Why we need more chip startups

There’s growing concern that the U.S. is losing pace in semiconductor start-ups (although we’ve seen intriguing outliers leveraging crowd-funding to make products). Rick Merritt at EE Times, in a recent piece, quoted Cadence CEO Lip-Bu Tan as framing a more dire situation than most have suspected. According to Merritt: “China and India are pouring money” into semiconductors and “the U.S.


The Moore’s Law offramp

We worry a lot about Moore’s Law running out of gas right about now. Now comes former AMD CEO Hector Ruiz with this piece on Harvard Business Review’s blog: “There, however, is a possible “off-ramp” to Moore’s Law that offers new hope — not just of continued improvement in semiconductors but of an open, competitive playing field unlike the Intel-dominated

board shot

Once-in-a-generation shift in semiconductor design focus

By Malcolm Fuller, Contributing Writer LOS GATOS, Calif.—Sometimes, an inflection point only comes along once in a generation. When it comes to power consumption, that time is now, according to Bruce McWilliams, President and CEO of SuVolta. For decades, the electronics-design paradigm was all about the megahertz arms race, as Intel pushed out faster and faster microprocessors in a battle for supremacy

oscillator and stacked die

Kicking the crystal habit

SAN JOSE, Calif—Kicking the crystal habit is difficult when people talk about addiction to the drug crystal meth. But it’s just as challenging in electronics when you’re considering moving from crystal oscillators to quartz-free oscillators. Crystal oscillators have been around for decades, and are small, cheap are prized for their frequency stability. Drive for Innovation Editor, Brian Fuller spent time


SuVolta’s power rangers

(Odometer: 22,290 miles) LOS GATOS, Calif.–The electronics industry is so technically advanced and its companies so increasingly specialized that battling the power issues attendant with device scaling has taken on a life of its own. Welcome to SuVolta, a startup here in the shadow of the Santa Cruz Mountains that was founded to develop and license CMOS technology to reduce


Nuvation’s mad scientists

SAN JOSE, Calif.–Nuvation is an electronics design-services company here, run by a bunch of guys who are, well, wonderfully insane. They have day jobs, but as the sun arcs below the horizon, the mad scientists in them all come out. They come out to build things like Discofish and take it all the way to Burning Man. They come out


Innovation and transformation of JDSU

(Odometer: 23, 885 miles) MILPITAS, Calif. –Remember JDSU? You probably remember it better as JDS Uniphase, a high-flying optical electronics company that had its wings clipped (who didn’t?) in the telecommunications bubble burst  more than a decade ago. Today, JDSU is rebranded and repositioned as an electronics vendor that hasn’t abandoned its communications roots but has diversified into areas, such as test


Innovation capital of the world

PHOENIX–If it's tough for an ex-contract manufacturing executive to admit it, Ed Smith doesn't show it.  "America's going to become the land of innovation, not the land of manufacturing," said Smith, a former CEO of a contract manufacturing company who now is president of Avnet Electronics Marketing Americas here. "Everybody says everything moved to China," he said. "China doesn't innovative


Automotive electronics design trends

CHANDLER, Ariz.–Most of our Drive for Innovation stops are divided neatly into two parts: Talking about the car and letting people drive the Chevy Volt for themselves. And then we talk to key people about a given company's technology and products, where they're innovative, and why people should care. More design resources We decided to combine the two here at Microchip.

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The Way Back Machine

The Way Back Machine

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