All the news that's fit to blog about this week.
3D-ICs: Semiconductor Hype?
It's almost always hard to tell at the beginning of an
adoption cycle what's real and what's not. The optimists wax lyrical, while the cynics hammer away. That leaves the rest of us looking for
the happy middle in the conversation.
Herb Reiter seems to be driving in the middle of the road right now. He was quoted in a piece by Barb Jorgenson and
Ed Sperling on System-Level Design Community, saying the business model isn't
ready for prime time.
But he's weighed in on EE Times, where he described how at least on the
equipment and materials side, the ecosystem is progressing:
"Indeed, I believe the IC industry
will bifurcate in the near future into those pursuing Moore's Law and those
pursuing 'More than Moore.' Which camp companies pick will be based
on several criteria -- total system cost, IC cost, development costs and their
amortization over production volumes, risk of failure, time to market, and,
last but not least, the technical requirements of increasingly complex
Me? I'm in the middle, too. I think 3D-IC innovation is progressing at a
reasonable pace. I had a chance to listen to Professor Paul Franzon from North
Carolina State a few weeks ago. His assertion is 3D-ICs are the only way scaling will continue.
If you want to follow an emerging
source of 3D news and information, check out Francoise von Trapp's 3dIncites.com site. In case you're wondering, she sits firmly in the optimists' camp.
Engineer, heal thyself
What's the best way to design
electronics? Think like a jazz musician (like Dizzy Gillespie, right). It's about leaving stuff out, not
putting more stuff in. At least that's Simon Barker's take this week on EE
"It has been
demonstrated time and again that the average person wants a product that does
one or two things very well. By giving people too much choice we induce the effect
of decision paralysis-- the idea that the user has so many options,
he or she effectively has none, as they don't know what the best choice is."
Brilliant. Worth a read.
Silos of innovation
Are silos good or bad? Ed Sperling
takes up that question over at System Level
Design, where he posits that they can be both good and bad and they ebb and flow
over the decades.
Are you a narcissist? If you buy Apple products you are, according to
Wired's Brett Robinson.
Unclean at any speed?
Relentless government tax
incentives, at least from what I can see on Bay Area roads, means more people
are buying electric vehicles and electric hybrids. But are they really clean?
John Voelcker at IEEE Spectrum has an opinion.
Can't run through this roll call without highlight some of the things that Richard Goering and I pulled from MemCon this week in Santa Clara.
Cadence's Martin Lund teed up the conversation by talking about memory's long and healthy future.
A lot of us walked away clearly impressed with Bob Brennan's view of the world. He keynoted Tuesday morning and described a world in which new DRAM and flash architectures are going to be needed if scaling of traditional memories will continue.
And Richard and I spent a few minutes with ChipEstimate's Sean O'Kane talking about the day and what we learned:
Lastly, you can check out our micro-thoughts by scrolling through our live feed of the event.
Collaborate or die
Karen Bartleson, one of our
industry's social media goddesses, continues to spin out interesting interviews
from Synopsys' DAC interview series. Here, she talks with Anupam Bakshi, CEO of Agnisys, who shares why he believes EDA
companies must collaborate or die.
Ethernet is about to explode
inside cars... in a good way.
A new research report suggests upwards of 300 million
Ethernet ports by 2020 and as many as 100 in highe -end models. John Day, writing
for Mentor Graphics, examines the impact.
Tweets of the Week
--Moto X; Noyce Quits; China’s Chromecast (Great Reads 8-2-2013)