A Reliability Baseline Is Essential For Today’s Complex IC Designs


Design rule checking (DRC) represents a common platform by which we can all compare relative rule complexity. The industry expectation is that all foundries will provide complete DRC and layout vs. schematic (LVS) rule decks at all process nodes for the successful tape-out of IC designs. However, not only are DRC operations growing significantly (Figure 1), but the scope of the rules needed to ... » read more

FD-SOI Adoption Expands


Fully depleted silicon-on-insulator (FD-SOI) is gaining ground across a number of new markets, ranging from IoT to automotive to machine learning, and diverging sharply from its original position as a less costly alternative to finFET-based designs. For years, [getkc id="220" kc_name="FD-SOI"] has been viewed as an either/or solution targeted at the same markets as bulk [gettech id="31093" c... » read more

The Race To Accelerate


Geoff Tate, CEO of [getentity id="22921" e_name="Flex Logix"], sat down with Semiconductor Engineering to discuss how the chip industry is changing, why that bodes well for embedded FPGAs, and what you need to be aware of when using programmable logic on the same die as other devices. What follows are excerpts of that conversation. SE: What are the biggest challenges facing the chip industry... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing


Chipmakers China has struck again, as the nation continues to acquire semiconductor technology. In December, Silicon Labs announced plans to acquire Sigma Designs for $282 million. The deal involves Sigma’s Z-Wave chip business. Now, Sigma Designs has sold its connectivity chip business unit to Integrated Silicon Solution Inc. (ISSI). In 2015, a Chinese consortium of investors led by Uph... » read more

Fan-Out Wars Begin


Several packaging houses are developing the next wave of high-density fan-out packages for premium smartphones, but perhaps a bigger battle is brewing in the lower density fan-out arena. Amkor, ASE, STATS ChipPAC and others sell traditional low-density fan-out packages, although some new and competitive technologies are beginning to appear in the market. Low-density fan-out, or sometimes cal... » read more

Cheaper Packaging Options Ahead


Lower-cost packaging options and interconnects are either under development or just being commercialized, all of which could have a significant impact on the economics of advanced packaging. By far, the most cited reason why companies don't adopt advanced [getkc id="27" kc_name="packaging"] is cost. Currently, silicon [getkc id="204" kc_name="interposers"] add about $30 to the price of a med... » read more

Dawn Of The Data-Centric Era


A recurring theme of the recent Industry Strategy Symposium (ISS) in Half Moon Bay, California, was how the explosion of new applications such as autonomous vehicles, digital healthcare, quantum computing, and crytocurrency mining are driving the need for more industry-wide collaboration to enable companies to compete in the “Data Centric” era. The resulting digital economy is creating unpr... » read more

Blog Review: Jan. 31


Cadence's Paul McLellan looks back at where TSMC was 30 years ago and the founding philosophy that made the foundry and fabless model work. In a video, Mentor's Colin Walls considers how to make the simplest possible multitasking scheduler with a one line RTOS. Synopsys' Sandeep Taneja checks out the technology behind airbags in cars and the role of the Motorola Serial Peripheral Interfac... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: Jan. 30


SRC’s new R&D centers The Semiconductor Research Corp. has launched a network of research centers within its recently-announced Joint University Microelectronics Program (JUMP). SRC officially launched the 5-year, $200 million program on Jan. 1. With various research centers, the mission of JUMP is to lay the groundwork that extends the viability of Moore’s Law through 2040. The idea is... » read more

Nodes Vs. Nodelets


Foundries are flooding the market with new nodes and different process options at existing nodes, spreading confusion and creating a variety of challenges for chipmakers. There are full-node processes, such as 10nm and 7nm, with 5nm and 3nm in R&D. But there also is an increasing number of half-nodes or "node-lets" being introduced, including 12nm, 11nm, 8nm, 6nm and 4nm. Node-lets ar... » read more

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