Semiconductor Industry News, Trends, and Technology, and SEMI Standards Updates

The Tech Ahead

Posted by Cimetrix on Mar 9, 2010 4:00:00 AM

Microsoft Logoby Bill Grey,
Director of Research and Development

2009 was a tough year and it is good to see the Semiconductor industry coming back. With development projects ramping up, here is a peek at the new technologies coming out this year:

AMD has some new 45 nm Phenom II and Athalon II CPUs out and has the 6-core 45 nm Thuban CPU coming out later in Q2. 2011 will follow with a Llano 32 nm quad-core APU and 32 nm Bulldozer core CPU called Zambezi with up to 8 cores.

Intel has 32 nm rolling strong with the release of the Clarkdale CPU with 2 cores this quarter. They will follow up with the Gulftown processor around mid-year with 6 cores.

It doesn’t look like processing power will be much of a problem any more. =)

For developers, Microsoft released Visual Studio 2010 and .NET 4.0 in April. More information may be found at http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb386063(VS.100).aspx.

Among the changes that got me excited are:

  • better support for parallel code development and debugging
  • debugging of mixed-mode native and managed code on 64-bit operating systems
  • the Visual F# programming language
  • reference highlighting in the editor (finally!)
  • call hierarchy navigation for C# and C++
  • box selection for copy/paste (finally!)
  • .NET background garbage collection instead of concurrent garbage collection for better performance
  • .NET tuple objects for structured data
  • .NET memory-mapped files (shared memory)
  • .NET String.IsNullOrWhiteSpace method indicates whether a string is null, empty, or consists only of white-space
  • Managed Extensibility Framework (MEF) to build extensible and composable applications

Office 2010 comes out the first half of this year with some new collaboration features such as co-authoring and PowerPoint presentation broadcasting: http://www.microsoft.com/office/2010/en/whats-new/default.aspx.

On the Windows side, Windows 7 is here in 32-bit and 64-bit flavors and is being adopted much faster than Vista was when it released. Windows Server 2008 R2 is out for the server platform. For embedded systems, Windows Embedded Standard 2009 has replaced Windows XP Embedded and a new version is on the way called Windows Embedded Standard 7 (Windows 7 based).

How many semiconductor manufacturing tools will need or will go to a 64 bit operating system this year?

One item that could spur the move to Windows 7 is a change in hard drive technology that is not targeted to be supported by Windows XP. Hard drives are moving from 512 byte sectors to 4 kilobyte sectors and will be incompatible with Windows XP. Some of the smarter drives may have a compatibility mode for Windows XP, but at a cost of reduced performance. This will start in early 2011. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/8557144.stm.

Would you be interested in learning more about these emerging technologies and their effect on Cimetrix products? If there is a significant interest, Cimetrix plans to host a webinar on this topic in the near future.

Topics: Semiconductor Industry, Programming Tools, Windows 7, Microsoft, .NET, Visual Studio 2010, Office 2010

New Year, New Operating System

Posted by Cimetrix on Jan 6, 2010 10:25:00 AM

by Brent Forsgren,
EFA Practice Manager

It is the start of a new year, thank goodness! I wonder what is in store for my Global Services team this year. Last year was a tough year for the semiconductor market, but early indications and market experts are saying that 2010 should be much better than 2009.

On top of the market’s expected upward turn, Microsoft released Windows 7 in late 2009 to replace their not so popular Windows Vista. I expect that a significant portion of our customer’s equipment sales this year will be of existing technology and software. But for our customers that will be developing and selling new tools and software, will you jump to Windows 7 or will you wait for it to prove itself in the market place? Additionally, if you switch to Windows 7 will you also make the jump to a 64-bit architecture or will you stay with the aging 32-bit architecture?

We welcome your comments and feedback! I would love to hear your thoughts and plans.  Please comment below or email me at brent.forsgren@cimetrix.com.

Topics: Customer Service, Doing Business with Cimetrix, Product Information, Global Services, Windows 7, Microsoft

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