Broadcom Corporation was an American fabless semiconductor company that made products for the wireless and broadband communication industry. It was acquired by Avago Technologies in 2016 and operates as a wholly owned subsidiary of the merged entity Broadcom Inc. Broadcom Corporation was founded by professor-student pair Henry Samueli and Henry Nicholas from UCLA in 1991. In 1995 the company moved from its Los Angeles office to Irvine, California. In 1998, Broadcom became a public company on the NASDAQ exchange and employs about 11,750 people worldwide in more than 15 countries. Broadcom is among Gartner's Top 10 Semiconductor Vendors by revenue. Broadcom first landed on the Fortune 500 in 2009. In 2012, Broadcom's total revenue was $8.01 billion. In 2013, Broadcom stood at No. 327 on the Fortune 500, having climbed 17 places from its 2012 ranking of No. 344. In May 28, 2015 chip maker Avago Technologies Ltd. agreed to buy Broadcom Corp. for $37 billion in cash and stock. At closing, which completed on February 1, 2016, Broadcom shareholders held 32% of the new Singapore-based company to be called Broadcom Limited.
Hock Tan, Avago President and CEO, was named CEO of the new combined company. Dr. Samueli became Chief Technology Officer and member of the combined company's board, Dr. Nicholas serves in a strategic advisory role within the new company; the new merged entity is named Broadcom Limited but inherits the ticker symbol AVGO. The BRCM ticker symbol was retired. In May 2016 Cypress Semiconductor announced that it will acquire Broadcom Corporation's full portfolio of IoT products for $550 million. Under the deal, Cypress acquires Broadcom's IoT products and intellectual property for Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and ZigBee connectivity, as well as Broadcom's WICED platform and SDK for developers; the deal combined Broadcom's developer tools and connectivity technologies for IoT devices with Cypress' own programmable system-on-a-chip products that provide memory and graphics processing for low-power devices. On April 26, 2009, Broadcom settled four years of legal battles over wireless and other patents with Qualcomm Inc. another fabless semiconductor company headquartered in San Diego, California.
The deal ended the patent litigation as well as complaints of anti-competitive behavior before trade commissions in the United States and South Korea. As part of the settlement, Qualcomm paid $891 million in cash to Broadcom over a four-year period ending June 2013. In June 2007, the U. S. International Trade Commission blocked the import of new cell phone models based on particular Qualcomm microchips, they found. In January 2017, the FTC sued Qualcomm for engaging in unlawful tactics to maintain "a monopoly on cellular-communications chips."On January 17, 2018, it was reported that the FTC was investigating whether Broadcom had "engaged in anti-competitive tactics in negotiations with customers," in a probe, ongoing for several months. On July 14, 2006, Broadcom announced it had to subtract $750 million from earnings due to stock options irregularities. On September 8, 2006, the amount was doubled to $1.5 billion. The company may owe additional taxes. On January 24, 2007, it announced a restatement of its financial results from 1998 to 2005 that totaled $2.22 billion.
On May 15, 2008, Broadcom CTO Samueli resigned as chairman of the board and took a leave of absence as Chief Technology Officer after being named in a civil complaint by the U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission. On June 5, 2008, Broadcom co-founder and former CEO Henry Nicholas and former CFO William Ruehle were indicted on charges of illegal stock-option backdating. Nicholas was indicted for violations of federal narcotics laws. However, in December 2009, federal judge Cormac J. Carney threw out the options backdating charges against Nicholas and Ruehle after finding that federal prosecutors improperly tried to prevent three defense witnesses from testifying. Broadcom's product line spans computer and telecommunication networking: the company has products for enterprise/metropolitan high-speed networks, as well as products for SOHO networks. Products include transceiver and processor ICs for Ethernet and wireless LANs, cable modems, digital subscriber line, home networking devices and cellular phones.
