Testing For Security


Ever since the IoT became a household name, people have been strategizing about ways to utilize non-secure devices to mount an attack. The first instances of using electricity to overload a device's circuits, thereby neutralizing existing security features, came to light in some of the earliest car hacking incidents. These are basically side-channel attacks using what amounts to an electroni... » read more

Quality Issues Widen


As the amount of semiconductor content in cars, medical and industrial applications increases, so does the concern about how long these devices will function properly—and what exactly that means. Quality is frequently a fuzzy concept. In mobile phones, problems have ranged from bad antenna placement, which resulted in batteries draining too quickly, to features that take too long to load. ... » read more

2.5D Adds Test Challenges


OSATs and ATE vendors are making progress in determining what works and what doesn't in 2.5D packaging, expanding their knowledge base as this evolves into a mainstream technology. A [getkc id="82" kc_name="2.5D"] package generally includes an ASIC connected to a stack of memory chips—usually high-bandwidth memory—using an [getkc id="204" kc_name="interposer"] or some type of silicon bri... » read more

What Next For OSATs


Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss IC-packaging and business trends with Tien Wu, chief operating officer at Taiwan’s Advanced Semiconductor Engineering ([getentity id="22930" comment="ASE"]), the world’s largest outsourced semiconductor assembly and test (OSAT) vendor. What follows are excerpts of that conversation. SE: What’s the outlook for the IC industry in 2017? Wu:... » read more

The Path To (Virtually) Zero Defective Parts Per Million


Despite thorough wafer and package testing, a small number of defective ICs can make their way into systems. These test "escapes" often return as field failures, increasing costs and eroding profit margins. They can also present a hazard if deployed in safety-critical systems, which is why companies purchasing semiconductors for automotive, medical, or aerospace applications often demand a zero... » read more

Test More Complex For Cars, IoT


With increasing focus on safety-critical semiconductors—driven by ADAS, IoT, and security—functional safety concerns are going through the roof. Engineering teams are scrambling to determine how to conduct better in-field or online testing because test no longer can be an afterthought. This has been a common theme across the automotive ecosystem for the past few years, and as the automot... » read more

Devices Threatened By Analog Content?


As the amount of analog content in connected devices explodes, ensuring that the analog portion works properly has taken on a new level of urgency. Analog circuitry is required for interpreting the physical world and for moving data to other parts of the system, while digital circuitry is the fastest way to process it. So a sensor that gives a faulty reading in a car moving at high speed or ... » read more

Addressing Test Time Challenges


Unit test time on automated test equipment (ATE) is one of the major components that affects the total cost of manufacturing for semiconductor suppliers. The test programs for each unit can be comprised of thousands of parametric and functional tests that are performed to screen out defective units or dies. However, tester time is expensive, so suppliers are always looking for ways to reduce th... » read more

ATO 2017: Driven by Necessity


In the aerospace and defense industry, reducing release cycles and preventing program delays have become increasingly difficult. In automotive, consumer demands are driving up test complexity and introducing new costs in areas like infotainment. In response, test managers must find affordable ways to incorporate RF testing for wireless signals and machine vision testing for assisted parking to ... » read more

Logic Analyzers Never Die


Logic analyzers, long a mainstay of chip design, are finding new demand for IoT devices—and frequently in different forms than in the past. Once associated with big, bulky benchtop instruments, this technology has evolved significantly over the past 40 years. In some cases it has been moved into software, where the measurement results are more likely to be viewed upon a laptop screen or a ... » read more

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