Who dominates the ups and downs: the battle of the three major routes of domestic CPUs

At 6:00 am on August 10, 2002, with the word “login:” appearing on the computer, there was a burst of cheers in the Institute of Computing Technology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. The Godson-1 CPU finally worked, and the situation of “lack of cores” in my country’s computers ushered in a breakthrough.

More than a year ago, the Institute of Computer Science of the Chinese Academy of Sciences established the Loongson project and collected 1 million yuan in research and development funds, and 32-year-old Hu Weiwu took over the task. Hu Weiwu was born for Godson. After the college entrance examination, he came to the University of Science and Technology of China in Hefei from the mountainous area of ​​northern Zhejiang. With a living allowance of 20 yuan a month, he spent 8 yuan for “R&D”. And his mentor is Xia Peisu, known as the “Mother of Chinese Computers”.

Godson pinned the hopes of too many people. In order to succeed in research and development, everyone threw themselves in the laboratory day and night, reading Mao Xuan together every day to improve their confidence; moreover, they also gave Godson another name: Gou Left, which carries the meaning of “getting a cheap life to support” in rural China.

Finally, Godson No. 1 was successfully applied, and No. 2 and No. 3 were also successfully developed. At the beginning of 2007, under the leadership of the leaders of China and France, Godson and STMicroelectronics also held a press conference in the Great Hall of the People, and the two sides cooperated to develop the international market. However, a biggest crisis also followed.

In 2009, an article titled “Godson Can’t Buy U.S. Company’s Patent Authorization, the Halo of “China Chip” Is Fading” was published, and Godson’s behavior of spending money to buy MIPS architecture patents was infinitely magnified. For a time, the whole country was in an uproar, thinking that it was developed by itself, but unexpectedly bought it.

At the critical moment, Hu Weiwu had to stand up and give a helpless, sad and red language-style computer principle class for the media teachers who have crossed the threshold. Hu Weiwu explained that buying a chip architecture is not the same as buying a chip; with the architecture, a lot of independent research and development work still needs to be done. However, under the negative shadow of “grinding Hanxin” a few years ago, Godson is still being criticized by thousands of people.

The public opinion dilemma encountered by Godson is also the epitome of the ups and downs of domestic CPUs over the past 20 years. From the difficulty of independence, to the worry of introduction, and then to starting a new business, the domestic CPU has struggled and moved forward despite the ups and downs and disputes. Where does the road to domestic CPUs lead?

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The first round of autonomy

The first person to propose computer chips was Ni Guangnan.

In 1994, in the face of the massive impact of foreign computers, Lenovo Group, which was advancing by leaps and bounds, was in danger. Ni Guangnan advocates developing in-depth chips, while Liu Chuanzhi wants to build a computer assembly line. “Technology, Industry and Trade” or “Trade, Industry and Technology”? The line battle between Ni Liu and Ni and Liu ended with Ni Guangnan out. At the meeting announcing Ni Guangnan’s dismissal, Liu Chuanzhi took out his handkerchief to wipe his tears, and Ni Guangnan sat in awe, unmoved.[1]

Lenovo’s victory in an era of enlarged trade dividends has affected people’s perception of chips to a considerable extent. Ten years after Ni Guangnan left, Lenovo has published three books: “Why Lenovo”, “Lenovo Storm”, “Lenovo Bureau”. The wide spread of the Ni-Liu dispute, and Lenovo’s 2005 acquisition of IBM’s PC business, seem to be proving a truth over and over again: it’s better to buy chips than to make them, and it’s a fantasy made in China.

When Lenovo became an idol of the times, the domestic CPU that Ni Guangnan fully supported ended in a bleak end.

In order to support Ark Technology in selling domestic CPUs, the Beijing Municipal Government ate the first crab and kicked Microsoft out, which shocked both sides of the Pacific Ocean. The president of Microsoft resigned, Kissinger wrote to the mayor of Beijing to put pressure on it, and finally the prime minister withstood the pressure, and the Ark-1 finally entered the government’s purchase order.[2]

And how glorious the beginning was, how tragic the ending was: no one wanted to use a computer with a domestic CPU, and the boss of Ark Technology was greedy for funds, built a building, and finally said that the money was not enough.[3]This further strengthens the existing stubborn prejudice of the public: domestic CPUs are either thieves or stealing, it is better not to do it, or Intel is the most fragrant.

However, unlike the perception of consumers, the computer veterans of the Chinese Academy of Sciences continue to appeal to the country: to start the research and development of independent CPUs during the “Tenth Five-Year Plan” period, otherwise there will be no chance. Finally, dissatisfied with Intel’s monopoly position and considering the security risks brought about by CPUs being controlled by others, the country has introduced the “Taishan Plan” aimed at revitalizing domestic independent CPUs.

At the same time as the Ark, which had high expectations at the time, there were three other domestic CPU projects:

  GodsonDue to the lack of funds, even the cheap MIPS architecture could not afford it at the beginning;

  Shenweideveloped by the 56 Institute with a long history in Wuxi, using the ancient Alpha architecture to serve the military and supercomputing;

  soardeveloped the first CPU as early as 1999, using the SPARC architecture.

During the “Tenth Five-Year Plan” and “Eleventh Five-Year Plan” period, with the support of many state-level funds such as 863 and nuclear high base, domestic CPU chips ushered in the spring breeze: basically maintained the production of one every two years. The speed of the chip, and spare no effort to catch up with the performance. The Godson II in 2004 can already equal the Pentium III in 1999.

However, the three major domestic CPUs also quickly encountered three major difficulties:

  performance difficultiesIntel’s combat effectiveness has exploded after entering the new century, AMD was disabled in 2006, and domestic CPUs have made great progress, but there is always a generation gap;

  ecological difficultiesthe x86 patent wall is towering, and the domestic independent CPU adopts a detour strategy, but it is difficult to adapt to the Microsoft system;

  Mass production difficultiesusers have adapted to Microsoft’s operating system, a barren desktop, unattractive, how to talk about mass production.

The reason for these three difficulties is that domestic CPUs have adopted a reduced instruction set architecture: MIPS, Alpha, SPARC, etc. These architectures that are unheard of by ordinary people are all defeated by Intel. The core element is the alliance formed between Intel and Microsoft.

With the end of the “Eleventh Five-Year Plan” and the tightening of state subsidies, the three major domestic CPUs have ushered in a turning point in their fate: Hu Weiwu gritted his teeth and decided to let Godson take the road of marketization, and the R&D personnel lost their iron rice bowls and went to sea; Shen Wei hid in the system and the supercomputing market, and did not attack downwards; a dispute broke out in Feiteng, and the two factions were arguing in front of the government leaders whether to abandon the original structure and fell into confusion for a while.

Can’t see the dawn of domestic CPU, so someone proposed another route: since it can’t be beat, why not introduce it?

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The second round of introduction worries

While large planes, nuclear Power plants and high-speed railways are beginning to become autonomous, the introduction of CPUs has begun.

On the introduction route, two armies were dispatched in China: Shanghai Zhaoxin and Tianjin Haiguang. The most popular and commercialized chip in the industry is Intel’s X86 architecture chip, but Intel is very strong and difficult to negotiate. Therefore, both companies chose to “save the country by the curve”:

Shanghai Zhaoxin acquired the X86 license of VIA Electronics, a company in Taiwan. VIA is known as “Taiwan’s Intel”, and its X86 patent license comes from the two American companies Cyrix and Centaur that it acquired that were on the verge of being beaten by Intel. VIA Electronics-related companies are also the founding shareholders of Shanghai Zhaoxin. Subsequently, Zhaoxin also acquired the X86 patent of VIA Electronics for more than 200 million US dollars.

