MEMS: Improving Cost And Yield


MEMS devices inspire awe on the design side. On the test and manufacturing side, they evoke a different kind of reaction. These are, after all, the intersection of mechanical and electrical engineering—a joining of two miniature worlds that are the basis of some of the most complex technology on the planet. But getting these devices to yield sufficiently, understanding what does or does no... » read more

Quality Issues Widen


As the amount of semiconductor content in cars, medical and industrial applications increases, so does the concern about how long these devices will function properly—and what exactly that means. Quality is frequently a fuzzy concept. In mobile phones, problems have ranged from bad antenna placement, which resulted in batteries draining too quickly, to features that take too long to load. ... » read more

2.5D Adds Test Challenges


OSATs and ATE vendors are making progress in determining what works and what doesn't in 2.5D packaging, expanding their knowledge base as this evolves into a mainstream technology. A [getkc id="82" kc_name="2.5D"] package generally includes an ASIC connected to a stack of memory chips—usually high-bandwidth memory—using an [getkc id="204" kc_name="interposer"] or some type of silicon bri... » read more

What Next For OSATs


Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss IC-packaging and business trends with Tien Wu, chief operating officer at Taiwan’s Advanced Semiconductor Engineering ([getentity id="22930" comment="ASE"]), the world’s largest outsourced semiconductor assembly and test (OSAT) vendor. What follows are excerpts of that conversation. SE: What’s the outlook for the IC industry in 2017? Wu:... » read more

OSAT Biz: Growth And Challenges


Amid a challenging business environment, the outsourced semiconductor assembly and test (OSAT) industry is projected to see steady to strong growth in a number of packaging segments this year. Right now, the [getkc id="83" kc_name="OSATs"]—which provide third-party IC-packaging and test services—are seeing brisk demand for both legacy and advanced chip packages. In addition, IDMs continu... » read more

Chip-Package-Board Issues Grow


As systems migrate from a single die in a single package on a board, to multiple dies with multiple packaging options and multiple PCB form factors, it is becoming critical to move system planning, assembly, and optimization much earlier in the design-through-manufacturing flow. This is easier said than done. Multiple tools and operating systems are now used at each phase of the flow, partic... » read more

Betting On Wafer-Level Fan-Outs


Advanced packaging is starting to gain traction as a commercially viable business model rather than just one more possible option, propelled by the technical difficulties in routing signals at 10nm and 7nm and skyrocketing costs of device scaling on a single die. The inclusion of a [getkc id="202" kc_name="fan-out"] package for logic in Apple's iPhone 7, based on TSMC's Integrated Fan-Out (... » read more

Logic Analyzers Never Die


Logic analyzers, long a mainstay of chip design, are finding new demand for IoT devices—and frequently in different forms than in the past. Once associated with big, bulky benchtop instruments, this technology has evolved significantly over the past 40 years. In some cases it has been moved into software, where the measurement results are more likely to be viewed upon a laptop screen or a ... » read more

What’s Missing In Advanced Packaging


Even though Moore's Law is running out of steam, there is still a need to increase functional density. Increasingly, this is being done with heterogeneous integration at the package or module level. This is proving harder than it looks. At this point there are no standardized methodologies, and tools often are retrofitted versions of existing tools that don't take into account the challenges... » read more

Making 2.5D, Fan-Outs Cheaper


Now that it has been shown to work, the race is on to make advanced [getkc id="27" kc_name="packaging"] more affordable. While device scaling could continue for another decade or more, the number of companies that can afford to develop SoCs at the leading edge will continue to decline. The question now being addressed is what can supplant it, supplement it, or redefine it. At the center o... » read more

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