complexity, noise, increasingly tiny defects, and an unmitigated desire to move wafers through the fab as quickly as possible.

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