Tianjin Haiguang chose AMD. AMD has obtained a cross-patent authorization for Intel X86 very early, and its self-developed Zen architecture has powerful performance. However, due to the fierce competition from Intel, AMD’s cash flow is under great pressure, and blood transfusion is urgently needed. Therefore, there is a cooperation with Haiguang, but AMD is also careful: Haiguang needs to be authorized by two-tier companies and go through 11 processes. Products are sold in mainland China.

After the introduction of technology, Zhaoxin and Haiguang have greatly increased their strength. Zhaoxin’s deal with VIA can be described as killing three birds with one stone, obtaining a CPU R&D team, x86 architecture patents, and a chipset industry chain; while Haiguang relies on the listed company Sugon, drawing on AMD’s work, plus domestic encryption algorithms, in commercial use The server starts quickly.

However, whether it is buying or renting, the price is high. Zhaoxin and Haiguang spent more than 2 billion yuan each; but it did make a sound very quickly. Two years after its establishment, Zhaoxin achieved mass production and sold more than 10,000 sets. Haiguang’s revenue in the first half of this year was 270 million and net profit was more than 60 million.

The introduction route seems to be immediate, but when Haiguang was included in the U.S. entity list, AMD, who was relieved, said that the latest architecture would no longer authorize Haiguang; and Shanghai Zhaoxin also faced patent flaws, we discovered that the introduction is not a panacea.

At the same time, the x86 talents in mainland China are extremely weak, and there is a big question mark as to whether the “bringing doctrine” can evolve into “absorbing innovation”. If you can only stay at the copy and paste of the x86 hardware level, it is difficult to carry out in-depth research and development, and meet the needs of high security level and consumer market.

Independence needs to start from the bottom, which is almost impossible; the introduction of the X86 architecture is also faced with the worry of being cut off and unable to update. When the market was tangled again, ARM came into view.

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The third round starts all over again

Since entering China in 2001, ARM has given the impression that it is an “old friend of Chinese technology companies”: reliable, easy to use, and capable of playing. More importantly, the ARM architecture authorization can be permanently bought out at the instruction set level, which is more controllable on the one hand, and deeper in research and development on the other hand. Therefore, domestic CPUs began to be independently developed based on the ARM architecture, trying to achieve the same performance as the x86 architecture, so as to achieve a deeper substitution.

Facts have proved that domestic CPUs are doing really well, and they are assisting ARM.

After going through the “autonomous VS introduction” line debate in the fall of 2011, Feiteng chose the ARM architecture. In August 2015, a Chinese named Charles Zhang (Zhang Chengyi) introduced the Feiteng server CPU “Mars” in Chinese on HotChips, the top conference in the global chip industry. The world’s first ARM-based CPU The 64-core CPU developed by the architecture.

This release caused quite a stir in the industry, but then the domestic public opinion made Feiteng experience the cruelty of Vanity Fair: Feiteng’s “comparable to Intel” propaganda was “shocking”, and the public thought it was an inexplicable manuscript reading style The press conference must hide the shocking secret of deceiving state subsidies. Some people even called on the masses to launch a monitoring campaign against domestic CPUs on the Internet.

Feiteng fell into a Schrödinger public opinion field: if you don’t do it well, some people will criticize it, but if you do it well, there will be people who will criticize it. And this is almost the situation faced by many domestic CPU companies. To break through the predicament, only consolidate strength:

Feiteng’s commercial server and desktop CPU processes have reached 28nm and 16nm respectively, which are basically suitable for use in specific domestic scenarios; and combined with the Kirin operating system developed based on open source Linux, 2 million Android applications can be run on desktop computers; at the same time, through capital acceleration , Feiteng is integrated into the listed company China Great Wall, which is convenient for supporting the whole machine.

The rapid awakening of domestic substitution awareness in the past two years has put Feiteng on the fast track. In 2018, Feiteng sold 200,000 CPUs based on the ARM architecture. In 2019, its revenue tripled. In the first half of 2020, its revenue was 340 million, which has exceeded the whole year of last year. And its leap-forward development, thanks to the multi-channel, “rural encircling the city” strategy, products cover embedded, desktop and traditional servers.

Just when Feiteng expanded with the help of the ARM architecture, Huawei got involved in the battlefield, and the first shot was a big army battle, and it was high in the server CPU market.

At the beginning of 2019, Huawei released the first ARM-based server CPU “Kunpeng”, and established the Kunpeng Computing Industry Alliance with various provinces and cities to deliver industry standards and talents to various places, and established hardware production bases with representative enterprises in various places. In May of this year, Kunpeng CPU entered China Telecom’s procurement list.

Huawei’s aggressive offensive, just like the way it played in the program-controlled switch market, was bound to local telecommunications bureaus and co-existed. Finally, with technical upgrades and channels, the localization of switches was completed.

The domestic CPU gave up Intel and started a new ARM stove, and it was indeed very prosperous. However, ARM is also swaying under the US ban, and there is even a risk of being sold. Therefore, some observers believe that the name of the domestic CPU based on the ARM architecture is fake, and it is ARM. Independent and controllable: If you cut off your confession, you will also suffer. With an outdated permanent structure, you will be defeated by others sooner or later.

After going around in circles, the question returned to the original point: what degree of autonomy do we want to achieve? What steps should be followed for localization?

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epilogue

From 2000 to the present, domestic CPUs have followed three routes:

The independent faction is obsessed with fighting against Intel’s x86 architecture, taking the defeated original architectures such as MIPS and Alpha as their own, starting from the most basic instruction set, and constructing a CPU castle that the Chinese enjoy full control:

The market faction has continued the consistent technical route since the reform and opening up: introduction, digestion, absorption, and re-innovation. Due to Intel’s patent wall, they have to adopt a roundabout strategy, or buy or rent the castrated x86 architecture. The road to digestion is still not yet there. know;

Eco-style, relying on its own R&D strength, tries to leverage its strengths in the competition between ARM and Intel, taking advantage of the newly emerging ARM ecosystem to gradually erode the existing x86 market.

The three seemingly different routes are actually for two major demands: autonomy, safety and controllability, and meeting market needs. However, these two demands are contradictory to a certain extent.

Fully autonomous and controllable means reconstruction, screening and demining at the instruction set level. In a strict sense, X86, which is the most closed but monopolized, should be the first to be excluded. However, x86 is the most successful commercialization. Users are completely accustomed to the combination of Microsoft + Intel. The migration cost is the lowest along the x86 route.

This is the embarrassment of domestic autonomy. Different from the independent and closed production of atomic bombs, CPUs, operating systems, and chips are all products with strong commercial attributes, and the industrial chain and development are quite international. ideology” is constantly balancing.

In the past, it was easy for us to fall into the trend of “making is worse than buying,” but today’s external pressure reminds us that although autonomy is difficult, exploration cannot stop.

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The Accelerator Wall: New Problems in a Post-Moore’s Law World

Illustration source: iStockphoto

Accelerators have become ubiquitous: the world’s bitcoins are mined by chips designed to speed up the cryptocurrency’s key algorithms, hardwired audio decoders are used in nearly every digital product that makes sound, dozens of A startup is chasing fast silicon that will make deep learning AI ubiquitous. This specialization enables various types of software originally running on general-purpose CPUs and their internal common algorithms to bring faster processing speeds on customized hardware. A way to continue driving the growth of computing Power into two generations of chips.

But this won’t work. At least, it won’t work for long. That’s the conclusion of research to be presented at this month’s IEEE International Symposium on High-Performance Computer Architecture, by David Wentzlaff, associate professor of electrical engineering at Princeton University, and his doctoral student, Adi Fuchs. They calculated that chip specialization cannot produce the kind of gains that Moore’s Law can. In other words, accelerator development will hit a wall like transistor shrinkage, and it will happen sooner than expected.

