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The Future of the Microprocessor Business

Customization and speed-to-market will drive the industry from the bottom up

11 min read
Man showing Athlon microprocessors fabricated on 200-mm wafers.
Photo: Matthias Rietsche Photo

In a century in which technology left few aspects of life unchanged in some countries, the microprocessor may have been the most transformative of all. In three decades it has worked itself into our lives with a scope and depth that would have been impossible to imagine during its early development.

If you live in a developed country, chances are good that your household can boast of more than a hundred microprocessors scattered throughout its vehicles, appliances, entertainment systems, cameras, wireless devices, personal digital assistants, and toys. Your car alone probably has at least 40 or 50 microprocessors. And it is a good bet that your livelihood, and perhaps your leisure pursuits, require you to frequently use a PC, a product that owes as much to the microprocessor as the automobile owes to the internal combustion engine.

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Video Friday: Humanoid Soccer

Your weekly selection of awesome robot videos

4 min read
Humans and human-size humanoid robots stand together on an indoor soccer field at the beginning of a game

Video Friday is your weekly selection of awesome robotics videos, collected by your friends at IEEE Spectrum robotics. We also post a weekly calendar of upcoming robotics events for the next few months. Please send us your events for inclusion.

CoRL 2022: 14–18 December 2022, AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND
ICRA 2023: 29 May–2 June 2023, LONDON

Enjoy today’s videos!

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Array of devices on a chip

This analog electrochemical memory (ECRAM) array provides a prototype for artificial synapses in AI training.

IBM research

How far away could an artificial brain be? Perhaps a very long way off still, but a working analogue to the essential element of the brain’s networks, the synapse, appears closer at hand now.

That’s because a device that draws inspiration from batteries now appears surprisingly well suited to run artificial neural networks. Called electrochemical RAM (ECRAM), it is giving traditional transistor-based AI an unexpected run for its money—and is quickly moving toward the head of the pack in the race to develop the perfect artificial synapse. Researchers recently reported a string of advances at this week’s IEEE International Electron Device Meeting (IEDM 2022) and elsewhere, including ECRAM devices that use less energy, hold memory longer, and take up less space.

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Fourth Generation Digitizers With Easy-to-Use API

Learn about the latest generation high-performance data acquisition boards from Teledyne

1 min read

In this webinar, we explain the design principles and operation of our fourth-generation digitizers with a focus on the application programming interface (API).

Register now for this free webinar!

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