Babak Taheri is the CTO and EVP of products at Silvaco, where he manages the TCAD, EDA and IP product divisions. Previously, he was the CEO / president of IBTechnologies working with investors, and startups on M&A, technology, and business diligence. He received his Ph.D. in from UC Davis with … More »
January 16th, 2019 by Babak Taheri
Semiconductor Technology: We have seen a dramatic rise in the use of new kinds of semiconductor devices for mobile phones, automobiles, Intelligent Edge nodes, smart sensors, big data compute and storage utilizing artificial intelligence, machine Learning, and neuromorphic computing. Both Magneto-Resistive memory (MRAM) and Resistive RAM (ReRAM) technologies will play key roles as well as many optical and chemical sensors. TCAD solutions developers will partner with both memory and sensor technology companies in 2019 to accelerate their technology’s development and adoption in several markets.
Atomistic CAD: We will see the adoption of atomistic TCAD to extend Moore’s law to model and simulate devices such as Nanowires and Nanosheets including sensors and quantum dots that approach a few nm in size. Collaborations with university researchers such as Purdue, and their NEMO suit of tools, will enable successful development of nanoelectronic and nanosensor solutions.
January 15th, 2019 by Bob Smith, Executive Director
Shifting supply chain dynamics as the design ecosystem moves away from years of a chip-centric focus to a broader system design perspective will bring new players in 2019. This will forge event stronger links between design and manufacturing that began in earnest in 2018. Global industry associations such as the ESD Alliance and SEMI will serve as conduits, creating opportunities for members to connect, partner and innovate through networking and industry events, the newest being ES Design West in 2019. To be co-located during SEMICON West 2019, ES Design West will be the only event in North America dedicated to the Design and Design Automation Ecosystem™ further uniting the electronic systems design community to the electronics supply chain.
January 14th, 2019 by Sergio Marchese
OneSpin sees two trends dominating the semiconductor and EDA industry for 2019. The first is that security and trust will start becoming key requirements for many applications. Prevention of hardware vulnerabilities and protection from attacks are essential to ensure safety, data privacy and availability of essential infrastructure. Today, this field is dominated by software, but it has become clear that hardware must play a bigger role in addressing this challenge. Similar to safety, where standards such as ISO 26262 and hardware safety mechanisms protect systems against systematic and random failures, we will see the emergence of security standards. They will prescribe strict hardware development processes in order to avoid vulnerabilities and hardware security mechanisms that protect electronic systems from adversary attacks.
The problem of trust in the IC supply chain is also closely related with security and will become more prominent. How do you ensure that third-party or even internal IP do not include kill switches, backdoors, or other types of hardware Trojans? Dealing with unintended vulnerabilities is hard enough. Malicious vulnerabilities are even tougher to address because most verification and validation solutions we have now are not fit for this purpose. While the problem of trust is not yet on the radar of most organizations, in 2019, we will see a sharp growth in awareness of these type of issues.
January 11th, 2019 by Mike Buchanan
2018 saw an explosion of innovation in the chip industry – a level of excitement and innovation last seen during the mid-90s RISC processor revolution – driven by huge market disruptions in artificial intelligence (AI) and the advent of open standard Instruction Set Architectures (ISAs) such as RISC-V. These disruptions spurred an avalanche of funding, with hundreds of millions of dollars in new chip-related VC investments, to serve the projected $50+ billion AI chip market.
In 2019, we predict that ever more innovative AI applications will emerge, and that AI processing will move from first-generation solutions such as CPUs and GPUs to domain-optimized AI accelerator chips designed specifically for machine-learning algorithms. They will feature higher performance, reduced cost, and superior energy efficiency of typically ten times better than GPUs and 100 times better than CPUs. They will be scalable, and cover a much wider range of cost and power points.
January 10th, 2019 by Martin Croome
In past years, specialized processors have existed in very large vertical markets such as mobile phone application processors or markets where specific technical constraints exist such as DSPs. But broadly, processors have been segmented on compute capability: general purpose processors for servers vs. PCs vs. low-compute embedded applications. Specialization in processors has been constrained by Moore’s Law for many years, in many cases by invalidating the business case and matching the extra performance of the specialized processor just through Moore’s law effects.
Pure Moore’s law improvement, cutting costs in half while doubling the number of transistors, has increased from a year to 18 months. With the increasing limitations of Moore’s law, semiconductor companies will continue to extend further as the cost of implementing new processes and producing designs for them has skyrocketed.
January 9th, 2019 by Michiel Ligthart
In 1999, artificial intelligence was barely out of the concept stage and the telecommunications industry had just ratified the IEEE 802.11 a and b wireless standards. No one in the semiconductor industry used the term open source. Verific was founded that year to provide VHDL and Verilog parsers and elaborators to serve as the common front-end to newly developed EDA tools.
As Verific celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2019 with its software in production and development flows throughout the semiconductor industry worldwide, the technology horizon looks dazzling. Verification companies are announcing new tools, technologies and methodologies to support chip designs for artificial intelligence, machine learning, 5G wireless, and RISC-V to name a few.
January 8th, 2019 by Dave Kelf
2019 is going to see some real industry disruption. Waves of adoption of the new Accellera Portable Stimulus Standard (PSS), which commenced in 2018, will take hold this year. Apart from the obvious improvements to the UVM and Software Driven Verification (SDV) flows, we will see it used to enhance specific applications with verification challenges. Automotive is a clear winner with the need to verify specific, exact requirements. PSS security applications will become apparent. In fact, many areas where Formal Verification has been shown to be useful will also be a target for PSS, given its declarative, high-coverage characteristics. RISC-V also represents a notable industry disruption, and it is clear from recent events that 2019 will see strong commercial adoption on what has largely been, so far, a more academic exercise. Commercial solutions are required to make this a reality and probably the most important is verification. PSS will have a part to play here as users look for commercial test bench solutions that allow them to easily verify processor with extended instruction sets.
January 7th, 2019 by Coby Hanoch
New applications, led by Artificial Intelligence, are leading the quest for new types of memories, post Von-Neumann. They require huge memories which are fast and need to also use a lot less power. But more than that – these memories need to be intelligent and able to do a lot more than just store, read and write data. They need to perform smart searches and pattern-matching internally. They need to be distributed among many compute elements and merged into them. These new architectures require new types of memories, including the fast-growing Emerging Non-Volatile Memories.
January 3rd, 2019 by Wally Rhines
2018 was another banner year for the global semiconductor market, with 4th quarter Year-over-Year growth of nearly 23%. However, analysts are not so bullish for 2019, forecasting much more modest +4.4% growth on average.
Much of this is due to the softening memory market. Memory was the key driver for the spectacular semiconductor revenue growth in 2017 and early 2018. But, as more capacity came online, memory prices peaked in the first quarter of 2018, with the current forecast for memory ASP (average selling price) for the 4th quarter of 2018 slightly above Q4 2017.
Fortunately, emerging trends in semiconductor design offer promising areas of growth in 2019. Specifically, the continuing ramp of next-generation technologies, fueled by artificial intelligence (AI) and machine-learning (ML).
December 19th, 2018 by Sanjay Gangal
ATTENTION ALL VENDORS AND TECHNOLOGISTS!
Please send me (firstname.lastname@example.org) your industry predictions for 2019 by January 7th for inclusion in an editorial to be published in January. Please keep your submission to 100-500 words, with author’s name, email address, photo and short bio.
The editorial will be included in the EDAWeekly e-Magazine sent to our 40,000 subscribers.
Do have a safe and wonderful holiday season and look forward to hearing from you in or before the New Year!