To prove their point, Fuchs and Wentzlaff had to figure out how much of the recent performance gains came from chip-specific tweaks and how much came from Moore’s Law itself. That means going through more than 1,000 chip datasheets to figure out how much of the improvement from chip generation to chip is due in part to better algorithms and clever implementations of smarter circuits. In other words, they were trying to quantify human ingenuity.

To do this, they did what engineers are good at: they transformed it into a dimensionless quantity. They call it the return of chip specialization, and they hope to answer the question: “How much more computing power does a chip have for a fixed physical budget of transistors?”

Using the metric, they evaluated video decoding on application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs for short), game frame rates on GPUs, convolutional neural networks on FPGAs, and Bitcoin mining on ASICs. The results were not encouraging: the gain of a dedicated chip was largely determined by the increase in the number of transistors available per square millimeter of silicon. In other words, apart from Moore’s Law, the power of chip specialization itself is limited.

So if specialization doesn’t give the ideal answer, where is the way forward? Wentzlaff advises the semiconductor industry to learn to compute with things that can scale even when logic stops. For example, the number of bits per square centimeter of available flash memory continues to grow without being affected by Moore’s Law, as the industry has turned to 3-D technologies that can fabricate 256 or more layers of cells. Fuchs and Wentzlaff have already started working on this problem, developing a computer architecture that speeds up computations by having the processor look up previous computations stored in memory instead of recomputing them.

The end of Moore’s Law “is not the end of the world,” Wentzlaff said. “But we need to prepare for that.”

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Industry | In the context of actual combat, how does network security operate?

In recent years, under the background of compliance-driven and the normalization of actual combat drills, the construction of a network security protection system is no longer a simple stacking of equipment, nor is it a coping approach of treating headaches and feet. Showing a trend towards actual combat-oriented offense and defense, focusing on building the ability of actual combat-oriented security operations.

How to build a practical security operation capability? According to Cao Jia, Vice President of NSFOCUS, effective security operation is to sort out the security capabilities of users according to various practical application scenarios of users, connect with the professional security capabilities of manufacturers, and then let them play through management and processes. role, making operations more measurable, more efficient, and able to combine peace and war.

At the “Tianfu Cup” International Cybersecurity Competition and Tianfu International Cybersecurity Summit Forum held some time ago, NSFOCUS fully interprets the way of cybersecurity operations under the new situation and the security industry through competitions, speeches, and forums. direction of development.

Digital Transformation Brings Three Opportunities to the Security Industry

In the digital economy era, opportunities and challenges coexist in the cybersecurity industry.

Cao Jia said at the main forum that under the background of digital transformation of enterprises, the opportunities and growth points of the network security industry mainly come from three aspects.

The first growth point comes from data security. Data is the core asset of an enterprise. Under the booming wave of big data technology, new application scenarios are constantly increasing, and the demand for data security supervision and compliance is increasing. In terms of data security, the technology system construction and solution research and development of the security industry are promising.

The second growth point comes from the process of digital transformation and industrial digital development, some industries that intersect with key information infrastructure, such as manufacturing, transportation, health care, etc., these industries have an increasing demand for information security, which contains huge market opportunity.

The third growth point is that the current development of industrial manufacturing is very different from traditional manufacturing, and information security is the foundation of its healthy development. Taking the field of intelligent interconnected vehicles as an example, the collection of information and data must be legal and compliant, and the construction of its own security structure and security system must cover the entire production and use cycle of the vehicle, and the information security industry has a lot to do.

Scenario-based practical security operations

Opportunities are at hand, and helping users build a security system that meets their own needs and the needs of the times is the top priority of the security industry. Since NSFOCUS released the “Smart Security 3.0” system in March this year, network security operations in the context of actual combat have become one of the main concepts of NSFOCUS.

Actual combat is the current mainstream direction of network security. Li Chen, Vice President of NSFOCUS, said at the practical security operation forum hosted by NSFOCUS that the Ministry of Public Security’s No. 1960 “Guiding Opinions on Implementing the Network Security and Other Security System and Customs Security System” emphasized the “three chemicals and six defenses”. ”, in which “three modernizations” refer to “practicalization, systematization, and normalization”. Based on this guiding ideology and NSFOCUS’s many years of first-line practice, NSFOCUS’s “Smart Security 3.0” concept is committed to helping customers build a “full-scenario, trustworthy, and practical” security system and capabilities, which are in line with the overall strategic direction. “Three chemical and six defense” requirements.

Under the guidance of the concept of “Smart Security 3.0”, NSFOCUS has carried out extensive and continuous practical security operation practices in terms of key capabilities such as technology research, security product development, security services and security operations.

Cao Jia introduced that based on actual combat knowledge and ecological intelligence analysis, NSFOCUS has built an actual combat operation system based on intelligence and threat hunting, which can provide customers with accurate threat intelligence; at the same time, it can automatically process actual combat intelligence and solve the problem of untimely intelligence response. Or problems with high thresholds for intelligence processing.

The actual combat operation system divides security threats into three scenarios: event-based direct threat hunting, intelligence-based indirect threat hunting, and traceability-based threat hunting. According to different scenarios, the paths in the threat hunting actual combat are classified into three for operation, and based on this, the actual combat operation indicator system is constructed.

The other side of actual combat is normalization. Cao Jia said that the purpose of actual combat is to improve the level of daily protection. With the help of security operation services, it is possible to transform the support work of surprise attack and defense drills into normalized, practical and systematic security operation capabilities.

How to implement the actual combat security operation? Liu Haiguang, a security operation expert from Sichuan Rural Credit Cooperative Union, introduced the practice of practical security operations in the financial industry. Liu Haiguang said that the financial information system has always been an important target of cyber attacks because of its own value, and the capacity building of the security operation system combining peace and war has become the core idea of ​​the current security construction in the financial industry. As the largest financial institution in Sichuan, Sichuan Rural Credit Cooperative Union has established a situational awareness platform and completed the construction of a preliminary security operation system. It has exerted its operational capabilities through practical security operations and achieved good results.

In addition, for popular ransomware attacks, as well as advanced APT attacks, zero-day attacks, and supply chain attacks, Fan Dunqiu, deputy general manager of NSFOCUS Technology Competence Center, introduced that actual combat should be conducted based on TI, which is threat intelligence. With the support of real-time threat intelligence, the connection between manufacturers and users, cloud-ground coordination and other links will be more efficient and intensive in security operations. All aspects have good effects.

Cao Jia emphasized that emphasizing the actual combat of security operations can help users improve security levels, ensure business security, and smoothly respond to drills, re-insurance and security inspections at all levels, but this does not mean that ordinary security operations are not important. With the help of safety operation services, the surprise exercise support work can be transformed into normalized, practical and systematic safety operation capabilities, and turned into routine safety work. With reasonable investment, relative safety can be achieved. Not only can practical problems be discovered, but also can solve the problem.

As a “learning bully” manufacturer in the security industry, NSFOCUS has accumulated a lot of advanced technology and practical experience in its long-term development. Practical operation is an important direction of NSFOCUS’s “Smart Security 3.0” concept, that is, to adapt to the changes in security needs under the new situation, and to give full play to its own technical advantages to provide users with truly effective security capabilities.

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Hikvision cashed out tens of billions? Gong Hongjia becomes the “King of Cash Out” in A-shares

On November 13, Hikvision issued an announcement stating that the company’s directors Hu Yangzhong and Gong Hongjia received the “Notice of Investigation” from the China Securities Regulatory Commission on November 11, and the two directors were placed on file for investigation on suspicion of information disclosure violations.