It is known for a series of high-speed encryption co-processors, offloading this processor-intensive work to a dedicated chip, thus speeding up tasks that utilize encryption. This has many practical benefits for e-commerce, PGP or GPG secure communications; the company produces ICs for carrier access equipment, audio/video processors for digital set-top boxes and digital video recorders, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi transceivers and RF receivers/tuners for satellite TV. Major customers include Apple, Hewlett-Packard, Motorola, IBM, Asus, Linksys, Nintendo, Nortel, TiVo, Tenda and Cisco Systems. In September 2011, Broadcom shut down its digital TV operations. Broadcom shut down its Blu-ray chip business; the closure of these businesses began on September 19, 2011. On June 2, 2014, Broadcom announced intentions to exit the cellular baseband business. Vendors have included Broadcom NICs in their products. For example, Dell PowerEdge M-Series blade-server products may be fitted with Dell-supplied Dual Port Broadcom NetXtreme 5709 Gigabit Ethernet port adapters.
Another large market is hardware for switches: some vendors offer switching equipment based on Broadcom hardware and firmware while other well-known vendors do use the Broadcom hardware but write their own firmware
In computer engineering, microarchitecture called computer organization and sometimes abbreviated as µarch or uarch, is the way a given instruction set architecture is implemented in a particular processor. A given ISA may be implemented with different microarchitectures. Computer architecture is the combination of instruction set architecture; the ISA is the same as the programming model of a processor as seen by an assembly language programmer or compiler writer. The ISA includes the execution model, processor registers and data formats among other things; the microarchitecture includes the constituent parts of the processor and how these interconnect and interoperate to implement the ISA. The microarchitecture of a machine is represented as diagrams that describe the interconnections of the various microarchitectural elements of the machine, which may be anything from single gates and registers, to complete arithmetic logic units and larger elements; these diagrams separate the datapath and the control path.
The person designing a system draws the specific microarchitecture as a kind of data flow diagram. Like a block diagram, the microarchitecture diagram shows microarchitectural elements such as the arithmetic and logic unit and the register file as a single schematic symbol; the diagram connects those elements with arrows, thick lines and thin lines to distinguish between three-state buses, unidirectional buses, individual control lines. Simple computers have a single data bus organization – they have a single three-state bus; the diagram of more complex computers shows multiple three-state buses, which help the machine do more operations simultaneously. Each microarchitectural element is in turn represented by a schematic describing the interconnections of logic gates used to implement it; each logic gate is in turn represented by a circuit diagram describing the connections of the transistors used to implement it in some particular logic family. Machines with different microarchitectures may have the same instruction set architecture, thus be capable of executing the same programs.
New microarchitectures and/or circuitry solutions, along with advances in semiconductor manufacturing, are what allows newer generations of processors to achieve higher performance while using the same ISA. In principle, a single microarchitecture could execute several different ISAs with only minor changes to the microcode; the pipelined datapath is the most used datapath design in microarchitecture today. This technique is used in most modern microprocessors, DSPs; the pipelined architecture allows multiple instructions to overlap in execution, much like an assembly line. The pipeline includes several different stages; some of these stages include instruction fetch, instruction decode and write back. Some architectures include other stages such as memory access; the design of pipelines is one of the central microarchitectural tasks. Execution units are essential to microarchitecture. Execution units include arithmetic logic units, floating point units, load/store units, branch prediction, SIMD.
These units perform the calculations of the processor. The choice of the number of execution units, their latency and throughput is a central microarchitectural design task; the size, latency and connectivity of memories within the system are microarchitectural decisions. System-level design decisions such as whether or not to include peripherals, such as memory controllers, can be considered part of the microarchitectural design process; this includes decisions on the connectivity of these peripherals. Unlike architectural design, where achieving a specific performance level is the main goal, microarchitectural design pays closer attention to other constraints. Since microarchitecture design decisions directly affect what goes into a system, attention must be paid to issues such as chip area/cost, power consumption, logic complexity, ease of connectivity, manufacturability, ease of debugging, testability. In general, all CPUs, single-chip microprocessors or multi-chip implementations run programs by performing the following steps: Read an instruction and decode it Find any associated data, needed to process the instruction Process the instruction Write the results outThe instruction cycle is repeated continuously until the power is turned off.
