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Sameer Wasson’s Vision for MIPS/RISC-V

Sameer Wasson’s Vision for MIPS/RISC-V

By Junko Yoshida

What’s at stake:
MIPS, a storied CPU IP core company with a tortuous business/management history, is writing a new chapter under the watch of new CEO Sameer Wasson, formerly an executive at Texas Instruments. Can he lift MIPS from oblivion to relevance and solid growth? Wasson’s first order of business is to explain to the world who MIPS really is today.

Three months in, Wasson told The Ojo-Yoshida Report, “We just got started. We have a lot of work ahead of us.” The MIPS plan includes beefing up its work force from 62 when Wasson joined to “just under 100” by year’s end.

The Ojo-Yoshida Report picked up chatter this week that recent layoffs at SiFive have served as a source of talents for MIPS. We asked Wasson if some ex-SiFivers have migrated to MIPS. Wasson said, “We have hired some people who were let go. But we’re also hiring more people who are not let go.”

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Olofsson’s Dream: A Plug & Play Chiplet

Olofsson’s Dream: A Plug & Play Chiplet

By Junko Yoshida

What’s at stake:
With the whole industry struggling for consensus on a standard for chiplet interposers and bricks, a startup that has up and turned that trick is the definition of “disruption.” It’s anyone’s guess whether Zero ASIC will be richly rewarded for its insightful initiative or hammered down for being the nail that sticks out.

So far, chiplets have been an elusive vision, despite high hopes in the semiconductor industry.

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Cloud Connected by Default

As Devices Get Cloud Connected by Default, What Must MCUs Do?

By Junko Yoshida

What’s at stake:

IoT used to be defined as the network of physical objects — “things” — embedded with sensors, software, and other technologies so they can connect over the Internet and exchange data with other devices and systems. But today, IoT is defined simply as: Getting data connected to the cloud. How, in this light, must MCUs change?

IoT encompasses myriad market segments and product categories. It covers consumer electronics, factory floors and infrastructure. It offers everything from doorbells, pet trackers and smart speakers to diabetes monitors, smart meters and smart cities.

All these IoT applications inevitably demand different types of wired/wireless network connectivity and protocols, while posing serious cybersecurity concerns. The IoT market, by definition, invites fragmentation and interoperability problems among products and applications, thus creating scaling problems for companies in the IoT space.

Read More »As Devices Get Cloud Connected by Default, What Must MCUs Do?
Over stuffed baggage

Handling the Baggage of Edge AI

By Junko Yoshida

What’s at stake:
Everyone loves talking about Edge AI, but without mentioning the persistent gap between the AI and embedded worlds. Edge AI designers are caught in a never-ending cycle of ‘optimization’, pressed to fit neural network models and achieve acceptable accuracy on their hardware. They are desperate for tools to lighten their load. At stake is the scaling of edge AI deployment.

Edge AI today stands at “this uncomfortable junction,” said Evan Petridis, CEO at Eta Compute, in a recent interview with the Ojo-Yoshida Report. Edge AI straddles two domains – machine learning (ML) and embedded. These two distinctly different fields share neither the same language nor design philosophies.

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Jim Keller at Intel (left) and Jim Keller at Tenstorrent

Jim Keller’s Journey from CPUs to CEO

By Junko Yoshida

What’s at stake:
Although regarded as a “natural” in computer architecture, Jim Keller acknowledges he had to work hard to develop skills that enable him to lead thousands of engineers. How did he do it? What worked? What didn’t? Keller traces his evolution for us.

Practically everyone in the semiconductor world knows who Jim Keller is. The legendary CPU designer is revered throughout the engineering community.

Read More »Jim Keller’s Journey from CPUs to CEO
Michael Hurlston

That Severe Auto IC Shortage? It Will Happen Soon Again

By Bolaji Ojo

What’s at stake?
The electronics supply chain is broken and needs a full course of treatment. But industry and governments worldwide are pouring resources mainly into ensuring the availability of leading-edge products. The auto IC supply chain is on the other end, though. That was where the disequilibrium started and where it was most noticeable. Not fixing it portents more trouble, says an industry executive.

Michael Hurlston is an engineer and not a physician. But he could easily be that health expert warning clients against not completing the full course of their immunization. The virus may mutate and become direly resistant to future treatments, Hurlston might say.

A semiconductor industry veteran and CEO at fabless chipmaker Synaptics Inc., Hurlston’s expertise diverges strongly from medicine. But after witnessing many of the semiconductor industry’s cyclical swings, Hurlston can identify the roots of the recent supply shortages that drove panic buying and crippled many automotive manufacturing plants over the last couple of years.

Read More »That Severe Auto IC Shortage? It Will Happen Soon Again
BYD's new energy vehicle, Yangwang U9, unveiled at Auto Shanghai 2023

China EV Inc. Preps for Global Market as Western Rivals Wilt

By Junko Yoshida

What’s at stake:
Western automotive OEMs have been steadily retreating from a Chinese domestic market heavily dominated by local hybrid and battery electric vehicle manufacturers. Now, the Chinese auto OEMs are venturing out, poised to sweep into Europe, and then the rest of the world. How should lawmakers and carmakers in the U.S. and Europe respond to China EV Inc.?

Read More »China EV Inc. Preps for Global Market as Western Rivals Wilt
a small company is ro be merged with a bigger company

Analysts: Onsemi Is Natural Candidate to Buy Wolfspeed

By Junko Yoshida

What’s at stake:
Silicon-based power electronics devices and silicon carbide (SiC) power devices have commonalities. Suppliers of both types tend to be more vertically integrated. Where they diverge is their yields. SiC yield – from wafers to devices – is dramatically lower than silicon-based power devices. With everyone racing to nail down base manufacturing technology, the stakes center on how long Wolfspeed can keep competitors at bay.

To be clear, Wolfspeed is not for sale.

However, considering all factors affecting today’s silicon carbide (SiC) business, the industry experts tend toward the conclusion that On Semiconductor Corp. (Onsemi) is the most logical suitor to buy Wolfspeed. Here’s why.

Read More »Analysts: Onsemi Is Natural Candidate to Buy Wolfspeed
Ganesh Moorthy. Microchip CEO

Microchip CEO Pursues ‘Bowling Pin’ Strategy

By Junko Yoshida

What’s at stake:
Microchip claims it is no longer so easy to pigeonhole it as an 8-bit MCU company. CEO Ganesh Moorthy explains plans to leverage its bread-and-butter semiconductor products, create more permutations and product combinations, as Microchip plots to lead fragmented embedded/IoT markets.

Microchip is already in the “Things” market, CEO Ganesh Moorthy recently told The Ojo-Yoshida Report. That penetration, in his mind, puts the company in a well-timed position to seize the “megatrend” of the Internet of Things (IoT) market.

Here’s why.

Read More »Microchip CEO Pursues ‘Bowling Pin’ Strategy
Hidetoshi Shibata, Renesas CEO

The Man Who Put Renesas Back on The Global IC Map

By Junko Yoshida

What’s at stake:
The founders of Renesas Electronics in 2010 had high hopes to make their company Japan’s flagship semiconductor supplier. Instead, Renesas lost its way. The life-or-death question for almost a decade has been, who could save Renesas and how he could pull it off. Has Renesas found its guy?

It has taken a generational change, an intrepid global view and exceptional financial savvy to breathe a new life into Renesas, Japan’s ailing chip company. In the most recent financial call, Hidetoshi Shibata, Renesas CEO, declared, “I believe Renesas is finally joining the ranks with global peers in the semiconductor industry.”

Read More »The Man Who Put Renesas Back on The Global IC Map