The directors involved in the case, Hu Yangzhong and Gong Hongjia, are both founders of the company. Among them, Hu Yangzhong has been the general manager of the listed company. Gong Hongjia was an important investor in the company at the beginning, and is now the second largest shareholder.

According to Hikvision’s announcement, when Hikvision was established in 2001, Gong Hongjia invested 2.45 million yuan, accounting for 49% of the investment. Since then, after several equity transfers and registered capital increase. At the beginning of Hikvision’s listing, Gong Hongjia invested 124 million yuan, holding 27.55% of the shares.

According to the data, from 2011 to 2018, Gong Hongjia reduced his shareholding in Hikvision at least 21 times, with a cumulative cash-out amount of 14.6 billion yuan, making him the “King of Cash-out” in A-shares.

As of the end of the third quarter of 2019, Gong Hongjia still held 13.43% of Hikvision’s shares. According to the latest closing price, this part of the shares corresponds to a market value of about 41.9 billion yuan.

Without considering Hikvision’s dividends, Gong Hongjia’s initial investment of 124 million yuan has increased to 56.5 billion yuan in less than 10 years.

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Smart Sensor Manufacturing Innovation Alliance: Gather cores and talents, win-win cooperation, and create “Hui” brilliance again

In order to implement national strategies such as Made in China 2025, the integrated development of manufacturing and the Internet, and big data, grasp the strategic opportunity period for in-depth adjustment of new generation information technology, enhance the core competitiveness of the smart sensor industry, and ensure national information security, November 23, 2017 The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology formulated the “Three-Year Action Guidelines for the Smart Sensor Industry (2017-2019)” in accordance with the requirements of the “National Integrated Circuit Industry Development Promotion Outline” and in combination with the “Action Plan for Accelerating the Development of the Sensor and Intelligent Instrumentation Industry” . The “Action Guide” supports the construction of national and provincial intelligent sensor innovation centers, relying on scientific research institutes and key enterprises with good basic conditions to jointly establish independent legal entities in the form of capital or intellectual property rights, forming a group of intellectual property and core The key technology of competitiveness has succeeded, a group of new compound talents have been cultivated, and the core device design and manufacturing technology has reached the international level.

As one of the three major sensor R&D and manufacturing bases in China, Bengbu has a number of intelligent sensor R&D, design and manufacturing enterprises, such as the No. 214 Research Institute of China Ordnance Industry, Xi Magnetic Technology, and North Core Dynamics, and has established a MEMS joint engineering laboratory. Approved major R&D projects above the provincial level, and established the Anhui Intelligent Sensor Industry Innovation Alliance.

Following the trend, relying on the platform of “Anhui Intelligent Sensor Manufacturing Innovation Center”, in November 2019, led by the No. 214 Research Institute of China Ordnance Industry, in conjunction with the Department of Precision Instruments of Tsinghua University, SAIC Group Technology Center, and Suzhou Biomedical Sciences of the Chinese Academy of Sciences Engineering Technology Research Institute, Anhui Heli Group Corporation, Anhui Innolink Microsystems Co., Ltd., Hefei Micro-Nano Sensing Technology Co., Ltd., Anhui Auf Medical Equipment Technology Co., Ltd., Anhui Hongshi Automation Equipment Co., Ltd., Hangzhou Chi Orange Digital Technology Co., Ltd. and other units jointly established the “Intelligent Sensor Manufacturing Innovation Alliance (Center)”.

According to the relevant person from the China Ordnance Industry No. 214 Research Institute, the governing unit of the Smart Sensor Manufacturing Innovation Alliance, the smart sensor industry is a basic industry for national economic and social development, and the mutual support with the integrated circuit industry determines the country’s core competitiveness. and international status. In the R&D system of smart sensors in my country, each R&D institution has been in a situation of independent management for a long time, and repeated research is not uncommon, which not only wastes resources, but also prolongs the R&D cycle of new technologies and reduces the economic and social benefits that new technologies can produce. The establishment of the innovation alliance can gather resources from all parties, optimize the allocation of resources, establish a rapid response mechanism for research and development, attract high-end talents at home and abroad, maximize the use of limited resources to produce maximum benefits, and strengthen industry-university-research cooperation. Completely breaking the technical blockade of my country’s smart sensor field by western countries, it will play a huge role in promoting the development of my country’s sensor core technology, will further enhance the smart sensor innovation capability of Anhui Province and even the country, and further enhance the international competitiveness of my country’s core technology. Realize the autonomous control of intelligent sensors.

Since the establishment of the Smart Sensor Manufacturing Innovation Alliance more than a year ago, what major progress has been made? The Core Thought Research Institute made a special trip to visit the alliance to obtain first-hand information.

Since its establishment in 2019, the Innovation Alliance has been centered on the 214th Research Institute of China Ordnance Industry, relying on the institute’s 6-inch 0.5μm semiconductor process line, 6-inch MEMS process line, optoelectronic device process platform, silicon-based terahertz IMPATT (avalanche) Diode) chip process platform, Electronic module and component SMT (surface assembly technology) process platform, H-class thick film hybrid integrated circuit military standard line, 8-inch LTCC production line seven process platforms and process capabilities and the design capabilities of related companies in the alliance, combined with The alliance’s industrial focus adjusts the layout, promotes the development of the MEMS smart sensor industry as a strategic emerging industry, and combines the technical characteristics of the alliance to determine the high-performance inertial devices, optical communication devices, infrared temperature sensors, gas sensors, micro-flow sensors, pressure sensors. And all kinds of intelligent sensor fields are the development direction of key industries. Benchmarking the international advanced technology, while giving full play to the ability of independent innovation, four sets of characteristic MEMS bulk silicon process systems have been established, and the alliance’s MEMS research and development capabilities and industrialization capabilities have been continuously improved, and efforts have been made to build a domestic advanced MEMS smart sensor industry base.

For more than a year, the Innovation Alliance has mainly expanded applications in five fields:

First, high-performance MEMS devices and components for artificial intelligence and unmanned systems: autonomously controllable MEMS inertial devices (gyroscopes, accelerometers) and components have formed an absolute leading position in the domestic high-end MEMS inertial device market and can be widely used In the field of drones and smart cars;

The second is the field of 5G communication and the Internet of Things, including MEMS optical components, MEMS actuators, and radio frequency MEMS devices: silicon-based filters, Power dividers, antennas and other products have been developed, and related products have industrialization capabilities, relying on 5G communication. The field has huge market prospects. Combined with the current alliance’s mature MEMS device wafer processing, packaging and testing as an integrated process platform, while improving the localization level of my country’s optical communication core devices, it will take the lead in occupying the strategic commanding heights of the 5G optical communication field;

The third is the field of MEMS sensors for smart equipment: mainly used in industrial monitoring, smart mobile terminals, wearable devices and other fields;

The fourth is the field of high-end medical equipment: the outbreak of the new crown pneumonia in 2020, the response to the epidemic highlights the need to speed up the completion of the shortcomings of high-end medical equipment, accelerate the research on core technologies, break through the technical bottlenecks, and realize the independent control of core components for medical equipment;

The fifth is the field of MEMS devices for smart homes: with the rapid development of the Internet of Things, gas sensors, array infrared temperature sensors, and pressure sensors used in the field of smart homes have been jointly developed and realized 6 product series.