Complicating this simple-looking series of steps is the fact that the memory hierarchy, which includes caching, main memory and non-volatile storage like hard disks, has always been slower than the processor itself. Step introduces a lengthy delay while the data arrives over the computer bus. A considerable amount of research has been put into designs that avoid these delays as much as possible. Over the years, a central goal was to execute more instructions in parallel, thus increasing the effective execution speed of a program; these efforts introduced complicated circuit structures. These techniques could only be implemented on expensive mainframes or supercomputers due to the amount of circuitry needed for these techniques; as semiconductor manufacturing progressed and more of these techniq
The Apple S2 is the integrated computer in the Apple Watch Series 2, it is described as a "System in Package" by Apple Inc. It was revealed on September 7, 2016, with little info about specifications. Apple says its two cores deliver 50% higher performance and the GPU delivers twice as much as the predecessor, the Apple S1 but similar in performance to the Apple S1P in the Apple Watch Series 1, it uses a customized application processor that together with 512 MB memory, 8 GB storage and support processors for wireless connectivity, GPS, sensors and I/O constitute a complete computer in a single package. This package is filled with resin for durability; the device integrates discrete components like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, NFC, touch controller, barometric sensor and RAM. In total, there are 42 individual silicon dies integrated into the single S2 component. Apple mobile application processors, the range of ARM-based mobile processors designed by Apple for their consumer electronic devices. Apple Watch
SanDisk is a brand of Western Digital that produces flash memory products, including memory cards and readers, USB flash drives, solid state drives. As of February 2015, SanDisk is the third-largest manufacturer of flash memory. On May 12, 2016, SanDisk Corporation was acquired by hard drive manufacturer Western Digital in a US$19 billion deal. SanDisk was founded in 1988 by Eli Harari, Sanjay Mehrotra and Jack Yuan, incorporated at the time as SunDisk. SanDisk co-founder Eli Harari developed the Floating Gate EEPROM which proved the practicality and endurance of semiconductor-based data storage. In 1991 SanDisk produced the first flash based SSD in a 2.5-inch hard disk drive form factor for IBM with a 20 MB capacity priced at about $1000. On May 10, 2000, the Toshiba Corporation of Japan and the SanDisk Corporation said that they would jointly form a new semiconductor company to produce advanced flash memory for digital cameras. In October 2005, SanDisk acquired Matrix Semiconductor. In July 2006, SanDisk acquired M-Systems.
In May 2011, SanDisk acquired Pilant Technology, a manufacturer of solid state drives, for US$327 million. In February 2012, SanDisk acquired FlashSoft. In June 2012, SanDisk acquired Schooner Information Technology, developer of the flash-optimized database software SchoonerSQL and caching software Membrain. In July 2013, SanDisk acquired SMART Storage Systems, a producer of SSDs for the enterprise market, for US$307 million. In June 2014, SanDisk acquired Fusion-io, a producer of flash memory for enterprise datacenters, for $1.1 billion. In 2014, SanDisk co-founder Harari won the National Medal of Technology and Innovation from President Barack Obama for his innovations and contributions to flash memory storage solutions. In 2012, the Enough Project ranked SanDisk the third highest of 24 consumer electronics companies on "progress on conflict minerals". FlashCP Secure USB Drive StartKey U3 SanDisk Sansa Eye-Fi ULLtraDIMM Official website
Apple Inc. is an American multinational technology company headquartered in Cupertino, that designs and sells consumer electronics, computer software, online services. It is considered one of the Big Four of technology along with Amazon and Facebook; the company's hardware products include the iPhone smartphone, the iPad tablet computer, the Mac personal computer, the iPod portable media player, the Apple Watch smartwatch, the Apple TV digital media player, the HomePod smart speaker. Apple's software includes the macOS and iOS operating systems, the iTunes media player, the Safari web browser, the iLife and iWork creativity and productivity suites, as well as professional applications like Final Cut Pro, Logic Pro, Xcode, its online services include the iTunes Store, the iOS App Store, Mac App Store, Apple Music, Apple TV+, iMessage, iCloud. Other services include Apple Store, Genius Bar, AppleCare, Apple Pay, Apple Pay Cash, Apple Card. Apple was founded by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Ronald Wayne in April 1976 to develop and sell Wozniak's Apple I personal computer, though Wayne sold his share back within 12 days.
