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

Leasing and Rental in T&M


Buying a high-end oscilloscope or a brand-new logic analyzer may be a tall order financially for small companies. In such cases, leasing or renting an expensive test instrument can be an affordable alternative. Having reliable test and measurement equipment is vital to product development in electronics. National Instruments has built a billion-dollar business on offering instrument hardware... » read more

Advanced Packaging Goes Mainstream


The roadmap for shrinking digital logic will continue for at least the next 10 years. For others devices, particularly analog, it will slow down or end. And therein lies one of the most fundamental changes in semiconductor design and manufacturing in the past half century. This is no longer just talk. Apple is using a fan-out architecture in its iPhone 7. Memory makers are stacking NAND and ... » read more

The Future of Testing


In our previous test blog posts, we looked at the history of automated test equipment for semiconductors and for printed circuit boards. This month, we look ahead to the test technologies that are emerging. The chip ATE field has essentially boiled down to Advantest, Teradyne, and Xcerra (LTX-Credence), while the board test market is dominated by Teradyne and Keysight Technologies (formerly ... » read more

Finally, Realizing The Full Benefits Of Parallel Site-To-Site (S2S) Testing


A very common and well-known practice by manufacturers during the IC test process is to test as many of the device die or packaged parts as possible in parallel (i.e. sites) during wafer sort and final test in order to increase test time efficiency and lower overall test costs. The constraints that typically restrict how many test sites can be used at any given time are the design I/O and capac... » read more

Developing A Life-Saving Innovation


This competition is part of a partnership between NI, Arizona State University (ASU) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) focused on scaling and delivering industry-ready skills to thousands of future engineers across Vietnam. Ideas that come from the lab will be just ideas if you cannot bring that knowledge to the community. Our idea is driven by the reality o... » read more

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