Chiplet Reliability Challenges Ahead


Assembling chips using LEGO-like hard IP is finally beginning to take root, more than two decades after it was first proposed, holding the promise of faster time to market with predictable results and higher yield. But as these systems of chips begin showing up in mission-critical and safety-critical applications, ensuring reliability is proving to be stubbornly difficult. The main driver fo... » read more

Better Analytics Needed For Assembly


Package equipment sensors, newer inspection techniques, and analytics enable quality and yield improvement, but all of those will require a bigger investment on the part of assembly houses. That's easier said than done. Assembly operations long have operated on thin profit margins because their tasks were considered easy to manage. Much has changed over the past several years, however. The r... » read more

5G Brings New Testing Challenges


As 5G nears commercial reality, makers of chips and systems that will support 5G will need to take on the standard burden of characterizing and testing their systems to ensure both performance and regulatory adherence. Millimeter-wave (mmWave) and beamforming capabilities present the biggest testing challenges. “5G is expected to have the extended coverage plus the bandwidth to harness ... » read more

Auto Chip Reliability Opens Door To Other Industries


Digital chips in the semiconductor industry evolve from each other. Ideas flow into each other over the years, with occasional big leaps in evolution. The term ‘evolution’ fits because one chip evolves to perfectly optimized for one industry niche. But what happens when one industry’s chip becomes a useful for other industries because it is more cost-effective than what is being used i... » read more

Advanced Packaging Makes Testing More Complex


The limits of monolithic integration, together with advances in chip interconnect and packaging technologies, have spurred the growth of heterogeneous advanced packaging where multiple dies are co-packaged using 2.5D and 3D approaches. But this also raises complex test challenges, which are driving new standards and approaches to advanced-package testing. While many of the showstopper issues... » read more

Monitoring IC Abnormalities Before Failures


The rising complexities of semiconductor processes and design are driving an increasing use of on-chip monitors to support data analytics from an IC’s birth through its end of life — no matter how long that projected lifespan. Engineers have long used on-chip circuitry to assist with manufacturing test, silicon debug and failure analysis. Providing visibility and controllability of inter... » read more

Data Becomes Key For Next-Gen Chips


Data has become vital to understanding the useful life of a semiconductor — and the knowledge gleaned is key to staying competitive beyond Moore’s Law. What's changed is a growing reliance earlier in the design cycle on multiple sources of data, including some from further right in the design-through-manufacturing flow. While this holistic approach may seem logical enough, the semiconduc... » read more

Making Silicon Photonics Chips More Reliable


Silicon photonics has the ability to dramatically improve on-die and chip-to-chip communication within a package at extremely low power, but ensuring that signal integrity remains consistent over time isn't so simple. While this technology has been used commercially for at least the past decade, it never has achieved mainstream status. That's mostly due to the fact that Moore's Law scaling h... » read more

Using Fab Sensors To Reduce Auto Defects


The semiconductor manufacturing ecosystem has begun collaborating on ways to effectively use wafer data to meet the stringent quality and reliability requirements for automotive ICs. Silicon manufacturing companies are now leveraging equipment and inspection monitors to proactively identify impactful defects prior to electrical test. Using machine learning techniques, they combine the monitor ... » read more

Challenges In Making Better Medical Sensors


Now that COVID-19 pandemic has desensitized us to telemedicine and more at-home health monitoring, the way we receive health care probably has changed for good. The no-touch thermometer and our personal pulse oximeter are not just coveted gadgets now. They have true clinical use in what may become a “point-of-use” system. Point of use means we don’t have to go to the clinic to get screene... » read more

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