Systems Of Packages


The shift from IP blocks to subsystems, with pre-integrated and pre-verified IP, has never lived up to the initial hype. That doesn't mean the concept isn't valid, though. The problem with subsystems, as originally conceived, is they were far too limited for widespread adoption. When this idea first began surfacing in the early pat of the Millennium, this all made sense because the number o... » read more

Whither Xcerra?


Trade tensions between the People’s Republic of China and the Trump Administration could sink a big transaction in the automatic test equipment business. Xcerra, a supplier of semiconductor test systems, board testers, and electronic interconnects, announced in April that it had accepted an offer from Unic Capital Management, an affiliate of Sino IC Capital, to acquire the company for $10.... » read more

Packaging Enters New Phase


The race is on to make advanced packaging less expensive than shrinking everything down onto the same die—much less expensive, in fact. Following several years of speculation and rather shaky market predictions at the beginning of this decade, packaging houses and foundries spent the last four years proving that packaging really does provide a viable alternative to shrinking die in terms o... » read more

A Tale of Two Testers


David Tacelli, president and CEO of Xcerra, was excited. His company’s reception for customers (and the press) at the Trou Normand restaurant in San Francisco’s hip South of Market neighborhood was going very well. Gourmet salames and other tasty foods were on offer, along with fine wines and craft ales and beers. He gleefully pointed out to editors that the product to be introduced at t... » read more

Women In Engineering


While I’ve been involved in Women In Microwaves for many years now, beginning in 2011 with my chairmanship of what was then only a WIM social hour at IMS, until this year I had never participated in the WIM panel sessions that were expanded from the social hour starting several years ago. In Hawaii this year that changed when I was invited to join in the 2017 WIM panel, “Inspiring the Next ... » read more

Re-Using IP In Packaging


For the past decade, the promise held forth by advanced packaging was that it would allow chipmakers to mix and match analog and digital IP without worrying about the process node at which they were developed or the physical interactions between components. This is a big deal when it comes to analog. Analog IP doesn't benefit from node shrinking the way digital logic does, and in many cases ... » read more

Are All Known Good Tested Devices Created Equal?


Your known good parts all had passed their required wafer sort, final test, and system-level tests and were shipped to your customers. However, as we all know, a known good part or device sometimes does not stay good and may end up failing prematurely in the field and flagged as an RMA (return material authorization) by your customer. But why is it that some good parts fail early and others las... » read more

Test at “West”


As you wander through the North Hall of Moscone Center this week, you may notice that some of the big names in automated test equipment are not on the SEMICON West show floor this year. Advantest America has a booth, but the same cannot be said of Teradyne or Xcerra. Some of the bigger names in test and measurement instruments won’t be found exhibiting at SEMICON West, either – such as Keys... » read more

Focus Shifts To System Quality


For the past decade, many semiconductor industry insiders predicted that software would take over the world and hardware would become commoditized. The pendulum seems to have stopped, and if anything, it is reversing course. Initial predictions were based on several advantages for software. First, software is easier to modify and patch. Second, universities turn out far more software develop... » read more

A More Efficient Way To Calculate Device Specs Of Thousands Of Tests For Improved Quality And Yield


Today’s devices are required to pass thousands of parametric tests prior to being shipped to customers. A key challenge test engineers face, in addition to optimizing the number of tests they run on the device, is how to quickly and accurately define the true specification limits that should be used to determine if the device is “good”. Device specification limits that are too wide may... » read more

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