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Maxim in MEMS

A new hat has been tossed into the MEMS ring: Maxim. You may be familiar with them as an analog name, or you might be familiar with Sensor Dynamics. Which was bought by Maxim, and which is now the source of Maxim’s first announcement: a gyroscope aimed at the consumer market. (Read phones and tablets.)

Why a gyroscope? Well, partly because accelerometers have become too inexpensive to be interesting on their own. And because they’re hard: as they said in a … Read More → "Maxim in MEMS"

I tend to agree with Mr Selwood’

I tend to agree with Mr Selwood’s comments about self-selection. There is a trend here downunder though, and I’m pretty sure you have them State-side, especially for patent and IP solicitors to have double degrees, either in science or engineering, along with their law training. However, most seem to take a generalist degree in science, and unless the engineering degree is in CS or EE, the extra time and expense of study may not be fully utilised, not to mention any postgraduate or specialist training. Already there is a dearth of talent in the EE and CS … Read More → "I tend to agree with Mr Selwood’"

3D Spintronics

I stumbled across a work by a team from Cambridge that takes spintronics into 3D. The idea reflects the obvious fact that 3D storage should be far denser than 2D storage. However, doing 3D transistor storage is, they claim, too bulky to be efficient; instead, using atomic-level magnetic domains holds some promise – if you have a good way to get in there and read any arbitrary bit. It’s a long way from actually designing a functioning memory, but addresses a fundamental means of writing and reading.

The solution they found is actually quite interesting … Read More → "3D Spintronics"

The Scribe and the Princess and the Pea

OK, perhaps “scribe line” is more accurate, but I do love a double entendre (even if not salacious). I had a discussion with KLA-Tencor at SPIE Litho recently regarding two new machines they’ve just announced. The first allows detection of defects through spectral analysis. The issue it faces is that it relies on test structures in the scribe line, which are facing two challenges: more of them are needed and there’s less space.

More test features are required both because of new structures like the FinFET and new processing steps, double-patterning … Read More → "The Scribe and the Princess and the Pea"

3D-IC Planning

During Cadence’s recent CDNlive event, I had a discussion with Kevin Rinebold to talk about 3D-IC planning and design. Actually, it’s more than that, covering all of the multi-die/package combinations like system-in-package (SiP), complex PC boards, and interposer-based solutions. The basic issue is that it’s becoming increasingly difficult to separate die design from board/package design; you may have to plan both together.

Said another way, what used to be board design duties have encroached on die design as packages have started to look more and more like micro-PCBs. The & … Read More → "3D-IC Planning"

What’s Virtual Is Real

Google is known for engaging broadly across a range of seemingly unrelated projects. Whether glasses or driverless cars or even same-day delivery, it’s as if they need to be everywhere so that, when something happens, they’re a part of it.

But some of these different projects appear to be coming together a bit more with yet another service that’s about to roll out: Google Stuff. Unlike their prior efforts, however, which tend to virtualize real things, this offering comes full circle, applying much of what they’ve learned in the … Read More → "What’s Virtual Is Real"

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