Major breakthroughs in technological innovation

The Innovation Alliance adheres to the technological innovation system of deep integration of production, education and research, and has added nearly ten major scientific research projects at the provincial and national levels in the field of smart sensor technology, involving MEMS, EMCCD, SOC, microwave and millimeter wave, digital-to-analog conversion, power devices, etc. For example, the 214th Research Institute of China Ordnance Industry, a member of the alliance, has successively won a number of major national, provincial and ministerial scientific research projects. Expand the alliance’s main technologies and products to the automotive field, and at the same time expand the alliance’s vertical scientific research to the key project areas of the National Development and Reform Commission; the “Nuclear High Base” major project jointly declared with Tsinghua University has been extended from the “13th Five-Year Plan” to the “14th Five-Year Plan”. ; The “Digital diagnosis and treatment equipment research and development” project in cooperation with the Suzhou Institute of Biomedical Engineering and Technology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences has been successfully approved as a key research and development plan by the Ministry of Science and Technology. For more than a year, the alliance member units have authorized more than 30 invention patents and published 15 core journal papers.

In terms of key technologies, through technological innovation, cultivating core technologies, relying on the nuclear high-based national major science and technology special projects, we have overcome a series of key technologies that plague the MEMS industry: such as 6-inch SOI bulk silicon MEMS process lines in MEMS microstructure key dimensions processing The precision is better than 0.3μm, the repeatability is better than 0.5μm, and the processing verticality is better than 90°±0.1°; in terms of EMCCD, with the independent EMCCD device as the core, it has completed the nationalized EMCCD search with completely independent intellectual property rights With the development of tracking system, by optimizing the component structure, improving the ability of component video image acquisition and transmission and video image processing, EMCCD process development and product engineering have made great progress; in terms of LTCC devices, it has a complete LTCC production line and group packaging production line , established a multi-material, multi-interface system process, special-shaped multi-cavity structure, high-density integration, LTCC radio frequency devices, components and micro-system manufacturing technology platform, at the leading domestic level.

In terms of basic technology, the anti-overload capability of gyroscope and acceleration has reached more than 18500g, reaching the domestic leading level; developed high-reliability silicon-silicon direct bonding, eutectic bonding, glass paste bonding, electrostatic bonding and thermocompression bonding technology, forming the most complete bonding process technology in China, and is the only domestic enterprise with two silicon-silicon bonding processes; developed unequal-height comb tooth etching technology, reaching the domestic leading level; completed some 3D advanced microsystems The single process technology of integrated manufacturing has laid the foundation for the research and development of microsystem products.

Accelerate the pace of industrialization development

The alliance adheres to the policy of “demand traction, focus on the main business, emancipation of the mind, and win-win cooperation”, unswervingly cooperate with foreign countries, expand cooperation resources, and encourage multiple channels to establish scientific research and industry with universities, research institutes, and enterprises within and outside the alliance. Cooperation to establish a close industrial cooperation ecological chain. Focusing closely on MEMS, sensors and other industries, put the promotion of the industrialization of MEMS devices in the first place, and strive to achieve a national level of MEMS professional technology by the end of 2022, tracking in cutting-edge fields, and industrial development. Quality development.

Based on the 6-inch MEMS process platform and the 6-inch 0.5μm semiconductor process platform of the 214th Research Institute of China Ordnance Industry, six major product directions are formed:

(1) MEMS inertial devices: Co-designed and jointly developed with Innolink, a member of the alliance, 9 MEMS gyroscopes, 7 MEMS accelerometers, 5 micro-inertial measurement modules and other series of shelf products have been formed, and the core indicators have been completed. Covering similar foreign products, it can be used in drone attitude measurement, intelligent robot-assisted navigation, bridge health detection and diagnosis and other fields.

(2) Optical MEMS devices: Co-designed and jointly developed 9 optical MEMSM micromirror products including tunable optical attenuators, optical switches, and tunable optical filters with the alliance member company Zhongke Mi Micro Co., Ltd., 3 A MEMS scanning mirror, during the “14th Five-Year Plan” period, it will increase the cooperation and development of a series of products in the fields of optical communication, optical sensing, optical Display, and lidar;

(3) MEMS infrared temperature sensor: Through the joint design and joint development with the alliance member units Hefei Micronano Company and Suzhou Rongqi Company, three types of MEMS temperature sensor products, two types of unit type and array type, have been formed. Temperature sensors are highly flexible and have the advantages of testing moving targets. The “14th Five-Year Plan” will focus on increasing product iteration and industrialization in industries such as smart home and healthcare;

(4) MEMS gas sensor: Co-designed and jointly developed with Hefei Micro-Nano Company, a member unit of the alliance, breaking through the stress matching of composite dielectric films and the high-precision patterning process of refractory metals, realizing localization, mainly detecting CO, VOC, NO Waiting for gas, the “14th Five-Year Plan” will break through the complete set of batch production process of three-dimensional heating table, further reduce the power consumption of the sensor, and improve the performance of the sensor;

(5) MEMS micro-flow sensor: Jointly develop MEMS micro-flow sensor with related companies for use in the field of inkjet printers, which is still a bottleneck in China. The successful breakthrough of this technology will lead the transformation of the inkjet printing industry with innovative MEMS technology, and will bring new market opportunities for industrial applications such as textiles, packaging, and printed electronics.

(6) MEMS pressure sensor: 6 types of pressure sensors have been developed to tackle key problems. The products are made of MEMS pressure sensor sensitive chips through SOI process, pressure cores formed by encapsulating the sensitive chips through metal isolation and liquid filling, as well as various types of conditioning completed with special ASIC chips. Transmitter products are mainly used in aerospace, ship-based ships, petrochemical and other fields. The micro-pressure sensor under development will be widely used in the field of medical health in the future.

Innovation Alliance work to innovate

During the “14th Five-Year Plan” period, the “Intelligent Sensor Manufacturing Innovation Alliance (Center)” with the leading innovation capability in China will be built, a group of high-tech enterprises in key links of the industrial chain will be incubated, and some technologies and products will reach the international leading level, leading Anhui Province to become an integrated It is an internationally competitive and domestically leading smart sensor industry cluster that integrates R&D, manufacturing and service.

During the “14th Five-Year Plan” period, the alliance will further accelerate the transformation of scientific and technological achievements and the development of military-civilian integration, give full play to technological advantages, promote the effective combination of technology, market and capital, and learn from the successful experience of the Microsystem Institute in exploring the establishment of a fund management platform company. The 214th Research Institute of the Ordnance Industry Co., Ltd. jointly initiated the establishment of an industrial fund jointly with provincial and municipal local governments, Zhongbing Investment and upstream and downstream enterprises in the industrial chain. The fund focuses on investments in the upstream and downstream R&D design, raw material production, equipment manufacturing, wafer processing, packaging and testing of the MEMS industry chain, and pays particular attention to design companies with technical advantages in the mainstream MEMS product direction of the alliance.

During the “14th Five-Year Plan” period, the alliance will take the lead, integrate the advantageous resources of each member unit, and jointly apply for scientific and technological innovation projects including the National Development and Reform Commission, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, and the Ministry of Science and Technology, so as to enhance the alliance’s influence in the industry.

During the “14th Five-Year Plan” period, priority will be given to opening the seven existing technology platforms of the 214th Research Institute of China Ordnance Industry to the member units of the alliance, and organizing the formulation of preferential policies for the transformation of project achievements among members of the alliance, so as to provide better quality for the industrialization development of the alliance. service.

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Mobile and smart, Freescale simplifies the Internet of Things

A very popular American drama “Super Brain Agent” (Intelligence), the smart chip implanted in the agent’s brain can connect to the Internet, databases and other networked worlds, and read and analyze relevant data in the brain through this smart chip. From a technical point of view, this is just one of the future directions of the Internet of Things, no matter how long this “future” is, it is enough to make us look forward to it.

