Remember the processor-memory gap— a situation where the processor is forced to stall while waiting for a memory operation to complete? This was largely a result of the high latency required for off chip memory accesses. Haven’t we solved that problem now with SoCs? SoCs are typically architected with their processors … Read More
At the GSA silicon summit yesterday the first keynote was by Subramanian Iyer of IBM on Keeping Moore’s Law Alive. He started off by asking the question “Is Moore’s Law in trouble?” and answered with an equivocal “maybe.”
Like some of the other speakers during the day, he pointed out that … Read More
Back in the early days of ASIC when we had just two and then (wow!) three layers of metal, place and route was done by putting the standard cells in rows with gaps between them and then using a specialized router to do the interconnection. It would use one layer of metal horizontally and one vertically and avoid jogs. This was called a … Read More
Perhaps no semiconductor company took it on the chin harder the last half of 2011 than Micron. And yet, perhaps no company was racing as hard as Micron to make a radical changeover. Micron is considered a bell weather on the overall health of the semiconductor industry given that DRAM, NAND and NOR Flash are used in some combination… Read More
In an interview that Gordon Moore gave in early 2000, the former co-founder of Intel recounted how they abandoned the DRAM market in the early 1980s in order to exit the increasingly unprofitable business and focus on the promising, yet still young x86 processor market. Intel was also home to EEPROM and NOR Flash, two memory technologies… Read More
When I worked at Intel as a circuit design engineer I could talk directly with the technology development engineers to understand how to really push my DRAM designs and get the smallest possible memory cell layout that would still yield well, provide fast access time, and long refresh cycles.