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Recent content by IanD

  1. I

    A Better Way to Measure Progress in Semiconductors

    The problem with layering is that it makes the power/current density problems even worse than they are today (and at 5nm they're pretty bad for high-speed circuits). Even with a single layer, for several generations now the circuit area has been shrinking faster than power dissipation per...
  2. I

    After switching to ARM, expect Apple to buy TSMC too

    The problem for China if it took over TSMC would be twofold -- one problem would be that many customers wouldn't be able to run away from TSMC fast enough, the second is that a large part of the world would be p*ssed off with China and try to source goods from elsewhere which would hit China's...
  3. I

    After switching to ARM, expect Apple to buy TSMC too

    One big reason TSMC are so successful in the foundry business -- and Samsung and Intel aren't -- is that they don't compete with their own customers, everyone with deep enough pockets can get access to their technology. Selling out to Apple would destroy this non-compete business stance. Mind...
  4. I

    TSMC 5nm+ volume production Q420

    It's not quite comparing like for like, but to show that processes are still delivering power/speed improvements, the total power saving from N7 to N5+ (if you run at the same speed but with lower Vdd, and take advantage of new process features like ELVT transistors) is about 50% according to...
  5. I

    TSMC 5nm+ volume production Q420

    N5 and N5+ design rules and layouts are identical, you get a bit more speed (+7%) at the same voltage or lower power (-15%) for the same speed (by lowering Vdd), and this comes "for free" in IP being designed today -- all you do is switch to the N5+ models and libraries. Of course "for free"...
  6. I

    Intel Arizona Fab most sophiticated in the world?

    I don't know what he was smoking, but I can't see *any* objective reason behind this claim -- compared to TSMC/Samsung the Intel fab is smaller, lower yield, less cost-effective, has fewer advanced EUV machines (which most would say is the real measure of "sophisticated") -- and the competition...
  7. I

    Is EETimes Dead? Again?

    EETimes was still useful until Aspen took it over. Since their revamp it's become unreadable, the content has plummeted and the advertising gone through the roof, it's basically turned to sh*t...
  8. I

    Is Intel 10nm really denser than TSMC 7nm?

    TSMC 7nm+ and 6nm are both similar PPA, with similar area shrinks from 7nm, both use EUV for some layers. Big difference is that 7nm+ (first EUV process at TSMC) rules aren't compatible with 7nm, so any IP in 7nm has to be re-laid out, which is a big effort so it wasn't popular. After this...