Thursday, February 8, 2024

Tech Update: Highlights of Chiplet Summit 2024

The Second Annual Chiplet Summit, held February 6-8, 2024 at the Santa Clara Convention Center, more than doubled in size compared with the previous year's event, demonstrating growing interest from chip designers in this emerging field. Chuck Sobey, Conference Chair of Chiplet Summit, provides some highlights:

- The industry's shift towards chiplet technology as a way to move beyond Moore's law, utilizing older process geometries and combining them with the latest cutting-edge process technologies.

- The potential of chiplets in accelerating AI in various domains such as automotive, medical, telecommunications, and more, with the help of universal standards like UCI for seamless chip communication.

- The promising future of chiplets, with projections of significant improvements in performance and power, enabling advancements we've only dreamed of or haven't yet imagined.

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Tech Update: Calculating the Costs/Benefits of Chiplets

Should you consider a chiplet for your next semiconductor project or stick with a conventional, monolithic design? 

Marek Hempel, Staff Process Development Engineer from Analog Devices, discuss a white paper by the Open Compute Project that delves into this topic.

  • - He discusses the financial trade-offs between monolithic, chiplet, and SIP designs, helping you understand which route is best for your specific needs.
  • - Marek dives into the interplay between technology choices and business decisions, such as the costs of designing a chiplet system and whether it's the right choice for your project.
  • - He also shares exciting updates about the development of a chiplet marketplace and an upcoming workshop on chiplet business challenges, both aimed at fostering an open chiplet economy.

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Filmed at Chiplet Summit 2024 in Santa Clara, California.

#OFC24: Upcoming Panel on Heterogeneous Integration

Heterogeneous Integration opens new capabilities for technologies, use cases, and market participants. Integrating devices developed separately and often on different substrates (as, for example, III-V semiconductors and Silicon Photonics) into a single composite device enables miniaturization, simplifies interconnection, saves materials, and reduces energy consumption. 

Dan Pitt, President of Palo Alto Innovation Advisors, previews a panel discussion on Sunday, March 24, 16:00 - 18:30, featuring:

Alex Chikhaoui, X-Celeprint, Ireland

Ivan Huang, Avicena Tech, United States

Michael Lebby, Lightwave Logic, United States

Sylvie Menezo, Scintil, France

Edward Preisler, Tower Semiconductor, United States

Jing Zhang, IMEC AND Ghent University, Belgium

Mian Zhang, Hyperlight, United States

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FCC rules against AI-driven Robocalls and Robotexts

The FCC issued a declatory ruling that prohibs the use of AI-generated voices for robocalls, under the protections afforded under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA).  The ruling also  encompasses current uses of AI in robotexting,  e.g., interacting with consumers as though they were live human callers.

The FCC also finds “that certain AI technologies such as ‘voice cloning’ appear to fall within the TCPA’s existing prohibition on artificial or prerecorded voice messages because this technology artificially simulates a human voice”.

FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel states "The Telephone Consumer Protection Act is the primary law we have to help limit unwanted robocalls.  It means that AI technologies like voice cloning fall within this law’s existing prohibitions and that calls that use this technology to simulate a human voice are illegal, unless callers have obtained prior express consent.  It also means that when these calls happen, State Attorneys General across the country can go after the bad actors behind these robocalls and seek damages under the law."

Equinix purchases 151 MW of renewable energy in Australia

Equinix signed a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) in Australia with TagEnergy.  The deal includes the purchase of 151 megawatts (MW) of renewable energy that is expected to come online at the provider's Golden Plains Wind Farm – East project in 2029. The agreement is Equinix's first long-term renewable energy agreement in the Asia-Pacific region.

"To date, Equinix has executed 21 PPAs globally resulting in 3,000,000 MWh of renewable energy and as we expand our global data center footprint, we will continue to assess opportunities for greening the grids that we move into," said Christopher Wellise, Vice President, Sustainability, Equinix. "Once this expansion of the Golden Plains Wind Farm – East project is completed in 2029, our impact through all 21 PPAs is expected to amount to more than one gigawatt of renewable energy added to local grids. In combination with other sustainability efforts, this is expected to bring Equinix to 100% renewable coverage across all of our operations globally."

"Data center operators and other large corporate energy customers, like Equinix, have accelerated the clean energy transition by executing PPAs and other contracts that create long-term financial stability for developers of wind, solar and other clean energy resources. These clean energy projects have changed the electricity market in the U.S. and Europe. Now high-impact projects like this are helping to lead the effort to drive local demand and shift markets in regions where there is even more opportunity for decarbonization such as Australia, India and Southeast Asia," said Kevin Hagen, Interim CEO of the Clean Energy Buyers Association (CEBA).

