Chip Test Shifts Left


“Shift left” is a term traditionally applied to software testing, meaning to take action earlier in the V-shaped time line of a project. It has recently been touted in electronic design automation and IC design, verification, and test. “Test early and test often” is the classic maxim of software testing. What if that concept could also be implemented in semiconductor testing, to redu... » read more

Massively Parallel System-Level Testing


Decades of advances in the semiconductor industry continue to drive an insatiable consumer demand for smaller, more powerful, more ubiquitous devices – whether in our cars, on our countertops or around our wrists. To meet this demand now and into the future, the fabrication of increasingly complex semiconductor systems for an incredible spectrum of applications must scale accordingly. Additio... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing


Chipmakers Samsung has formed a new foundry division and rolled out a range of new processes. Specifically, Samsung plans to develop 8nm, 7nm, 6nm, 5nm and 4nm. It also introduced an 18nm FD-SOI technology. GlobalFoundries has provided more details about its 300mm fab plans in China. The company and the Chengdu municipality have announced an investment to develop an ecosystem for its 22nm ... » 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

Wireless Test: Too Many Protocols


Testing wireless communications is getting far more difficult as more markets begin adding wireless communications and standards groups push to improve the speed, power and security of existing protocols. There is already a long list of protocols, and it's growing further as new communications technologies are added into the mix. With the addition of 5G, the new 802.11ax standard, and other ... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing


Fab tools, test and packaging Brewer Science has sold its so-called Cee semiconductor processing equipment business. A former employee, Russ Pagel, has formed a new company, Cost Effective Equipment, to take over ownership and operate the Cee business. The new company, which will remain in Rolla, Mo., will sell spin coaters, bake plates, bonders and other systems. Taiwan’s Ministry of E... » read more

Time For Massively Parallel Testing


Time is money in electronics, as in other industries, and the more time that is invested in testing chips means more costs being added to the product in question. To speed up testing for memory devices and other semiconductors, test equipment vendors have resorted to parallel testing technology, simultaneously testing multiple chips at a time. The industry also is turning to system-level tes... » read more

Looking Back at Board Test


Printed circuit board testing has been around as long as printed circuit boards, also known as printed circuit assemblies and printed wiring boards. PCB technology started in the early 20th century with Thomas Edison and other inventors. As boards shrink to fit inside wearable gadgets and other products with compact form factors, PCB test equipment vendors are addressing new challenges. Boar... » read more

System-Level Testing


This white paper on system-level testing for semiconductors. Covering the history and trends of system-level test for semiconductors, this solution brief discusses: The increasing complexities of testing advanced semiconductor integrated devices across a span of applications: automotive, mobile computing, wearables, and more; Semiconductor trends driving necessary shifts in testing method... » read more

2.5D, FO-WLP Issues Come Into Focus


Advanced packaging is beginning to take off after years of hype, spurred by 2.5D implementations in high-performance markets and fan-out wafer-level packaging for a wide array of applications. There are now more players viewing packaging as another frontier driving innovation. But perhaps a more telling sign is that large foundries in Taiwan have begun offering packaging services to customer... » read more

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