15Years of development bring complex issues

It has been 15 years since the concept of the Internet of Things was proposed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1999. Although its application prospects are bright, it is a pity that until today, most companies can only Do the project, but not the product. IoT application standards are gradually being established, and network security, product design complexity, and the integration and conversion of various communication standards are in urgent need of good solutions. As a leading semiconductor company, Freescale is committed to promoting the development of the Internet of Things, constantly overcoming various technical difficulties and simplifying the Internet of Things.

At present, the system architecture of the entire Internet of Things can be divided into five parts, namely edge nodes, PAN/LAN interconnection, gateway, WAN interconnection and cloud, as shown in Figure 1. Freescale found that products made by many companies cannot be shared among the three layers of edge node, gateway and cloud. For example, wearable devices, or some nodes in the designed smart home, to control the node, the possible choice is “entry-level low-Power MCU + connectivity + sensors”, this design method is pure MCU design Way. At the gateway level, the complexity will increase, and it is more inclined to use high-end MCUs or even MPUs. It’s more complicated in the cloud, which may be designed with an application processor or a communications processor. In the framework of IoT, most devices use different technologies, tools and development environments, even programming languages. How to solve this problem?

Figure 1 System architecture of the Internet of Things

all-in-one box

Simplifying the deployment of security services is the key to promoting the widespread adoption of IoT. Freescale, together with Oracle and ARM, has proposed an IoT gateway platform with a “One Box” solution to accelerate IoT service deployment. The “All-in-One Box” is a flexible hardware platform equipped with multi-party software that supports the secure delivery of IoT services to the home, business or other end-users, thereby enabling the rapid deployment of a multitude of innovative IoT services. The “all-in-one box” perfectly combines standards-based end-to-end software and converged IoT gateway design to establish a common and open framework for secure IoT service delivery and management. A “box” (or service gateway) built into the platform can merge multiple IoT service provider boxes into one unified device that supports multiple service providers. The platform uses Freescale’s i.MX 6 applications processor based on the ARM Cortex-A9 core, runs Oracle Java SE Embedded, and is suitable for basic networking and sensor connectivity. This solution supports wireless interfaces such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth Low Energy and 802.15.4 in addition to existing wired communication methods. On the node side, ARM Cortex-M-based microcontrollers can also be equipped with Oracle Java ME, enabling system and software developers to develop applications based on the same software platform.

“Integrated Box” provides a full series of development platforms based on Java from the perception layer (node) to the transport layer (gateway) to the application layer (cloud), which mainly solves the following two problems:

First, to facilitate the development and design of IoT products for more end users. Whether the user is a node developer, a gateway developer or a cloud computing developer, applications can be developed based on Java, enabling the transition from traditional development projects to real development products to provide faster time-to-market. And it can inspire countless Java programmers to develop Java-based APPs to expand more application layer services.

Second, the important connotation of the Internet of Things is interconnection, but the network security problem in the World Wide Web environment has always plagued its development. The Java platform can well provide network security protection services such as firewall and VPN.

“Integrated box” is an important milestone for Freescale in the field of IoT, which will revolutionize and impact the entire IoT market in 2014.

put onFreescale feels the Internet of Things

As more and more industry organizations and alliances of large companies begin to formulate more corresponding unified communication standards, the Internet of Things will have a substantial development in 2014 and the following years. From the current situation, with the ZLL (Zigbee Light Link) standard being recognized by The Connected Lighting Alliance, as well as the existing ZHA (Zigbee Home Appliance), Wi-Fi and BTLE, smart home, smart lighting, smart wear, Smart grids, connected vehicles, and smart healthcare are all promising segments.

Taking smart wearables as an example, wearable products are one of the ultimate edge node sensors of the IoT and bring great prospects to device manufacturers, service providers and consumers. Freescale, Kynetics and Revolution Robotics have collaborated to develop the Wearable Reference Platform (WaRP). It addresses many of the wearable market’s top technical challenges (connectivity, ease of use, battery life, and miniaturization), accelerating and simplifying product development, allowing developers to focus more on creating differentiated products. The platform is based on Freescale’s i.MX 6SoloLite ARM Cortex-A9 application processor, supports the Android operating system, and integrates chips, hardware and software. The BOM-optimized hybrid architecture adopts Freescale Xtrinsic MMA9553 pedometer overall solution, FXOS8700 Electronic compass and ARM Cortex-M0+ Kinetis KL16 microcontroller. WaRP enables design innovation in multiple verticals, such as sports monitors, smart glasses, activity trackers, smart watches, and healthcare applications.

sensor fusion

As an important part of the Internet of Things, sensors are also evolving with the development of the Internet of Things. Sensor fusion is another exciting technology. This technology can integrate data from multiple sources to obtain richer, more accurate, complete and independent information. Freescale’s Xtrinsic sensor fusion platform for Kinetis MCUs is a leader, analyzing and integrating data from altimeters, accelerometers, magnetometers and gyroscopes. The technology supports a wide variety of applications, such as monitoring and failure prevention of smartphones and IoT devices. At the Freescale Technology Forum to be held in Shenzhen in May, related solutions on the Internet of Things will also be demonstrated at the on-site booth, and interested users can visit the on-site booth to observe.

In the first quarter of 2014, Freescale continued to maintain continuous growth in performance, with total revenue reaching US$1.13 billion, a year-on-year increase of 15% and a quarter-on-quarter increase of 4%, and the performance of all five product divisions increased both quarter-on-quarter and year-on-year. Freescale has plenty of room to continue to grow market share and profit margins, and as profit margins improve, Freescale is well-positioned to invest in new products and future strategies, including in the IoT space. You must also be curious about what innovative products will be born from Freescale’s tireless pursuit of technological excellence, let’s wait and see!

About Freescale Technology Forum

Freescale Technology Forum (FTF) has been committed to and promote the development of innovative technology. As an annual event for embedded semiconductor industry developers, the Freescale Technology Forum brings together the most comprehensive embedded ecosystem of Freescale and its partners, bringing the latest news, technologies and trends in the industry. This year, the Freescale Technology Forum is back in Shenzhen, China, and you will be the first to see the world’s latest technology through the following rich links:

· Technical seminars and practical courses:More than 110 hours of the latest technical training courses to explore the products and technologies of Freescale and its partners, including seven segments of automotive electronics, consumer electronics, healthcare, industrial control, networking, smart energy, software and design services.

· Interactive technology Display area:77 interactive technology showcases from Freescale and its ecosystem partners will showcase products and technology demonstrations.

· Keynote Speech: President and CEO of Freescale SemiconductorGregg LowegentlemenWe will visit Shenzhen in person to share the world’s latest scientific and technological achievements, exchange market trends and look forward to future technological trends with industry leaders.

To learn more about FTF, visit: www.freescale.com/ftf

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The three major telecom operators are working together to accelerate the commercial process of 5G messaging, and the value of the ecosystem is expected to be released

“Science and Technology Innovation Board Daily” (Shanghai, researcher Song Ziqiao) reported that the three major telecom operators pressed the accelerator button for the commercialization of the 5G messaging platform.

According to the media yesterday, China Telecom, China Mobile, and China Unicom have all started the large-scale deployment of 5G messaging, and 5G messaging is expected to become one of the first 5G applications seen by individual users. At present, standards such as the overall technical requirements for 5G messaging, the technical requirements for 5G messaging terminals, and the testing methods for 5G messaging terminals have entered the approval stage.

5G message is a rich media message service based on mobile phone number, SIM card security authentication and real-name system, and realizes the lightweight and card-based industry news through new technologies. Users can search, discover, and online services through the 5G message portal. One-stop business experience such as consultation, commodity purchase, online payment, etc. China Mobile Internet Co., Ltd. disclosed that even non-5G mobile phone users can use 5G message and SMS applet in the future.

