The advent of artificial intelligence is spurring new investor interest in chip companies. Last year venture capitalists channeled more than $1.5 billion to chip startups, almost double the sector's funding two years before.
King Abdullah University of Science and Technology researchers report development of ultrahigh-definition displays incorporating wavy transistor arrays. These arrays are made by laterally interconnecting non-planar vertical semiconductor fin-like structures, an alternative to amorphous-oxide semiconductor materials.
A University of California, Los Angeles research team came up with a nanosensor that can be put into a cell's lipid membrane to measure the membrane's potential. The tiny devices are based on inorganic semiconductor nanoparticles.
Five industry executives discuss developments in the semiconductor industry during the next five years. "The key issue is how you take an abundance of information and make a correlation between the metrology and the process control," says Shay Wolfling of Nova Measuring Instruments.
Intel says its Broadwell and Haswell processors can reboot more often than usual after applying software patches to address the Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities. Meanwhile, Advanced Micro Devices acknowledged that its processors are vulnerable to the two variants of the Spectre cybersecurity flaw, after asserting that its chips were not susceptible to the IC design issue.
STMicroelectronics is extending its use of fully depleted silicon-on-insulator process technology by choosing the 22FDX platform from GlobalFoundries for consumer and industrial applications. The chipmaker previously committed to the foundry's 28-nanometer FD-SOI process and now will use its 22nm FD-SOI process.
Analog components will show more sales growth than logic devices, memories and microcomponents over the next five years, enjoying a compound annual growth rate of 6.6% during that period, IC Insights forecasts. The analog market will increase from $54.5 billion last year to $74.8 billion in 2022.
Achieving the ultra-low-power requirements for chips going into smartphones, drones, the internet of things devices, robotics and wearable electronics is leading to changes in the traditional design considerations of balancing performance, power and area, this analysis notes. "The new trend is where power becomes a primary design metric, and designers can't afford to hope that the tools can get to the power they want," said Dave Pursley of Cadence Design Systems.
Researchers at Sweden's Linkoping University report crafting complementary electrochemical logic circuits that can be used in water for extended periods. The team used an n-type conducting material to develop the circuits, rather than the customary p-type polymer material.
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