Integrated circuit designers are seeing their short-term profit margins reduced by higher 8-inch fab quotes, industry sources say, noting that the increase could actually help stabilize the sector over the long haul. IC designers are working to innovate in an effort to provide cost-effective products, while some designers are considering whether to raise their own chip prices to compensate for higher manufacturing costs.
Mobile dynamic random access memory chip sales reached $8.43 billion worldwide in the first quarter, registering year-over-year growth of 5.3% in the process. Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix were responsible for roughly 80% of the chips sold, DRAMeXchange reports.
STMicroelectronics has issued its latest sustainability report, which indicates that the company reduced its energy consumption by 12% year-over-year in 2017 while deriving 26% of its purchased energy from renewable sources. ST was recognized by the Carbon Disclosure Project as an A-list sustainable water management leader and reused, recovered or recycled over 91% of its waste during the year.
Micron Technology and Intel have begun production of 4bits/cell 3D NAND technology that offers the world's highest density flash memory at 1 terabit per die. Meanwhile, Micron and Intel have made progress on the development of 96-tier 3D NAND structure, which offers a 50% boost in layers.
Lattice's field-programmable gate arrays will feature hardware artificial intelligence algorithm accelerators. The binarized neural network and convolutional neural network accelerators will allow Lattice's FPGAs to be used for verbal key phrase detection, face detection and similar applications.
Arm has nearly completed register-transfer level design for its machine learning core, which it hopes to see used in a premium smartphone in the next few years. The core is designed for iPhones, Samsung Galaxy phones and others that already make use of artificial intelligence accelerator blocks.
Qualcomm and Facebook have announced plans to bring Facebook's Terragraph Wi-Fi technology to urban areas. Facebook will use Qualcomm's 60-gigahertz technology with an aim to begin trials in 2019.
Component manufacturers must respond to flaws that were found in computer central processing units that could allow hackers to access personal data, says Germany's Federal Office for Information Security, also know as BSI. Cloud and virtual solution providers should also explore how the flaws affect their products, BSI advised.
Samsung has reportedly added a new foundry research and development center that will allow the company to expand its chip design business, industry sources say. With the addition of the new center, Samsung now has nine such facilities.
Chips that are designed to run at low power levels are more susceptible to negative effects caused by electromagnetic crosstalk. Manufacturers must have detailed inductance and electromagnetic interconnection models to lower power demands, as well as complete understanding of the effects of electromagnetic crosstalk on power delivery networks, write Magdy Abadir, Padelis Papadopoulos and Yehea Ismail .
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