Applied Materials and Tokyo Electron are merging to become a $29 billion chip equipment maker as the semiconductor industry undergoes a radical shift. Here’s what’s behind the deal.
When a trio of engineers led by Bill Shockley built the first solid-state transistor at Bell Labs in 1947, they thought they had consigned the vacuum tube to oblivion. But vacuum tubes – or at least their underlying principles – may be set to make a resurgence.
Qualcomm can’t find enough capacity to manufacture chips designed for mobile phones. These troubles will become more common as the physics that govern how we make semiconductors buckles under the demands of our increasingly mobile lives, where we demand low power and high performance.
Bright Capital, KPCB, August Capital and NEA have contributed to a $17.6 million funding round in SuVolta, a process technology company. SuVolta doesn’t design chips; it has come up with a novel way to manufacture transistors in a way that makes them use less power.
IBM has made three breakthroughs that could help chips continue following Moore’s Law, resulting in more performance or memory at lower prices. These breakthroughs may also allow us to take advantage of new spectrum for mobile broadband and make better batteries.
After a century of making tabulation machines IBM has come up with a new chip that marries our brain’s architecture with silicon guts. The goal is to create a new style of computing aimed at making sense of big data without consuming a lot of power.
At the IEEE Technology Time Machine Symposium last week I listened to the world’s leading academics, engineers, executives, and government officials project what the world will look like in 2020. The future brings technology together for everything from enhancing the human experience to improving environmental sustainability.
Stealthy startup SuVolta has pioneered an improvement in the chip-manufacturing process that will help cut the power usage of semiconductors by half while maintaining their performance. The process, which it plans to license, changes a few of the ingredients used to make chips.
We are moving from the Information Age to the Insight Age, and as part of that shift we need a compute architecture that will handle the storage and processing required all without requiring a power plant hooked up to every data center. What architecture will win?
Intel announced new chips yesterday, incorporating a new three-dimensional manufacturing process to fit more processing capability into a smaller space whilst consuming less power and costing less to manufacture. GigaOM’s Stacey Higginbotham described the announcement as “significant, but not as big of a breakthrough as I hoped for,” and Arik Hesseldahl at the Wall Street Journal‘s All Things Digital notes that the concept was first announced way back in 2002… and may not result in shipping chips until the end of 2011 or early 2012. Over at InfoWorld, Ted Samson flags the concern that processors optimised for mobile devices may be much further off. Chips need to consume less power as we use more of them, more often. Apparently, we also have an insatiable demand for more powerful processors. Intel’s announcement meets both those requirements, and keeps things moving nicely along the path predicted by Gordon Moore almost 50 years ago.