EDA revenue up 8.9%; reusable DNA biosensor probe; Renesas EV gate driver IC; promise of quantum spin-valleys.


Electronic system design (ESD) industry revenue is up 8.9% from $3,458.2 million in Q3 2021 to $3,767.4 million in Q3 2022 according to a report from SEMI’s ESD Alliance. Read our in-depth take on what this means.

In an attempt to make a viable reusable DNA biosensor probe, NIST researchers used an extremely low-power FETdeveloped at CEA-LETI to remove noise in their DNA biosensor circuitry as the electrical signal has to travel a longer distance then it would on a disposable DNA biosensor. The low-power FET is used in smartwatches, personal assistants, and other devices to amplify signals and compensate for the lost sensitivity.

Many variables could shape the coming year, but it is the unknowns and how we react to them that separate the successful companies from the rest. What does 2023 have in store for chip design? For one thing, it is time to think hard about ways to improve power and energy use.

Products & deals

Renesas announced a new gate driver IC to drive high-voltage power devices, such as IGBTs (insulated gate bipolar transistors) and SiC MOSFETs, for electric vehicle (EV) inverters. The gate driver IC RAJ2930004AGM has a built-in 3.75kVrms (kV root mean square) isolator to work in power devices with a withstand voltage of up to 1200V. The gate driver is the interface  between the inverter control MCU and the IGBTs and SiC MOSFETs (which deliver power to the inverter).

Samsung Foundry certified Cadence’s Quantus FS solution for its SF4, SF3E and SF3 process technologies.

Ansys released updates to its Ansys 2023 R1 systems engineering tool, a model-based systems engineering (MBSE) design flow that makes it possible for engineering teams to simulate and examine product and system designs under varying conditions. Ansys says teams can simulate more complex products faster than ever via new cloud options and optimized use of multiple graphics processing units (GPUs).

Heart Aerospace, a maker of electric planes, is using Siemens Digital Industries Software’s Capital software portfolio from the Xcelerator portfolio to help with design, development, and certification of zero-emission electric aircraft. In addition to automation improvements, the tool features compliance functionality to help make sure the design can pass regulatory checks.

Siemens also updated its Simcenter software for mechanical simulation with useful simulation tools for aerospace and automotive electric vehicle (EV) powertrains design, among others. The software helps engineering teams from disparate silos work together earlier on projects. Siemens also updated road contact algorithm in its Simcenter Tire software to reduce the large amount of real-time road data exchange required to build the high-fidelity tire models for driving simulators and hardware-in-the-loop set-ups.

Sentry Enterprises is using Infineon’s SLC37x Secure Element chip family for its biometric systems. Sentry Enterprises makes the SentryCard biometric platform and will be releasing a biometric cold storage crypto wallet.

VW Group and onsemi are working together on SiC-based a traction inverter for the VW’s modular car platform for EVs. The two companies entered into a strategic agreement.

Mergers, acquisitions

UK company Rockley Photonics filed for bankruptcy. The company originally was working on silicon photonics for data communications but changed to health wearables. Among other issues, the sale of its datacom business to a Chinese company Hengtong was stopped when the company ended up on the U.S. Department of Commerce’s “entity list” for export restrictions.

Research notes

Researchers at the University of Rochester have proposed a new way to manipulate multiple spins on silicon quantum dots for quantum computing without oscillating electromagnetic fields. They used a spin-valley coupling in silicon to increase the coherence control. The paper was published in Nature Physics.

Power may be the top reason why advanced chips are failing, but you have to look behind the numbers to draw conclusions. Many designs are thermal-limited. A chip only can consume as much power as it is able to dissipate while keeping every part of the chip below a temperature that would cause failure. How bad is the problem? It’s not entirely clear.

Researchers at Russia’s Southern Federal University are studying nitrogen-doped carbon nanotubes (N-CNTs) as a way to create a piezoelectric nanogenerator for generating power in wearables. The reseachers wrote in a paper that N-CNTs have power-generating promise in arrays and are continuing to work to create a prototype of a piezoelectric nanogenerator based on an array of N-CNTs.

SEMI is changing where SEMICON West is located, moving the event to Phoenix for a five-year annual rotation starting in 2025 and shifting from its longstanding July event dates to October beginning in 2024, according to a SEMI press release. Among other semiconductor companies in Arizona, TSMC has a fab in Phoenix and will be investing $40 billion to start up its a 3nm process there by 2026. Phoenix will first host SEMICON West on October. 7 – 9, 2025.

Upcoming Events

  • SPIE Photonics West (San Francisco, CA), January 28 – February 2
  • AR/VR/MR: SPIE event (San Francisco, CA), January 30 – February 1
  • DesignCon 2023 (Santa Clara, CA), January 31 – February 2
  • SEMICON KOREA 2023, February 1 – February 3
  • 2023 Signal & Power Integrity (SIPI) SIG, (Santa Clara, CA), February 1 @ 6:30 pm – 9:00 pm PST
  • Large-area, Organic and Printed Electronics Convention (LOPEC) (Munich, Germany), February 28 – March 2
  • DVCon U.S. 2023, (San Jose, CA), February 27 – March 2, 2023
  • Infineon’s Wide-Bandgap Developer Forum March 9, 2023

Check out the events page for a listing of this year’s events.

Further reading

Check out the latest Low Power-High Performance and Systems & Design newsletters for these highlights and more:

  • Power Issues Causing More Respins At 7nm And Below
  • CXL Picks Up Steam In Data Centers
  • Choosing The Correct High-Bandwidth Memory
  • Design And Verification Methodologies Breaking Down
  • Selecting The Right RISC-V Core

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Susan Rambo

  (all posts)
Susan Rambo is the managing editor of Semiconductor Engineering.

Source: https://semiengineering.com/week-in-review-design-low-power-231/