Electronic Design Creation: Overcoming PCB Design Challenges

Think of all the parts that make up the human body: legs, hands, lungs, bones, muscles, and so forth. Yet we are more than mere parts and organs, more than materials and functions. We are human beings. If one part doesn’t work smoothly, all parts are affected. This paper describes how the principle of 'gestalt,' in which an entity is more than the sum of its parts, pertains to the process of ... » 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

Have Margins Outlived Their Usefulness?

To automate the process of solving complex design problems, the traditional approach has been to partition them into smaller, manageable tasks. For each task, we have built the best possible solution which we continuously refine over time. Additionally, we have managed the interdependencies between tasks by defining boundaries or margins; these often have been best- and worst-case values used t... » read more

The Need For Speed: Strategies For Design Efficiency

Years of experience with one EDA tool obviously develops efficiency and makes you accustomed to the intricacies (good and bad) of your PCB design tool. However, with the development pace of today's technology, there comes a time when you need to consider a change to incorporate the latest methodologies. Reprinted with permission from The PCB Design Magazine, this article looks at productivity i... » read more

Enhanced Electro-Mechanical Collaboration

By Alex Grange and Linda Mazzitelli Integrating electronics into its mechanical environment comes with a number of challenges that boil down to Collision and Connectivity (does the cabinet bang against that capacitor?) and Synchronization (is mechanical designing to the latest PCB design and vice versa?). The culprit to problems that arise usually is the result of poor communications. Mod... » read more

Why Use A Package?

Subramanian Iyer, distinguished chancellor's professor in UCLA's Electrical Engineering Department—and a former fellow and director of the systems scaling technology department at IBM—sat down with Semiconductor Engineering to talk about the future of chip scaling. What follows are excerpts of that conversation. SE: Advanced packaging is being viewed as a way to extend scaling in the fut... » read more

3D Thermal Simulation Of Resistive Heating

Joule heating, also known as resistive or Ohmic heating, is the power lost to heat as electrical current flows down a conductor. We were introduced to Joule’s first law (Power dissipation = I²R, VI, V²/R) way back in high school. From an electronics thermal simulation perspective it requires a full 3D electrical flow simulation to be conducted, and from that the Joule heating power dissipat... » read more

Is The 2.5D Supply Chain Ready?

A handful of big semiconductor companies began taking the wraps off 2.5D and fan-out packaging plans in the past couple of weeks, setting the stage for the first major shift away from Moore's Law in 50 years. Those moves coincide with reports of commercial [getkc id="82" kc_name="2.5D"] chips from chip assemblers and foundries that are now under development. There have been indications for... » read more

Partition Lines Growing Fuzzy

For as long as most semiconductor engineers can remember, chips with discrete functions started out on a printed circuit board, progressed into chip sets when it made sense and eventually were integrated onto the same die. The primary motivations behind this trend were performance and cost—shorter distance, fewer mask layers, less silicon. But this equation has been changing over the past ... » read more

Redefining A System…And Why It Matters

The concept of a system on chip has been around since the mid-1990s, but the actual mass implementation of this scheme is almost synonymous with the rise of the smart phone over the past decade. Put in perspective, it isn't that old, and it's about to change. Prior to the [getkc id="81" kc_name="SoC"], an electronic system was largely a collection of components on a PCB that included memory,... » read more

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