It was incorporated as Apple Computer, Inc. in January 1977, sales of its computers, including the Apple II, grew quickly. Within a few years and Wozniak had hired a staff of computer designers and had a production line. Apple went public in 1980 to instant financial success. Over the next few years, Apple shipped new computers featuring innovative graphical user interfaces, such as the original Macintosh in 1984, Apple's marketing advertisements for its products received widespread critical acclaim. However, the high price of its products and limited application library caused problems, as did power struggles between executives. In 1985, Wozniak departed Apple amicably and remained an honorary employee, while Jobs and others resigned to found NeXT; as the market for personal computers expanded and evolved through the 1990s, Apple lost market share to the lower-priced duopoly of Microsoft Windows on Intel PC clones. The board recruited CEO Gil Amelio to what would be a 500-day charge for him to rehabilitate the financially troubled company—reshaping it with layoffs, executive restructuring, product focus.
In 1997, he led Apple to buy NeXT, solving the failed operating system strategy and bringing Jobs back. Jobs pensively regained leadership status, becoming CEO in 2000. Apple swiftly returned to profitability under the revitalizing Think different campaign, as he rebuilt Apple's status by launching the iMac in 1998, opening the retail chain of Apple Stores in 2001, acquiring numerous companies to broaden the software portfolio. In January 2007, Jobs renamed the company Apple Inc. reflecting its shifted focus toward consumer electronics, launched the iPhone to great critical acclaim and financial success. In August 2011, Jobs resigned as CEO due to health complications, Tim Cook became the new CEO. Two months Jobs died, marking the end of an era for the company. Apple is well known for its size and revenues, its worldwide annual revenue totaled $265 billion for the 2018 fiscal year. Apple is the world's largest information technology company by revenue and the world's third-largest mobile phone manufacturer after Samsung and Huawei.
In August 2018, Apple became the first public U. S. company to be valued at over $1 trillion. The company employs 123,000 full-time employees and maintains 504 retail stores in 24 countries as of 2018, it operates the iTunes Store, the world's largest music retailer. As of January 2018, more than 1.3 billion Apple products are in use worldwide. The company has a high level of brand loyalty and is ranked as the world's most valuable brand. However, Apple receives significant criticism regarding the labor practices of its contractors, its environmental practices and unethical business practices, including anti-competitive behavior, as well as the origins of source materials. Apple Computer Company was founded on April 1, 1976, by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Ronald Wayne; the company's first product is the Apple I, a computer designed and hand-built by Wozniak, first shown to the public at the Homebrew Computer Club. Apple I was sold as a motherboard —a base kit concept which would now not be marketed as a complete personal computer.
The Apple I went on sale in July 1976 and was market-priced at $666.66. Apple Computer, Inc. was incorporated on January 3, 1977, without Wayne, who had left and sold his share of the company back to Jobs and Wozniak for $800 only twelve days after having co-founded Apple. Multimillionaire Mike Markkula provided essential business expertise and funding of $250,000 during the incorporation of Apple. During the first five years of operations revenues grew exponentially, doubling about every four months. Between September 1977 and September 1980, yearly sales grew from $775,000 to $118 million, an average annual growth rate of 533%; the Apple II invented by Wozniak, was introduced on April 16, 1977, at the first West Coast Computer Faire. It differs from its major rivals, the TRS-80 and Commodore PET, because of its character cell-based color graphics and open architecture. While early Apple II models use ordinary cassette tapes as storage devices, they were superseded by the introduction of a 5 1⁄4-inch floppy disk drive and interface called the Disk II.
The Apple II was chosen to be the desktop platform for the first "killer app" of the business world: VisiCalc, a spreadsheet program. VisiCalc created a business market for the Apple II and gave home users an additional reason to buy an Apple II: compatibility with the office. Before VisiCalc, Apple had been a distant third place c
System on a chip
A system on a chip or system on chip is an integrated circuit that integrates all components of a computer or other electronic system. These components include a central processing unit, input/output ports and secondary storage – all on a single substrate or microchip, the size of a coin, it may contain digital, mixed-signal, radio frequency signal processing functions, depending on the application. As they are integrated on a single substrate, SoCs consume much less power and take up much less area than multi-chip designs with equivalent functionality; because of this, SoCs are common in the mobile computing and edge computing markets. Systems on chip are used in embedded systems and the Internet of Things. Systems on Chip are in contrast to the common traditional motherboard-based PC architecture, which separates components based on function and connects them through a central interfacing circuit board. Whereas a motherboard houses and connects detachable or replaceable components, SoCs integrate all of these components into a single integrated circuit, as if all these functions were built into the motherboard.
