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Beyond Silicon

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    What is the difference between GaN and SiC?

    Each material has its pluses and minuses

    By Alix Paultre | June 5, 2017

    Characteristics of SiC, GaN and Silicon

    The wide-bandgap revolution is still in its infancy, but we have finally reached the point where promise is being followed by product. Every major embedded manufacturer now has a wide-bandgap play, if only to demonstrate to the marketplace that they are players. Partnerships between the technology developers and mainstream semiconductor companies are coupling disruptive tech with trusted sources to ease migration pains.

    Beyond Silicon

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      Why use wide-bandgap semiconductors?

      They're not one-for-one replacements for silicon

      By Alix Paultre | June 1, 2017

      Packaging is a critical issue in wide-bandgap semiconductor development.

      Buzz about the promise of wide-bandgap semiconductors abounds, but engineers are only just starting to look to them as real solutions, not mere hype. There are still birthing pains, but mainstream acceptance of the technology appears imminent.

      Still, it is relevant to ask why wide-bandgap is such a disruptive technology.

      Efficiency: The First Fuel

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        Germany hits record production in renewable energy marathon

        In record-breaking weekend, Germany got 85% of its electricity from renewable energy sources

        May 30, 2017

        The sports world is driven by athletes relentlessly driven to deliver their personal best, no matter what the contest.

        Generating renewable energy is reaching a similar level of competitiveness among conservation-minded nations. Witness Germany’s setting of a national record in renewable energy production on a recent weekend in which 85 percent of all electricity consumed was produced through wind, solar, biomass, and hydroelectric power.

        Electrification

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          The powertrain opportunity is reshaping relationships between chipmakers and their automotive customers

          Emerging? An integrated, compact power train – including power electronics

          By Christoph Hammerschmidt | May 26, 2017

          The electrification of the powertrain – at all levels — is a bonanza for semiconductor companies. From micro hybrids, where 48 V systems are accommodating the need for more on-board power, to all-electric vehicles with batteries capable of delivering many hundreds of volts, semiconductors play a vital role.

          On average, cars with conventional internal combustion engines today contain semiconductors worth some $350.

          Autonomy

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            Korea plans K-City, world’s largest test bed for self-driving cars

            South Korea is now going all out in autonomous vehicle development

            May 24, 2017

            South Korea is famous for high-tech cities, starting with the ancient capital Seoul, a high tech magnet for global innovation, and more recently, the $35-billion-dollar Songdo City project, built from the ground up on reclaimed land near the Yellow Sea, billed as a model for smart cities around the globe.

            A major automobile maker –and user– South Korea is now going all out in its efforts to embrace self-driving cars, planning a new urban center, K-City, that will feature bus lanes, freeways and autonomous parking zones, and everything a self-driving car might encounter.

            Smart, safe, comfortable

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              Instrument clusters meet infotainment to make all-digital cockpit a reality

              The car cockpit is poised to integrate with the larger computing ecosystem

              By Majeed Ahmad | May 23, 2017

              Image courtesy of Blackberry

              “No other technology segment is influencing the future of mobility more rapidly than cockpit electronics,” says Sachin Lawande, president and CEO of Visteon, a Tier 1 supplier exclusively focused on automotive cockpit and instrument clusters technology.

              An all-digital cockpit is becoming a primary interface with a single system-on-chip (SoC) catering to both instrument cluster and infotainment systems while providing a unified driving experience across multiple displays in the car’s cabin.

              Beyond Silicon

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                Empowering the green revolution with wide-bandgap semiconductors

                Wide-bandgap semiconductors outperform traditional Silicon

                By Alix Paultre | May 23, 2017

                The electronic design industry is in the midst of a near-perfect storm of disruptive sea change, one sending ripples and waves large and small through our entire economy. Inter-related yet distinct, these challenges come from recent technological advances being commercialized and entering the marketplace. New topologies, methodologies, and materials have created opportunities, markets, and application spaces.

                Autonomy

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                  Futuremobile: Who will prevail in the battle over the “eyes?”

                  The key? Automotive supply chain contacts and channels

                  By Patrick Mannion | May 21, 2017

                  The “rotating coffee cans” atop Google’s autonomous vehicles were once symbolic of the future of driving. They are now quickly becoming quaint artifacts of a bygone era as low-cost LiDAR technologies emerge and more integrated approaches to object sensing start to take priority.

                  The highly contentious patent-infringement lawsuit between Waymo, Google’s autonomous vehicle group, and Uber, emphasizes what’s at stake, while at the same time distracting from the rapid pace of LiDAR technology development from startups and established companies alike.