Semiconductor

The future of hardware is AI

To make great strides in AI, hardware must change. Starting with GPUs, and then evolving to analog devices, and then fault tolerant quantum computers.

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One big wire change in ‘97 still helping chips achieve tiny scale

The IT state-of-the-art 20 years ago was rapidly ending, and we – and I mean everyone in the industry that made a device with a chip inside of it – needed something new to keep up with the demand for ever-faster, better electronics. These were the days of laptops with 233 MHz speeds, and Deep […]

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Beat the heat in 3D chip stacks with ICECool

Editor’s note: This article is by Timothy Chainer, Pritish R. Parida, and Mark Schultz, IBM Research. In the Moore’s Law race to keep improving computer performance, the IT industry has turned upward, stacking chips like nano-sized 3D skyscrapers. But those stacks, like the law it’s challenging, have their limits, due to overheating. So, our team […]

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Recent papers detail carbon nanotube scalabilty, integration breakthroughs

Carbon nanotubes (CNT) appeal to the semiconductor industry because they’re superior electrical conductors compared to silicon with a mere 1 nanometer body thickness. So why don’t we have CNT chips in everything from mainframes to mobile devices, yet? Scalability of the transistor and large-scale integration are still big challenges. But two papers my colleagues and […]

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Under pressure: New ptychography technique examines stressed atoms in 3D

In a small lead hutch-protected chamber at Argonne National Labs is a nano-probe that bombards nano-sized electronic devices, like a transistor, for example, with x-rays. Think of it as a CT scan. But for atoms. It’s building a 3D model of that device’s atomic structure, for which we can examine the amount of strain it […]

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Joint program puts “cognitive” in chip manufacturing

Computer chips can fail in countless ways, from countless sources in the manufacturing process. Even with terabytes of sensor data pouring from the manufacturing equipment used to make them, there are still semiconductor lemons, depressing wafer yield, performance and reliability, which drives up manufacturing and speculative maintenance intervention costs. IBM and Tokyo Electron Limited (TELTM) […]

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IBM at SPIE: Seven Advancements for Beyond 7nm Chips

When we announced the industry’s first functional 7 nanometer node (7nm) test chips in 2015, with our GLOBALFOUNDRIES and Samsung partners, we knew the process for the chips to reach “manufacturing maturity” – perhaps as early as next year, would be rapid. As that effort accelerates in the semiconductor industry, IBM continues to push the […]

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Advancing toward 7nm

This is the fourth of a four-part series about IBM featured papers at IEDM 2016. The annual International Electron Devices Meeting is “the world’s pre-eminent forum for reporting technological breakthroughs in the areas of semiconductor and electronic device technology, design, manufacturing, physics, and modeling.” So IBM researchers brought their scanning probe thermometer, their air spacer for […]

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Air spacers for 10nm chips

This is the third of a four-part series about IBM featured papers at IEDM 2016. The annual International Electron Devices Meeting is “the world’s pre-eminent forum for reporting technological breakthroughs in the areas of semiconductor and electronic device technology, design, manufacturing, physics, and modeling.” So IBM researchers brought their scanning probe thermometer, their air spacer for […]

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Another kind of chip with carbon nanotubes

This is the second of a four-part series about IBM featured papers at IEDM 2016. The annual International Electron Devices Meeting is “the world’s pre-eminent forum for reporting technological breakthroughs in the areas of semiconductor and electronic device technology, design, manufacturing, physics, and modeling.” So IBM researchers brought their scanning probe thermometer, their air spacer for […]

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Deep learning inference possible in embedded systems thanks to TrueNorth

Scientists at IBM Research – Almaden have demonstrated that the TrueNorth brain-inspired computer chip, with its 1 million neurons and 256 million synapses, can efficiently implement inference with deep networks that approach state-of-the-art classification accuracy on several vision and speech datasets. This will open up the possibilities of embedding intelligence in the entire computing stack […]

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Material innovation key to 7nm and beyond

As our semiconductor research team in Albany, NY continues to scale CMOS technology towards future nodes – to 10nm, 7nm, and beyond – the transistor channel resistance that determines current flow, and how we connect to it, continues to play an increasingly significant role in a chip’s overall performance. So in order to ensure the […]

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