Smaller LEDs are scaling up for uses such as lighter AR glasses, automotive [Portfolio]

Light-emitting diodes (LEDs) are getting smaller, but the process to make them small isn’t easy – at least not yet.

Not unlike many semiconductor technologies, including emerging memory devices, making LEDs smaller is possible, but not always cost effective. The LEDs found in your average flatscreen TV are a mature technology, but manufacturing microLEDs still has its growing pains.

The potential for microLEDs is broad and goes beyond flat panel televisions and smaller displays for smartphones and automotive – there are some interesting medical applications, too.

Read my full story for Fierce Electronics

AI boosts optical connectivity demand [Portfolio]

Cloud computing raised expectations for data speeds, but artificial intelligence (AI) workloads are placing even more pressures on bandwidth to move data faster and reliably.

While protocols like the Compute Express Link (CXL) are helping to optimize where data is stored so it is closer to where it needs to be, connectivity remains crucial to moving it as fast as possible. After a dip in adoption, optical transceiver technology is seeing an uptick to scale AI in the data center by companies like Amazon and Google, while connectivity is getting baked into full-stack systems along with hardware and software.

Read my full story for Fierce Electronics

5 ways to prepare for PIPEDA’s updates [Portfolio]

If getting your IT systems to support privacy legislation is your jam, you’re going to love the latest update to the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA). Better yet, you can apply your experience meeting the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) to your compliance efforts.

Read my closer look at what’s involved in this update and what steps you can take to remain compliant over at Tektonika.

DRAM Boom and Bust is Business as Usual [Portfolio]

oom or bust. It’s long been the cycle for established memory technologies. As 3D NAND pricing softens, DRAM still appears to be going strong. But for how long? And will these ups and downs always be the norm despite diversified demand and emerging vendors from China?

One key characteristic of the DRAM market is that there are currently only three major suppliers — Micron Technology, SK Hynix and Samsung Electronics.

“They’re keeping a pretty tight rein on their capacity,” said Brian Matas, vice president of market research at IC Insights, said in a telephone interview with EE Times. “And at the same time, there’s also pretty strong demand for higher performance and higher-density parts, particularly from the data center and server applications.”

Read my EE Times story.

Adesto Touts ReRAM for Automotive [Portfolio]

With the automotive market presenting potential opportunities of ever-emerging memories such as ferroelectric RAM (FRAM), magnetoresistive RAM (MRAM), and resistive RAM (ReRAM), Adesto Technologies is working hard to make sure that the latter makes the grade.

It recently unveiled new research demonstrating the potential of ReRAM for high-reliability applications such as automotive. The research was led by Adesto Fellow Dr. John Jameson, who shared the results at the ESSCIRC-ESSDERC 48th European Solid-State Device Research Conference earlier this month, and indicates that ReRAM could become a widely used, low-cost, and simple embedded non-volatile memory (eNVM) because it uses simple cell structures and materials that can be integrated into existing manufacturing flows with as little as one additional mask.

Read my latest for EE Times.

New Uses Vie for GDDR6 Supply [Portfolio]

TORONTO — The “G” still stands for “graphics,” but new use cases driving the need for GDDR memory technology have nothing to do with pixels.

In fact, applications such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, which need ultra-fast memories, have shorted gamers of their GDDR supply, so it’s probably a good idea that makers of the technology are ramping up delivery. Micron Technology recently began volume production of its 8-Gb GDDR6 memory, which, of course, is aimed at the graphics market but also automotive and networking segments.

Some of the emerging uses cases for GDDR memory are still graphics-driven. In the growing automotive memory market, it’s to support increasingly visual dashboards and advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) that must be responsive to a driver’s actions immediately, while autonomous vehicles need high-performance memory to process the vast amounts of real-time data. Other emerging applications include augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR). Finally, video is always hungry for memory as 4K gets more widely adopted and 8K nips at its heels.

Read my full story on EE Times. 

Ready to get on board with the Cybersecurity Tech Accord? [Portfolio]

You may think it’s your time to relax after breaking your back to meet all the requirements of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), but hackers never sleep. If you want to keep them out, you need to stay up to date on the latest and greatest cybersecurity regulations. That said, have you heard about the Cybersecurity Tech Accord?

Generally, cybersecurity regulation is a set of rules laid out by governing bodies that ends up adding to your to-do list. But instead of coming from a government, the Cybersecurity Tech Accord is driven by 34 of the world’s largest international companies.

Read the full article.

Legacy IT is dampening fintech disruption in Canada [Portfolio]

As fintech disruption in Canada heightens speculation of what the future holds for traditional financial institutions, most of the attention is being focused on what’s keeping banks from transforming how they serve customers. UX is everything after all, especially with millennials dropping banks left and right.

Fintech disruption in Canada fumbles More recently, legacy technology has been identified as the culprit, as it impedes the ability of banks to adapt.

Read my full article on Tektonika.

Canadian SaaS companies are rejuvenating Ottawa’s tech scene [Portfolio]

At the nation’s capital, the tech sector is experiencing a renaissance due in part to Canadian SaaS companies.

Nearly two decades ago, Ottawa was poised to become a technology powerhouse, fueled by a strong telecom sector which included Newbridge Networks and its numerous spin-offs. Corel CEO Michael Cowpland believed he could take on Microsoft by buying WordPerfect. There was a general feeling that the city could be more than a sleepy government town as feds were shedding jobs to balance the books. The concept of Canadian SaaS companies was yet to be born.

Read my story on Tektonika.

Micron Talks 3D NAND Sans Intel [Portfolio]

TORONTO — On the heels of shaking up its partnership with Intel, Micron Technology Chief Technology Officer Ernie Maddock took the stage at the J.P. Morgan 16th Annual Tech Forum at the 2018 International CES to field questions about the road ahead.

In a Q&A and session moderated by Harlan Sur, analyst for U.S. Semiconductor and Semiconductor Capital Equipment Research at J.P. Morgan, Maddock emphasized that the update to Micron’s working relationship with Intel is only related to NAND development.

At the top of the week, the companies announced they have mutually agreed to work independently on future generations of 3D NAND. Micron and Intel will complete development of their third-gen 3D NAND technology toward the end of the year and into 2019. Maddock said based on evolving roadmaps and the needs of each company’s respective markets, it made sense to diverge for the next node.

Read the full article over at EE Times.