For a long time, my country’s 5G messaging-related standard projects have been led by the three major operators.

The construction progress of the three major operators’ 5G messaging platforms varies, and China Mobile is the most advanced. On November 19, the 2020 China Mobile Global Partner Conference was held. China Mobile and ZTE took the lead in launching the world’s first 5G messaging platform. Previously, the three major operators have successively disclosed the bidding of 5G messaging system. The start of the construction of 5G messaging system marks that the implementation of 5G messaging has entered a substantial stage. The three major operators are expected to jointly announce the commercial use of 5G messaging at the end of the year.

At present, mobile phones of Huawei, Xiaomi, OPPO, vivo, Samsung and other brands have passed the functional test of 5G news. Among them, many mobile phones of Xiaomi have supported China Mobile users to use 5G news. The mobile phone of China Mobile’s user version has been upgraded with 5G messaging function.

It is foreseeable that 5G messaging, as an important application scenario of 5G, will bring a new mode of human-computer interaction and build a new information service system. Wanlian Securities stated in a research report on October 18 that 5G news has entered a critical commercial window period, and the market size in 2021 is expected to exceed US$150 billion.

From an investment perspective, Huaan Securities released a research report on July 27 saying that 5G news has matured from operators to terminals. Although it will take time for users to develop their habits, the vigorous promotion of operators in the early stage will first drive the infrastructure layer, The performance of related companies at the MaaS platform layer exploded.

Pacific also stated in a research report on August 9 that the Maap platform is a key capability for 5G messaging, and ZTE (000063), which has the capability to build the Maap platform, and the co-developer Montnets Group (002123) are expected to benefit.

China Galaxy released a research report on November 20, saying that 5G news is expected to promote the comprehensive upgrade of operators’ SMS business, and the joint construction of a 5G news ecosystem with related industries is also expected to release huge industry service value space, thereby enhancing the profitability of related businesses of all parties. ability. It is recommended to pay attention to operators China Unicom (600050), platform equipment provider ZTE and related platform service providers Shenzhou Taiyue (300002) and Montnets Group, which benefit from the 5G messaging industry.

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Learn the basics of embedded system circuits – diode/transistor/FET

Substances that conduct electricity between conductors and insulators – semiconductors

Silicon and germanium are located between conductors such as silver and aluminum and insulators such as quartz and ceramics. They are raw materials used to manufacture semiconductor devices and have a certain resistivity. The different resistivities produced by different substances are caused by different amounts of movable electrons. Such movable electrons are called “free electrons”. Generally, substances that can change the number of free electrons and control the flow of electricity by doping them with impurities are called semiconductors.

  根据电流流动的构造,可将半导体分为N型和P型两类。

  半导体的电流流通原理

  (1) N型半导体

  图1是在硅晶体中掺入杂质磷(P)元素的概要图。磷原子持有的5个价电子中4个和硅(Si)原子一样,通过共价键,与邻接原子紧密结合。剩下1个价电子不发生共价键,而是根据室温高低成为自由电子。这个自由电子将旁边的价电子赶出,取代它的位置,而原有价电子变为自由电子,再将旁边的其他价电子赶出。通过这样的重复过程,使自由电子不断移动从而形成电流。由电子作为载流子(输送电流)的半导体称为“N型半导体”。施主原子的电子不足时,带正电荷。

  

Figure 1 N-type semiconductor structure

(2) P-type semiconductor

FIG. 2 is a schematic diagram of doping an impurity boron element in a silicon crystal. The boron element has three valence electrons, which is one valence electron less than that of silicon. The valence electrons in the adjacent silicon atoms are converted into free electrons by a small amount of thermal energy, which are absorbed by the acceptor atoms. The original positions of the absorbed valence electrons are called holes, which further absorb valence electrons in adjacent silicon atoms. Through this repeated process, the holes move, creating an electric current. Semiconductors with holes as carriers are called “P-type semiconductors”. The acceptor atom has too many electrons and is therefore negatively charged.

  

Figure 2 P-type semiconductor structure

Diodes are Electronic devices that conduct unidirectionally

The diode is formed of a P-type semiconductor and an N-type semiconductor and has a simple structure. Around the interface of the P-type and N-type junctions, the respective carriers diffuse and combine, so that a carrier-free region appears. In this region, charged impurities form a barrier electric field that hinders bonding by preventing carrier diffusion. We call this barrier electric field without carriers the depletion layer.

Figure 3 Structure of a PN junction diode

At both ends of the diode, a positive voltage is applied to the P-type region, a negative voltage is applied to the N-type region, and energy is added to the direction of the narrowing of the depletion layer, the carriers are very easy to drift to both sides, recombination occurs again, and disappears due to recombination The carriers of the ions are replenished by the current of the applied voltage, forming a directional current. On the contrary, when a negative voltage is applied to the P-type region and a positive voltage is applied to the N-type region, and energy is added to the direction in which the carriers are attracted by the electrode, the depletion layer becomes wider and the current hardly flows. The unidirectional flow of the above current is the basic principle of the diode – rectification. The direction of easy current flow is called forward direction, and the direction of less current flow is called reverse direction.

Voltage and Current Characteristics of Diodes

The voltage and current characteristics of the diode are shown in Figure 4. It should be noted that even in the forward direction, if a certain level of voltage is not applied, the current will not flow. The applied voltage required for silicon diodes is 0.7-0.8V, Schottky diodes are about 0.2V, and light-emitting diodes (LEDs) are more than 2-5V, allowing current to flow forward. When a certain voltage is applied in the reverse direction, a current can also be suddenly generated, and this phenomenon is called breakdown. The breakdown voltage is hardly affected by the current, so it is often used as a constant voltage source.

  

Figure 4 Voltage and current characteristics of diodes

Basic components of electronic circuits (the first solid-state active components put into use)

A transistor (to avoid confusion with the FET below, it may also be referred to as a bipolar transistor) is an element in which a P-type semiconductor and an N-type semiconductor are superimposed on each other in a sandwich structure. According to the different stacking order, it can be divided into two types: NPN type and PNP type.

  

Figure 5 Schematic diagram of NPN transistor

Taking an NPN transistor (Figure 5) as an example, let’s see how it works.

The base region? The emitter region and the diode structure are the same. In addition, a forward voltage (about 0.7V) is applied to generate a base current (IB). A large number of free electrons flow into the base region from the emitter region, and the recombined carriers in the base region are less than those diffused out of the emitter region, so the free electrons remain. The remaining free electrons are attracted by the added E2 on the collector. The number of carriers diffused in the emitter region is 10 to several hundred times the number of recombination carriers, and this ratio is used to expand IB to generate collector current (IC). If IB is 0, there is no carrier diffusion in the emission region, and IC is also 0. That is to say, the forward current IB between the base region and the emitter region can control the current IC between the base region and the emitter region. This property applies to amplifiers and switches, which form the basic elements of electronic circuits. By combining such transistors, more complex electronic circuits can be formed.

The switching operation of the transistor

The transistor can get collector current several times greater than the base current. The ratio of collector current to base current is called the DC current amplification factor (HFE), and the ratio is about 100 to 700. In the circuit shown in Figure 6, when the applied voltage on IN is 0V, there is no current at the base and no current is generated at the collector, so there is no current through RL, and the output voltage on OUT is 12V. On the contrary, if a certain intensity voltage is applied between the base region and the emitter region (generally, a voltage above 0.7V is applied), the base electrode has a current passing through it, resulting in a collector current that is hFE times. However, the actual passing current is limited by the existence of the load resistance RL, (12V-Vce-sat (saturation voltage))/RL. Due to the large driving current of the switch circuit, it is often used in control occasions that cannot be directly driven by chips such as MCU and logic IC, such as the control of Power LEDs, relays and DC motors.