Cloudflare: "firing efficiently on all cylinders"

Cloudflare reported Q4 2023 total revenue of $362.5 million representing an increase of 32% year-over-year. GAAP loss from operations was $42.8 million, or 11.8% of total revenue, compared to $50.7 million, or 18.5% of total revenue, in the fourth quarter of 2022. Non-GAAP income from operations was $39.8 million, or 11.0% of total revenue, compared to $16.8 million, or 6.1% of total revenue, in the fourth quarter of 2022.

"We had an exceptionally strong fourth quarter. We grew revenue by 32% percent year-over-year, to $362.5, blew away our previous records for new ACV—delivering the highest quarterly growth since 2021—and signed both our largest new customer win and largest customer renewal ever. Our pipeline close rates, sales force productivity, average deal size, and linearity all improved markedly quarter-over-quarter. To close out the year, strength in our business was driven by robust momentum with large customers, significant progress in the public sector, and growth in Cloudflare One," said Matthew Prince, co-founder & CEO of Cloudflare. "The machine that underlies Cloudflare is firing efficiently on all cylinders, and while the macro environment remains challenging to predict, customers continue to turn to us to connect, protect, and optimize their systems so they can gain the control they need to accelerate their businesses."

Lumentum posts revenue of $366.8M

Lumentum reported net revenue for the fiscal second quarter of 2024 was $366.8 million, with GAAP net loss of $99.1 million, or $1.47 per diluted share. Net revenue for the fiscal first quarter of 2024 was $317.6 million, with GAAP net loss of $67.9 million, or $1.02 per diluted share. Net revenue for the fiscal second quarter of 2023 was $506.0 million, with GAAP net loss of $31.7 million, or $0.46 per diluted share.

Non-GAAP net income for the fiscal second quarter of 2024 was $21.7 million, or $0.32 per diluted share. Non-GAAP net income for fiscal first quarter of 2024 was $23.4 million, or $0.35 per diluted share. Non-GAAP net income for the fiscal second quarter of 2023 was $104.1 million, or $1.52 per diluted share.

“Lumentum stands at the leading edge of photonics innovation, partnering with customers to enablethe future of data centers and the networks that connect them. Given the surging bandwidth demands of AI data centers, and our strong traction on new transceiver opportunities, we are strategically expanding our leading-edge transceiver manufacturing capacity. As a key part of this expansion, we are investing in state-of-the-art production lines at our manufacturing facility in Thailand. This factory has proven photonics manufacturing capabilities and has received numerous customer accolades, giving us confidence in our ability to ramp rapidly. We will be ramping capacity this summer and expect to lead the first wave of 1.6T transceivers for multiple customers at this site,” said Alan Lowe, President and CEO.

“Second quarter revenue and EPS results were above the midpoints of our guidance. Based on sluggish carrier capex spending and our latest customer discussions, we now expect customer inventory digestion to extend through the balance of fiscal 2024. Nevertheless, we are highly confident in our market position and the ultimate recovery and growth in this business,” concluded Mr. Lowe.

American Electric Power deploys Ribbon's IP/Optical

American Electric Power (AEP), which maintains and operates the nation's largest electricity transmission system, has added Ribbon's IP and Optical products as one of its solutions to continue providing the critical communications needs to support AEP's infrastructure.

Financial terms were not disclosed.

"AEP is a leader in the utilities sector, and its extensive network is a key part of our national infrastructure," said Dave Hogan, Vice President, Enterprise & Government Markets from Ribbon. "We're pleased to provide them with the high quality, secure and reliable IP Optical solutions that fulfill their stringent requirements and timetables."

SPIE Photonics West 2024 attracted 24,000

Photonics West, which was held last week at San Francisco’s Moscone Center, attracted 24,000-plus technical professional registerants from more than 70 countries across the international optics and photonics community. 

The  annual photonics conference hosted over 1,500 exhibitors, and featured over 5,000 technical presentations across an interactive and engaging week that included BiOS, LASE, OPTO, Quantum West, the BiOS Expo, the Photonics West exhibition, the Quantum West Expo, and the co-located AR|VR|MR conference and exhibition.

“Photonics West heralds the beginning of the optics and photonics calendar each year for good reason,” said SPIE CEO Kent Rochford. “The invigorating energy and high levels of enthusiasm throughout the Moscone Center characterized a truly exciting week. AR|VR|MR continues to grow by leaps and bounds, and the addition of a standalone exhibit to the Quantum West program reflects the growing impact of the technology. We were also delighted by the success of our brand-new SPIE Global Business Forum, a packed event that drew top industry executives together for high-level presentations and conversation. Altogether it was a pleasure to be part of the networking, research-sharing, and collaborative discussions among world-leading scientists, engineers, students, and businesspeople and I’m already looking forward to Photonics West 2025.”