An SoC will integrate a CPU, graphics and memory interfaces, hard-disk and USB connectivity, random-access and read-only memories and secondary storage on a single circuit die, whereas a motherboard would connect these modules as discrete components or expansion cards. More integrated computer system designs improve performance and reduce power consumption as well as semiconductor die area needed for an equivalent design composed of discrete modules, at the cost of reduced replaceability of components. By definition, SoC designs are or nearly integrated across different component modules. For these reasons, there has been a general trend towards tighter integration of components in the computer hardware industry, in part due to the influence of SoCs and lessons learned from the mobile and embedded computing markets. Systems-on-Chip can be viewed as part of a larger trend towards embedded computing and hardware acceleration. An SoC integrates a microcontroller or microprocessor with advanced peripherals like graphics processing unit, Wi-Fi module, or one or more coprocessors.
Similar to how a microcontroller integrates a microprocessor with peripheral circuits and memory, an SoC can be seen as integrating a microcontroller with more advanced peripherals. For an overview of integrating system components, see system integration. In general, there are four distinguishable types of SoCs: SoCs built around a microcontroller, SoCs built around a microprocessor found in mobile phones. Systems-on-chip can be applied to any computing task. However, they are used in mobile computing such as tablets, smartphones and netbooks as well as embedded systems and in applications where microcontrollers would be used. Where only microcontrollers could be used, SoCs are rising to prominence in the embedded systems market. Tighter system integration offers better reliability and mean time between failure, SoCs offer more advanced functionality and computing power than microcontrollers. Applications include AI acceleration, embedded machine vision, data collection, vector processing and ambient intelligence.
Embedded systems-on-chip target the internet of things, industrial internet of things and edge computing markets. Mobile computing based SoCs bundle processors, memories, on-chip caches, wireless networking capabilities and digital camera hardware and firmware. With increasing memory sizes, high end SoCs will have no memory and flash storage and instead, the memory and flash memory will be placed right next to, or above, the SoC; some examples of mobile computing SoCs include: Apple: Apple-designed processors A12 Bionic and other A series, used in iPhones and iPads S series and W series, in Apple Watches. Apple T series, used in the 2016 and 2017 MacBook Pro touch bars and fingerprint scanners. Samsung Electronics: list based on ARM7 and ARM9 Exynos, used by Samsung's Galaxy series of smartphones Qualcomm: Snapdragon, used in many LG, Google Pixel, HTC and Samsung Galaxy smartphones. In 2018, Snapdragon SoCs are being used as the backbone of laptop computers running Windows 10, marketed as "Always Connected PCs".
As long ago as 1992, Acorn Computers produced the A3010, A3020 and A4000 range of personal computers with the ARM250 system-on-chip. It combined the original Acorn ARM2 processor with a memory controller, video controller, I/O controller. In previous Acorn ARM-powered computers, these were four discreet chips; the ARM7500 chip was their second-generation system-on-chip, based on the ARM700, VIDC20 and IOMD controllers, was licensed in embedded devices such as set-top-boxes, as well as Acorn personal computers. Systems-on-chip are being applied to mainstream personal computers as of 2018, they are applied to laptops and tablet PCs. Tablet and laptop manufacturers have learned lessons from embedded systems and smartphone markets about reduced power consumption, better performance and reliability from tighter integration of hardware and firmware modules, LTE and other wireless network communications integrated on chip. ARM based: Qualcomm S
Wire bonding is the method of making interconnections between an integrated circuit or other semiconductor device and its packaging during semiconductor device fabrication. Although less common, wire bonding can be used to connect an IC to other electronics or to connect from one printed circuit board to another. Wire bonding is considered the most cost-effective and flexible interconnect technology and is used to assemble the vast majority of semiconductor packages. Wire bonding can be used at frequencies above 100 GHz. Bondwires consist of one of the following materials: Aluminum Copper Silver GoldWire diameters start at 15 µm and can be up to several hundred micrometres for high-powered applications; the wire bonding industry is transitioning from gold to copper. This change has been instigated by the rising cost of gold and the comparatively stable, much lower, cost of copper. While possessing higher thermal and electrical conductivity than gold, copper had been seen as less reliable due to its hardness and susceptibility to corrosion.
