The Race To Mass Customization


The number of advanced packaging options continues to rise. The choices now include different materials for interposers, at least a half-dozen fan-outs, not to mention hybrid fan-out/3D stacking, system-in-package, flip-chip and die-to-die bridges. There are several reasons for all of this activity. First, advanced packaging offers big improvements in performance and power that cannot be ac... » read more

Xcerra’s Stock Buoyed by Busted Deal


The stock chart for XCRA, Xcerra’s common stock traded on the Nasdaq Global Select Market, looks like a hockey stick since late February, when the company called off its acquisition by Chinese investors in the face of opposition by the federal Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States. That busted deal may prove to be a blessing in disguise for Xcerra, which posts impressive financ... » read more

The Problem With Spin-On Carbon Materials


In an integrated circuit manufacturing process, spin-on-carbon (SOC) materials constitute an important layer for the multilayer process to achieve smaller feature size. The SOC layer responds to the photolithography, pattern transformation, substrate planarization, and a variety of other critical processes. A key challenge in selecting a suitable material is that some processes require a hig... » read more

Is Advanced Packaging The Next SoC?


Device scaling appears to be possible down to 1.2nm, and maybe even beyond that. What isn't obvious is when scaling will reach that node, how many companies will actually use it, or even what chips will look like when foundries actually start turning out these devices using multi-patterning with high-NA EUV and dielectrics with single-digit numbers of atoms. There are two big changes playing... » read more

Xcerra: Back to the Drawing Board


It’s been nearly two weeks since Xcerra and Hubei Xinyan Equity Investment Partnership announced they have terminated their merger agreement in the face of apparent opposition by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, the federal interagency panel that reviews transactions for their impacts on national security. Xcerra and Hubei Xinyan also withdrew their CFIUS application.... » read more

5G New Radio Signal Design


By Gent Paparisto, Joel Kirshman, and David Vye The CP-OFDM modulation scheme will have many options. Variable subcarrier spacing (SCS) will be 3.75, 15, 30, 60, 120, 240, 480 kHz with sub-1 GHz of 15 and 30 kHz and sub-6 GHz of 15, 30, and 60 kHz, and above 6 GHz of 60 and 120 kHz. There will be normal and extended CP options. Slot duration will be 0.5 ms, subframe curation will be 1 ms, an... » read more

Better Living Through Microelectronics


The recently completed 2018 Winter Olympic Games left many of us in awe of the athleticism on display. But this month’s 2018 Winter Paralympic Games, also being held in PyeongChang, South Korea, could be an even more impressive showcase of both skills and heart. Competitors from around the world will include athletes with a range of physical, intellectual and visual disabilities. Of course, t... » read more

What’s In The Package?


Putting a variety of chips or hardened IP blocks into a package rather than trying to cram them into a single chip continues to gain ground. But it's also creating its own set of issues around verifying and testing these devices. This problem is well understood inside of SoCs, where everything is integrated into a single die. And looked at from a 30,000-foot perspective, packaging is someth... » read more

ATE Tailwind For 2018?


The automatic test equipment market enjoyed a record sales year during 2017, and there are indications that the good times will continue this year. Forecasters are predicting another robust year for sales of DRAMs and NAND flash memory devices, especially 3D NAND. That will drive demand for memory test equipment to keep up. Frost & Sullivan predicts semiconductor test equipment will h... » read more

Walk A Mile In Their Shoes


To most of us, when we think about how artificial intelligence (AI) enhances our mobility, the most top-of-mind examples might be how our smart phones respond to voice commands when we ask for directions to the nearest coffee shop or the current weather at the location to which we’re heading. But for people missing limbs, AI has the potential to give them the mobility that they might never ha... » read more

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