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February 2014

Terrifying Robots: Part 3

When Adrienne first let me know about termite robots, I was ready to see something like the previous post on roaches.  

I was pleasasntly surprised to read these are just termite-inspired robots, not actual termites with controls attached.


And they're kind of adorable.  

But this is the Terrifying Robots series, afterall, so what do we have to fear from these little creatures? 

HOW ABOUT THE FACT THAT THEY'RE SOCIAL?  They learn by monitoring their environment and each others actions.  Social, learning robots are always terrifying because what happens if someone goes in and changes their code?  What if their orders get changed?  Has no one seen Eureka and the little robot mites? 

Of course, not having to send humans into dangerous environments to do construction is a benefit, but that's always how these robotic revolutions start, isn't it?  Take a look: 

AR-Ready Mobile Revenue will Reach Over $630B by 2017, says Semico Research

The last few years have shown some amazing strides in augmented reality (AR), MEMS, mobile, Sensor Fusion, and the Internet of Things (IoT).  But what is hype and what is real value?  

ASIC Design Starts for 2014 by Key End Market Applications

Improving market financials and continuing end market demand are combining to push ASIC Design activity to new levels.  The Basic SoC market is being driven by the emergence in the Internet of Things (IoT) and the need for silicon solutions for this segment. Mixed Signal ASIC designs have been growing for the last few years as more and more systems seek to interface to analog type 'real world' functions.

Table of Contents: 

Tony Massimini to Speak at MIPI Alliance Members Meeting March 12

Tony Massimini, Chief of Technology for Semico Research, will speak at the MIPI Alliance Members Meeting in Chicago, on March 12, 2014.  This is a MIPI members only meeting. Tony Massimini will be addressing topics of interest to the MIPI members.

SAVE THE DATE: Next Semico IMPACT Event on 4/23/2014

Semico prides itself on holding top tier events where the speakers are the "Who's Who" of the semiconductor supply chain, and the attendees continually rave about the excellent marketing opportunities the Semico Summit, Outlook, and IMPACT conferences provide. 


Here are the speakers for the 2014 Lighting Conference, in order of the Agenda.  

Venue: Smart Lighting 2014

The Smart Lighting IMPACT series will be hosted at: 

The Biltmore Hotel & Suites

2151 Laurelwood Road
Santa Clara, CA 95054
(800) 255-9925

April 23rd 2014

ASIC Design Starts: Growth Continues as Markets Strengthen

Today, silicon designs show rapidly increasing levels of complexity in response to end user demands for more connectivity and the ability to use that connectivity in applications like downloading video, video conferencing, device hot spots, increasing camera resolution for richer photos and better screen resolution to enhance user experience.   An additional trend is to include sensors of every type for a better interface and interaction with the outside world.

Table of Contents: 

The Only Guarantee in the 450mm Conversation is...

The debate over 450mm wafer manufacturing has been raging for years within the semiconductor industry. Should it happen? Will it happen? When? Who will be the first to take the plunge? 

Development costs and fab costs are so high that only a select few companies are even capable of making it a reality. What does that mean for the rest of the industry?  For the equipment companies, the risks are higher than ever. 

Terrifying Robots: Part 2

Ugh. Roaches.  

Osaka University & Tokyo University have created a fuel cell that uses the insides of the roaches to power sensors.  So what... they're going to release thousands of roaches into the sewers of New York?  I can't handle this information.  

The fuel cell uses trehalose, a sugar found in the roach's body to generate 50.2 microwatts of power.  As long as the roach secretes the fluid, the cell will have power.  The roach itself can live up to 3 years depending on the type used, but madagascar hissing roaches are most often used in research due to their cleaner nature, and can live up to 5 years, but cannot be released into the wild in some regions.  But don't worry, North Carolina has that covered; they're going to add a remote control system to the roach.  They're adding little sensors to the roach that will make it think a preditor is approaching from a certain direction in order to spur it in the direction the researchers want.  No veering off course for these little cyborgs.

Image from Techon and Osaka and Tokyo Universities



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