Closing The Power Integrity Gap

Voltage drop has always been a significant challenge. As far back as 130nm, specialist tools were being used to ensure that enough local decoupling capacitance (decap) cells were inserted in addition to larger decaps implemented around the SoC. But advanced nodes are complicating matters and further increasing complexity. These technological challenges, which underlie the power, performance ... » read more

Why Do You Need Chip-Package-System Co-Design And Co-Analysis?

Whether it is the need for sustainable energy, or driving performance while keeping power at bay, or enabling safe and reliable operation of any electronic system, containment of electronic noise — power and signal noise is critical to all of the above. Other factors that impact safe and reliable operation are electromigration (EM), electromagnetic interference (EMI) and mechanical stress ena... » read more

Noise Killed My Chip

In the past, noise was considered an annoyance, especially for analog circuitry. But today chips are actually failing because insufficient analysis was performed. Noise types that used to be second-order effects are becoming primary factors that have to be considered. This is happening at the same time that noise margins are getting smaller, both in the amplitude and temporal dimensions. It ... » read more

Designing SoC Power Networks

Designing a power network for a complex SoC is becoming critical for the success of the product, but most chips are still using old techniques that are ill-suited to the latest fabrication technologies, resulting in an expensive, overdesigned product. Not only is the power network as designed too large, but this has several knock-on effects that impact area, timing and power. In the first pa... » read more

SoC Power Grid Challenges

The consumption of power and dissipation of heat within large SoCs has received a lot of attention recently, but that is only part of the issue. Power also has to be reliably delivered onto and around the system. This is becoming increasingly difficult, and new nodes are adding to the list of challenges. "If we were building chips where there was only a single Vdd and Vss then it is not that... » read more

TSVs: Copper, Silicon, And CTE Mismatch

As previous articles in this series have discussed, advanced packages introduce new materials and new reliability concerns. Diffusion into solder bumps can create brittle, high resistance, intermetallic compounds. Heat transfer through an interposer can degrade the lifetime of even cool, low power chips. Still, through-silicon vias are unique in that they cut directly through the integrated cir... » read more

Electromigration: Not Just Copper Anymore

While integrated circuit manufacturers have worried about electromigration for a long time, until recently most of their concerns have focused on the on-chip interconnects. The larger dimensions found in integrated circuit packages have, in most cases, improved heat dissipation, reduced current density, and eliminated most [getkc id="160" kc_name="electromigration"] risks. Over the last sev... » read more

Keeping The Whole Package Cool

Heat dissipation is a critical issue for designers of complex chip-stacking and system-in-package devices. The amount of heat generated by a device increases as the number of transistors goes up, but the ability to dissipate the heat depends on the package surface area. Because the goal of 3D packaging is to squeeze more transistors into less overall space, new heat dissipation issues are em... » read more

Analyzing The Integrity Of Power

Power analysis is shifting much earlier in the chip design process, with power emerging as the top design constraint at advanced process nodes. As engineering teams pack more functionality and content into bigger and more complex chips, they are having to deal with more complex interactions that affect everything from power to its impact on signal integrity and long-term reliability. That, i... » read more

Pain Points At 7nm

Early work has begun on 7nm. Process technology has progressed to the point where IP and tools are being qualified. There is still a long way to go. But as companies begin engaging with foundries on this process node—[getentity id="22586" comment="TSMC"] is talking publicly about it, but [getentity id="22846" e_name="Intel"], [getentity id="22819" comment="GlobalFoundries"] and [getentity ... » read more

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