WEBINAR: Silicon Valley the Way I Saw It (Semiconductor History)

WEBINAR: Silicon Valley the Way I Saw It (Semiconductor History)
by Daniel Nenni on 04-30-2020 at 10:00 am

Today people make chips with 10 billion transistors and no-one thinks anything of it. But there was a day (Or more correctly a decade) when we couldn’t make even one transistor reliably. How did we start there and get where we are today? Who were the players? What did they do? John East is a grizzled veteran of the semiconductor business.… Read More


How Far Has Design Automation Brought Us?

How Far Has Design Automation Brought Us?
by Tom Simon on 04-21-2017 at 12:00 pm

It’s always a struggle explaining electronic design automation (EDA) to people who ask me what field I am in. I have come up with simple and minimal descriptions – such as “software used for designing semiconductors.” This, of course, does little to provide any useful understanding to people who are not familiar with the field.… Read More


Thomas Skotnicki: FD-SOI 26 Years in the Making

Thomas Skotnicki: FD-SOI 26 Years in the Making
by Paul McLellan on 07-23-2015 at 7:00 am

It seems to be FD-SOI week yet again. I talked to Thomas Skotnicki this morning. He is the father of thin-box FD-SOI and its birth is an interesting story. The story began 26 years ago (so not quite as far back as the photo!).

Thomas is of Polish origins (he is actually Tomeczek) and grew up in Warsaw where he earned his PhD. In 1983 in Canterbury,… Read More


A Brief History of the Apple MacBook Pro

A Brief History of the Apple MacBook Pro
by Daniel Payne on 05-12-2014 at 5:49 pm

I’m typing this blog today with my trusty Apple MacBook Pro – a 17″ laptop with matte display and 16GB of RAM, but don’t stereotype me as an Apple fanboy because I also own the fantastic Samsung Galaxy Note II phone (aka phablet). Some industry pundits would have us believe that desktops and laptops are going… Read More


A Brief History of Chip Design at Apple Computer

A Brief History of Chip Design at Apple Computer
by Daniel Payne on 02-25-2014 at 9:36 pm

Steve Wozniak in 1976 designed the Apple 1 while working at HP during the daytime, and he used standard parts to keep costs low, like:

  • 6502 CPU from MOS Technology
  • 8K of DRAM
  • TTL logic for driving video and random logic
  • PROM to hold the BASIC language and primitive OS
Read More

Lithography from Contact Printing to EUV, DSA and Beyond

Lithography from Contact Printing to EUV, DSA and Beyond
by Paul McLellan on 03-05-2013 at 6:21 pm

I used my secret powers (being a blogger will get you a press pass) to go to the first day of the SPIE conference on advanced lithography a couple of weeks ago. Everything that happens to with process nodes seems to be driven by lithography, and everything that happens in EDA is driven by semiconductor process. It is the place to find … Read More


A Brief History of Mentor Graphics

A Brief History of Mentor Graphics
by Beth Martin on 08-20-2012 at 11:00 pm

In 1981, Pac-Man was sweeping the nation, the first space shuttle launched, and a small group of engineers in Oregon started not only a new company (Mentor Graphics), but an entirely new industry, electronic design automation (EDA).


Mentor founders Tom Bruggere, Gerry Langeler, and Dave Moffenbeier left Tektronix with a great… Read More


Synopsys, the first 25 years

Synopsys, the first 25 years
by Paul McLellan on 01-08-2012 at 8:00 pm

Synopsys was started in 1986 and so 2011 was its 25th anniversary. They created a little timeline with some of their history. As with most companies, the earlier history is the most interesting, before it was clear what the future would bring. From 1986 to 1990 they grew to $22M in revenue, which was explosive growth. So explosive … Read More