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<p> In talking to people like ARM and the electronics department of the University of São Paulo, I uncovered some of the challenges in stimulating the growth of the fabless semiconductor sector in Brazil. It appears there is little incentive for companies to start and grow, despite having a foundry available (Ceitec in Porto Alegre). The big contract manufacturers in Brazil are mostly driven by price rather than delivering innovative new products and features, and hence tend to buy the lowest-cost kits from Taiwan and China to assemble and badge for the local market. </p>

That ribbon isn't expanded within the projection engine but passively by the screen itself. Because we're passive in nature,” Kwong said, we can accept any resolution imager an OEM has and whatever his performance criteria are, and there won't be any significant degradation as we go from imager to screen.”

These are some of my initial questions, but I want to hear yours.

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IMC1210EB181J_Vishay Dale_Fixed Inductors

Microservers are a whole other kettle of fish, an emerging class of cloud computer focused on maximum MIPS/Watt. As far as I can tell Intel coined the term just as it did with Ultrabooks and Netbooks, but this time I think it's on to a broader industry category.

The Web era is lurching toward microservers to feed expanding data centers where power is the key bottleneck. Intel is far from alone in seeing the opportunity.

By my count nine companies ranging from AMD to Samsung are preparing ARM-based server SoCs, most of them shipping next year. They have their work cut out for them with an architecture just now moving into 64-bit addressability and support for server software stacks.

IMC1210EB181J_Vishay Dale_Fixed Inductors

Nevertheless, there's a fascinating showdown coming in 2014 between ARM and x86 SoCs at the microserver corral. Intel appears to have an edge having shaken the bugs out of its 22nm process sporting FinFETs. The competition will probably be on planar 28, 32 and even 45nm processes.

Intel also has a time-to-market lead. Avoton is expected to ship before the end of the year, probably six months ahead of most 64-bit ARM-based SoCs.

IMC1210EB181J_Vishay Dale_Fixed Inductors

That said, stories have yet to be written about what are the ingredients for a successful microserver and its SoC. There will be a battle for the right mix of peripherals and the best interconnect fabrics.

So, I'd love to hear from those of you who have sharpened your pencils over microserver designs and written up server SOC wish lists. Chime in with your opinions and questions.

Intel — which last year acquired a 15 percent stake in ASML and ponied up additional funds specifically for the development of EUV in a deal worth a total of $4.1 billion — has been hoping to deploy EUV lithography at the 10 nm node in the second half of 2015. (See: Intel buys stake in ASML to boost 450-mm, EUV R&D.) Intel also said it would be prepared to extend optical immersion lithography to that node in the event that EUV is not ready. Samsung and TSMC have entered into similar deals with ASML.

Ludo Deferm, executive vice president of business development at Imec, said this week that extending optical immersion to that node may not be economically feasible. Because extending optical immersion to 10 nm could require three or more exposures — and thus three or more photomasks for critical layers — the costs involved would increase exponentially.

But Deferm told us Imec is confident that EUV will eventually be put in production. We are confident that it will come,” he said. I don’t have a crystal ball, either. We can’t predict the future.”

SAN MATEO, Calif. —In an effort to shatter the wall that lies between the design and test sides of the electronics industry, Agilent Technologies Inc. and Synopsys Inc. are joining forces in a far-reaching partnership. The two companies announced their agreement at the Design Automation and Test Europe (DATE) conference taking place this week in Munich, Germany.

As the complexity of system-on-chip (SoC) devices continues to rise, Agilent and Synopsys said they need to bridge the design and test worlds currently located at opposite ends of the manufacturing spectrum.