  

Figure 6 Switching operation of transistors

Contributors to achieve integration

FET (Field Effect Transistor: Field Effect Transistor) can be roughly divided into two categories: MOS (Metal Oxide Semiconductor: Metal Oxide Semiconductor) and junction type. Especially MOS type FET (MOSFET), compared with the above-mentioned bipolar transistor, its planar structure and the interference between adjacent components of the same type are extremely small, basically no need to be used separately, because it is easy to integrate, miniaturize and low power consumption, Therefore, it is an indispensable component in ICs and LSIs. Next, let’s take a look at the working principle of MOS type FET.

FIG. 7 is a schematic diagram of an N-type MOSFET. G is called the “gate”, the oxide film below G is an insulator, and the source S and drain D sandwich the gate. When the voltage between the gate and the source is 0V, a P-type semiconductor is sandwiched between the source and the drain composed of an N-type semiconductor to form a reverse bond and form an insulation. That is, no current flows between the source and drain.

When a voltage is applied to the gate, free electrons are attracted under the gate. The free electrons between the source and the drain increase, and current flows easily. That is, the current between the source and the drain can be controlled by applying a voltage to the gate.

It is mainly used in switching circuits and amplifier circuits. When the voltage applied to the gate is stable, the current between the source and drain is also stable, so it can be used as a constant voltage source.

When the current path under the gate is N-type, it is called an N-type MOSFET, and when the current path under the gate is P-type, it is a P-type MOSFET.

Figure 7 Overview of N-type MOSFET

Basic Elements of Digital Circuits CMOS

CMOS (ComplementaryMOS), as shown in Figure 8, is a complementary connection MOSFET. With this circuit configuration, no matter the IN voltage is 0V or VCC, only one of the MOSFETs is turned on. Therefore, basically no current flows from VCC to GND, which can be used to form an ideal circuit with extremely low power consumption. Today’s LSIs and ICs are basically composed of this CMOS.

Figure 8. inverter composed of CMOS

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Gartner’s Predictions for Cloud Computing and Edge Infrastructure Outlook

In today’s digital-first world, where enterprise infrastructure is constantly evolving and changing, infrastructure and operations (I&O) leaders need to make adaptation and protection one of their top priorities.

The number of Internet of Things (IoT) devices is doubling every five years, so the security risks they pose must be mitigated. The use of cloud computing is exploding, enterprise applications are migrating to the public cloud, and organizations are increasingly adopting cloud-native deployments. The adoption of edge computing is accelerating as hyperscale cloud providers develop solutions to distribute cloud capabilities closer to the edge.

Based on a few key predictions below, IoT leaders must be ready to operate anytime, anywhere.

// Isolated or segmented campus network devices provide greater resilience to cyberattacks

Gartner predicts that by 2029, more than 15 billion IoT devices will be connected to enterprise infrastructure. Enterprise, guest, trusted and untrusted devices all pose risks to the business if I&O leaders cannot properly coordinate when and how these devices are connected.

IT organizations often find IoT devices on their networks that are not installed, secured or managed by themselves. Hackers can break into these devices in just three minutes, while organizations can take six months or more to discover a vulnerability.

Bring together the entire enterprise organization to agree on a common device connectivity governance structure. Without this, IT organizations may lose control over cybersecurity. Create a device authentication process for all devices that must pass authentication before any device can connect to the corporate network. Please involve and contribute to cross-functional teams, not just IT.

By segmenting or isolating devices, you can make your business less vulnerable to cyberattacks. In fact, between now and 2023, businesses that take this measure will reduce successful cyberattacks by 25%.

// Cloud deployment is accelerating

Nearly all respondents to the 2020 Gartner Cloud Computing End-User Buying Behavior Survey said their organizations plan to maintain or increase IT spending on cloud computing over the next 12 months.

The rapid pace of innovation in cloud infrastructure and platform services (CIPS) has made the cloud the de facto platform for new digital services and today’s traditional workloads. That’s why by 2023, 40% or all enterprise workloads will be deployed in CIPS, compared to just 20% in 2020.

The COVID-19 pandemic has triggered a realignment of cloud strategies. Collaboration, mobile and virtual desktops are rapidly moving to the cloud to enable secure distributed workforces. Disaster recovery and scaling applications that benefit from cloud elasticity are now one of the top considerations for cloud migration.

John McArthur, senior research director at Gartner, said:

IT leaders need to develop a cohesive, scalable and forward-looking cloud strategy to fully realize the business value of cloud. Make sure that the strategy adapts to the latest industry trends in cloud-native platforms and distributed cloud services.

// Edge computing solutions will be wiped out in the next five years

Edge computing platforms are software and hardware that enable secure zero-touch distributed application and data processing computing architectures at or near the edge.

With centralized cloud hosting management and a growing portfolio of general-purpose cloud and edge capabilities, hyperscale cloud providers are able to meet broader computing needs near the edge. By the end of 2023, only 20% of installed edge computing platforms will be delivered and managed by hyperscale cloud providers (up from less than 1% in 2020).

Edge computing addresses a number of growing needs, including reducing latency, handling growing amounts of data at the edge, and supporting resilience after network outages.

McArthur said:

Edge computing is broad enough to support many submarkets, but it will shrink from supporting thousands of custom patterns to just a few dozen. Cloud providers will play an important role or complement edge solutions throughout the edge migration process. Enterprises must prioritize distributed cloud-based solutions as the default solution and rely on partnerships and ecosystems rather than one vendor to enable future edge solutions.

 

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Vicor DCM-chip helps realize a new mode of robot dog

American Power supply manufacturer Vicor recently announced that its DCM3623 power module was successfully installed in the “Jueying” robot, a robot dog with smart appearance, fast movement and high dynamic balance, developed by China’s local high-tech company Yunshen Technology.

The new demand of the robot dog “Jueying” for power

The “Jueying” robot dog is more dexterous and intelligent as a whole, with a load-bearing capacity of about 10 kilograms. Under the limited internal space of the robot dog, good heat dissipation and output stability have become one of the key factors for the reliable operation of the robot dog. Therefore, a power module with high conversion efficiency equipped with lightweight sensors and internal components has become the primary consideration of system design engineers. The Vicor DCM3623 power module features miniaturization, light weight and high conversion efficiency, which meets the system design requirements of a new generation of robotic dogs.

Vicor DCM3623 Features:

Realize two-level conversion: 80V lithium battery voltage is converted to bus voltage, and then secondary conversion is performed to supply power to system equipment

Power: up to 240W

Efficiency: up to 93% peak efficiency

Miniaturization: 36.38×22.8×7.26mm

light weight

ChiP package

Fully automated production

Vicor DCM3623 is the first small and medium power labelled power module chip (SM-Chip), which introduces the concept of chip manufacturing into the production of power modules and realizes fully automated production. Compared with Vicor’s previous semi-automatic production, the price of this series of products can be greatly reduced. The product consistency has been further improved, and it is more suitable for large-scale commercial applications, making it possible for the robot dog to appear in front-line work such as power inspections, explosion control arrangements, mine exploration, and field exploration.

Focusing on their respective strengths and being application-oriented allows system application engineers to pay more attention to product characteristics without having to think too much about the power supply system itself, which has become the unswerving initial aspiration of Vicor power supply engineers. It is believed that with the continuous deepening of technical cooperation, product performance will continue to improve, benefiting more industrial applications, and Cloud Deep Technology will also be expected to become a leader in China’s collaborative robot industry.

The Links:   SST4403T116 FF450R12KE4