Advanced Packaging Requires Better Yield


Whether Moore's Laws truly ends, or whether the semiconductor industry reaches into the Angstrom world after 3nm—the semiconductor industry dislikes fractions—advanced packaging increasingly will dominate semiconductor designs. Apple already is on board with its iPhone 7, using TSMC's fan-out approach. And all of the major foundries and OSATs are lining up with a long list of capabilitie... » 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

2.5D Surprises And Alternatives


Semiconductor Engineering sat to discuss advanced packaging issues with Juan Rey, senior director of engineering for Calibre at [getentity id="22017" e_name="Mentor Graphics"]; Max Min, senior technical manager at [getentity id="22865" e_name="Samsung"]; and Lisa Minwell, [getentity id="22242" e_name="eSilicon's"] senior director of IP marketing. What follows are excerpts of that conversation. ... » read more

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

Packaging Wars Begin


The advanced IC-packaging market is turning into a high-stakes competitive battleground, as vendors ramp up the next wave of [getkc id="82" kc_name="2.5D"]/[getkc id="42" kc_name="3D"] technologies, high-density fan-out packages and others. At one time, the outsourced semiconductor assembly and test ([getkc id="83" comment="OSAT"]) vendors dominated and handled the chip-packaging requirement... » 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

Building Faster Chips


By Ed Sperling and Jeff Dorsch An explosion in IoT sensor data, the onset of deep learning and AI, and the commercial rollout of augmented and virtual reality are driving a renewed interest in performance as the key metric for semiconductor design. Throughout the past decade in which mobility/smartphone dominated chip design, power replaced performance as the top driver. Processors ha... » read more

Securing Chips During Manufacturing


David Lam, chairman of Multibeam, sat down with Semiconductor Engineering to talk about how next-gen lithography tools can be used to prevent cyber attacks and counterfeiting of hardware. SE: How did you get into the anti-counterfeiting business? Lam: About three years ago we were working with some customers that were troubled by the counterfeiting problem. We became aware of that sense o... » read more

The Road To 5nm


There is strong likelihood that enough companies will move to 7nm to warrant the investment. How many will move forward to 5nm is far less certain. Part of the reason for this uncertainty is big-company consolidation. There are simply fewer customers left who can afford to build chips at the most advanced nodes. Intel bought Altera. Avago bought Broadcom. NXP bought Freescale. GlobalFoundrie... » read more

The Evolving Thermal Landscape


Managing heat in chips is becoming a precision balancing act at advanced nodes and with advanced packaging. While it's important to ensure that temperatures don't rise high enough to cause reliability problems, adding too much circuitry to control heat can reduce performance and lower energy efficiency. The most common approach to dealing with these issues is thermal simulation, which requir... » read more

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