Improving Yield, Reliability With Data


Big data techniques for sorting through massive amounts of data to identify aberrations are beginning to find a home in semiconductor manufacturing, fueled by new requirements in safety-critical markets such as automotive as well as the rising price of packaged chips in smartphones. Outlier detection—the process of finding data points outside the normal distribution—isn't a new idea. It ... » read more

The 2017 International Test Conference


Machine learning is a hot topic at many technical conferences this year. It will be true at the upcoming International Test Conference, which opens near the end of this month in Fort Worth, Texas. On Sunday, October 29, there are two tutorials devoted to machine learning. Monday, October 30, will have one tutorial related to the topic. The conference gets fully under way on Halloween, wit... » read more

Toward System-Level Test


The push toward more complex integration in chips, advanced packaging, and the use of those chips for new applications is turning the test world upside down. Most people think of test as a single operation that is performed during manufacturing. In reality it is a portfolio of separate operations, and the number of tests required is growing as designs become more heterogeneous and as they ar... » read more

Is It Safe To Assume That All “Passed” Die Are Actually “Good” Die?


In a world where Quality and Brand Protection is King, as certainly is the case for the automotive and medical device industries where strict minimal DPPM (defective parts per million) requirements are a common constraint, new methods for “escape” prevention and outlier detection are constantly being evaluated and implemented by semiconductor vendors to prevent any defective or marginal par... » read more

How To Make Autonomous Vehicles Reliable


The number of unknowns in automotive chips, subsystems and entire vehicles is growing as higher levels of driver assistance are deployed, sparking new concerns and approaches about how to improve reliability of these systems. Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) will need to detect objects, animals and people, and they will be used for parking assistance, night vision and collision avoi... » read more

Using Data To Improve Yield


Semiconductor manufacturers are always looking for an edge to improve operating efficiency and to increase yields on chip lots. For some, the answers include big data analytics, as well as technology to move that data around more quickly. Chipmakers, board assemblers, and related businesses are turning to the Internet of Things, especially [getkc id="78" kc_name="Industrial IoT"] technology... » read more

The Rising Value Of Data


The volume of data being generated by a spectrum of devices continues to skyrocket. Now the question is what can be done with that data. By Cisco's estimates, traffic on the Internet will be 3.3 zetabytes per year by 2021, up from 1.2 zetabytes in 2016. And if that isn't enough, the flow of data isn't consistent. Traffic on the busiest 60-minute period in a day increased 51% in 2016, compare... » read more

Module Testing Adds New Challenges


System-in-package (SiP) and other advanced packaging technologies are putting more components together in tighter spaces than previously seen. Often these packages are contained in a module, which is something more than a chip package and a great deal smaller than most printed circuit boards. Testing these modules often requires system-level test. These modules typically will be inserted int... » read more

Transistor Aging Intensifies At 10/7nm And Below


Transistor aging and reliability are becoming much more troublesome for design teams at 10nm and below. Concepts like ‘infant mortality’ and 'bathtub curves' are not new to semiconductor design, but they largely dropped out of sight as methodologies and EDA tools improved. To get past infant mortality, a burn-in process would be done, particularly for memories. And for reliability, which... » read more

Are All Known Good Tested Devices Created Equal?


Your known good parts all had passed their required wafer sort, final test, and system-level tests and were shipped to your customers. However, as we all know, a known good part or device sometimes does not stay good and may end up failing prematurely in the field and flagged as an RMA (return material authorization) by your customer. But why is it that some good parts fail early and others las... » read more

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