Chip Dis-Integration


Just because something can be done does not always mean that it should be done. One segment of the semiconductor industry is learning the hard way that continued chip integration has a significant downside. At the same time, another another group has just started to see the benefits of consolidating functionality onto a single substrate. Companies that have been following Moore's Law and hav... » read more

Delivering On The Promise Of Self-Driving Cars


Self-driving cars have been all the rage in both the trade and popular press in recent years. I prefer the term “autonomous vehicles,” which more broadly captures the possibilities, encompassing not only small passenger vehicles but mass transit and industrial vehicles as well. Depending on who’s talking, we will all be riding in fully autonomous vehicles in five to 25 years. The five-... » read more

Progress And Chaos On Road To Autonomy


Progress in the development of fully autonomous vehicles is incremental and slow, but not for lack of effort. Research and development in self-driving cars is under way all around the globe, from the biggest automotive manufacturers and their Tier 1 suppliers to companies not traditionally involved in the automotive industry. Add to that fleets of startups working on sensor technologies and ... » read more

200mm Fab Crunch


Growing demand for analog, MEMS and RF chips continues to cause acute shortages for both 200mm fab capacity and equipment, and it shows no sign of letting up. Today, 200mm fab capacity is tight with a similar situation projected for the second half of 2018 and perhaps well into 2019. In fact, 2018 will likely represent the third consecutive year that 200mm fab capacity will be tight. The sam... » read more

Toward Autonomous Farming


While the automotive industry works diligently towards self-driving vehicles, it's possible the carrots you've eaten recently were semi-autonomously planted and harvested with Case IH equipment by Bolthouse Farms, one of the largest carrot growers in the United States. And the U.S. is hardly alone. Autonomous agriculture is coming everywhere, and it's happening much faster than autonomous ca... » read more

Embedded Die Packaging Emerges


Embedded die packaging is seeing renewed demand amid the push towards chips and systems that require smaller form factors. ASE, AT&S, GE, Shinko, Taiyo Yuden, TDK, Würth Elektronik and others compete in the merchant embedded die packaging market, according to Yole Développement. In fact, ASE and TDK have a joint venture in the arena, which is beginning to ramp up production. Additional... » read more

Mesh Networking Grows For ICs


Mesh networks were invented to create rich interaction among groups of almost-unrelated peers, but now they are showing up in everything from advanced chip packages to IoT networks. The flexibility of a many-to-many peer-connection model made the mesh approach a favorite for two-dimensional network-on-a-chip topologies, to the point where they began to supplant data-bus connections during th... » read more

Toward High-End Fan-Outs


Foundries and OSATs are working on more advanced fan-outs, including some with vertically stacked die inside the package, filling a middle ground between lower-cost fan-outs and systems in package on one side and 2.5D and 3D-ICs on the other. These new [getkc id="202" kc_name="fan-outs"] have denser interconnects than previous iterations, and in some cases they include multiple routing layer... » read more

How To Build A Better MEMS Microphone


We are seeing a lot of interest in simulating noise, particularly for condenser microphones. With any transducer, noise reduction is always a plus, and with microphones there are two specific applications that need low noise. One is where the microphone is positioned away from the sound source, such as in video calling or when using voice commands with tablet computers. The other is where multi... » read more

Testing Analog Chips


The world of analog components is broad and diverse, and while testing analog chips may not take as long as running tests on complex SoCs, there are different requirements for analog devices. One type of chip that's seeing more application these days is analog microelectromechanical system devices. Automotive electronics call for a number of [getkc id="37" kc_name="analog"] chips, along with... » read more

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