Panel Fan-out Ramps, Challenges Remain


After years of R&D, panel-level fan-out packaging is finally beginning to ramp up in the market, at least in limited volumes for a few vendors. However, panel-level fan-out, which is an advanced form of today’s fan-out packaging, still faces several technical and cost challenges to bring this technology into the mainstream or high-volume manufacturing. Moreover, several companies are d... » read more

Testing Millimeter Wave for 5G


By Susan Rambo and Ed Sperling The telecommunications world is hurtling toward 5G, but there is no consistency about how this next-gen wireless technology will be rolled out across various regions and plenty of unknowns about how it will be tested and how reliable it will be initially. A fair amount of confusion exists around what 5G constitutes in the first place. There is sub-6GHz 5G, w... » read more

The Big Data Shift Has Started


Terry Brewer, president and CEO of Brewer Science, sat down with Semiconductor Engineering to talk about different priorities for private and public companies, why AI completely changes the game for technology companies, and what impact materials will have on innovation and design in the future. SE: What are the next big opportunities for Brewer Science? Brewer: There are broad opportunit... » read more

Defect Challenges Growing In Advanced Packaging


The current defect inspection systems for packaging are running out of steam for the latest advanced packages, prompting the need for new tools in the market. In response, several vendors are rolling out new defect inspection systems for use in various advanced packages, such as 2.5D/3D technologies and fan-out. The new defect inspection systems are more capable than the previous tools, but ... » read more

Lab-To-Fab Testing


Test equipment vendors are working on integrating testing and simulation in the lab with testing done later in the fab, setting the stage for what potentially could be the most significant change in semiconductor test in years. If they are successful, this could greatly simplify design for test, which has become increasingly difficult as chips get more complex, denser, and as more heterogene... » read more

Automakers Take On More Responsibility


Chip and EDA companies are scrambling to deal with stiff safety regulations and harsh environmental conditions for automotive chips, but automakers are making big changes of their own to ensure all those components work together as expected. The result is a significant shift of responsibilities of companies in the automotive supply chain. Carmakers traditionally have left verification, valid... » read more

Auto Chip Design, Test Changes Ahead


The automotive industry’s unceasing demand for performance, coupled with larger and more complex processors, are driving broad changes in how electronics are designed, verified and tested. What's changing is that these systems, which include AI-oriented logic developed at the most advanced process nodes, need to last several times longer than traditional IT and consumer devices, and they n... » read more

The Race To Zero Defects


By Jeff Dorsch and Ed Sperling Testing chips is becoming more difficult, more time-consuming, and much more critical—particularly as these chips end up in cars, industrial automation, and a variety of edge devices. Now the question is how to provide enough test coverage to ensure that chips will work as expected without slowing down the manufacturing process or driving up costs. Balanci... » read more

Cobalt Shortages Ahead


Rapid growth of electric vehicles is creating an enormous demand for cobalt, causing tight supply, high prices and supply chain issues for this critical material. Cobalt is a ferromagnetic metal and one of the key materials used in lithium-ion batteries for cell phones, notebook PCs, battery-electric cars and hybrids. It also is used in alloys and semiconductors. And while the IC industry co... » read more

Sorting Out Packaging Options


Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss advanced packaging with David Butler, executive vice president and general manager of SPTS Technologies; Ingu Yin Chang, senior vice president president at ASE Group; Hubert Karl Lakner, executive director of the Fraunhofer Institute for Photonic Microsystems; Robert Lo, division director for electronics and optoelectronics research at Industrial T... » read more

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