By 2015, it is expected that more than a third of all wire bonding machines in use will be set up for copper. Copper wire has become one of the preferred materials for wire bonding interconnects in many semiconductor and microelectronic applications. Copper is used for fine wire ball bonding in sizes up to 0.003 inch. Copper wire has the ability of being used at smaller diameters providing the same performance as gold without the high material cost. Copper wire up to 0.020 inch can be wedge bonded. Large diameter copper wire can and does replace aluminum wire where high current carrying capacity is needed or where there are problems with complex geometry. Annealing and process steps used by manufacturers enhance the ability to use large diameter copper wire to wedge bond to silicon without damage occurring to the die. Copper wire does pose some challenges in that it is harder than both gold and aluminum, so bonding parameters must be kept under tight control; the formation of oxides is inherent with this material, so storage and shelf life are issues that must be considered.
Special packaging is required in order to achieve a longer shelf life. Palladium coated copper wire is a common alternative which has shown significant resistance to corrosion, albeit at a higher hardness than pure copper and a greater price, though still less than gold. During the fabrication of wire bonds, copper wire, as well as its plated varieties, must be worked in the presence of forming gas or a similar anoxic gas in order to prevent corrosion. A method for coping with copper's relative hardness is the use of high purity varieties. Pure gold wire doped with controlled amounts of beryllium and other elements is used for ball bonding; this process brings together the two materials that are to be bonded using heat and ultrasonic energy referred to as thermosonic bonding. The most common approach in thermosonic bonding is to ball-bond to the chip stitch-bond to the substrate. Tight controls during processing enhance looping characteristics and eliminate sagging. Junction size, bond strength and conductivity requirements determine the most suitable wire size for a specific wire bonding application.
Typical manufacturers make gold wire in diameters from larger. Production tolerance on gold wire diameter is +/-3%. Alloyed aluminum wires are preferred to pure aluminum wire except in high-current devices because of greater drawing ease to fine sizes and higher pull-test strengths in finished devices. Pure aluminum and 0.5% magnesium-aluminum are most used in sizes larger than 0.004 inch. All-aluminum systems in semiconductor fabrication eliminate the "purple plague" sometimes associated with pure gold bonding wire. Aluminum is suitable for thermosonic bonding. In order to assure that high quality bonds can be obtained at high production speeds, special controls are used in the manufacture of 1% silicon-aluminum wire. One of the most important characteristics of high grade bonding wire of this type is homogeneity of the alloy system. Homogeneity is given special attention during the manufacturing process. Microscopic checks of the alloy structure of finished lots of 1% silicon-aluminum wire are performed routinely.
Processing is carried out under conditions which yield the ultimate in surface cleanliness and smooth finish and permits snag-free de-reeling. The main classes of wire bonding: Ball bonding Wedge bonding Compliant bondingBall bonding is restricted to gold and copper wire and requires heat. For wedge bonding, only gold wire requires heat. Wedge bonding can use large diameter wires or wire ribbons for power electronics application. Ball bonding is limited to small diameter wires, suitable for interconnect application. In either type of wire bonding, the wire is attached at both ends using a combination of downward pressure, ultrasonic energy, in some cases heat, to make a weld. Heat is used to make the metal softer; the correct combination of temperature and ultrasonic energy is used in order to maximize the reliability and strength of a wire bond. If heat and ultrasonic energy is used, the process is called thermosonic bonding. In wedge bonding, the wire must be drawn in a straight line according to the first bond.
This slows down the process due to time needed for tool alignment. Ball bonding, creates its first bond in a ball shape with the wire sticking out at the top, having no directional preference. Thus, the wire can be drawn in any direction. Compliant bonding transmits heat a