The Case For Chiplets


Discussion about chiplets is growing as the cost of developing chips at 10/7nm and beyond passes well beyond the capabilities of many chipmakers. Estimates for developing 5nm chips (the equivalent 3nm for TSMC and Samsung) are well into the hundreds of millions of dollars just for the NRE costs alone. Masks costs will be in the double-digit millions of dollars even with EUV. And that's assum... » read more

Architecture, Materials And Software


AI, machine learning and autonomous vehicles will require massive improvements in performance, at the same power consumption level (or better), over today's chips. But it's obvious that the usual approach of shrinking features to improve power/performance isn't going to be sufficient. Scaling will certainly help, particularly on the logic side. More transistors are needed to process a huge i... » read more

High-Performance Memory Challenges


Designing memories for high-performance applications is becoming far more complex at 7/5nm. There are more factors to consider, more bottlenecks to contend with, and more tradeoffs required to solve them. One of the biggest challenges is the sheer volume of data that needs to be processed for AI, machine learning or deep learning, or even in classic data center server racks. “The design... » read more

Get Ready For Integrated Silicon Photonics


Long-haul communications and data centers are huge buyers of photonics components, and that is leading to rapid advances in the technology and opening new markets and opportunities. The industry has to adapt to meet the demands being placed on it and solve the bottlenecks in the design, development and fabrication of integrated silicon photonics. "Look at the networking bandwidth used across... » 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

Packaging Challenges For 2018


The IC packaging market is projected to see steady growth this year, amid ongoing changes in the landscape. The outsourced semiconductor assembly and test ([getkc id="83" kc_name="OSAT"]) industry, which provides third-party packaging and test services, has been consolidating for some time. So while sales rising, the number of companies is falling. In late 2017, for example, [getentity id="2... » read more

Noise Abatement


[getkc id="285" kc_name="Noise"] is a fact of life. Almost everything we do creates noise as a by-product and quite often what is a signal to one party is noise to another. Noise cannot be eliminated. It must be managed. But is noise becoming a larger issue in chips as the technology nodes get smaller and packaging becomes more complex? For some, the answer is a very strong yes, while for ot... » read more

What’s After 7nm?


The rollout of 10/7nm was a long time coming, and for good reason. It's hard stuff, and chipmakers have to be ready to take a giant step forward with new processes, tools, and to deal with a slew of physical effects that no longer can be handled by just guard-banding a design. The big question is what's next, when it will happen, and how much it will cost. Preparing for the next process node... » read more

Primer On Packaging


Ever open the body of your smartphone (perhaps unintentionally) and see small, black rectangles stuck on a circuit board? Those black rectangles are packaged chips. The external chip structure protects the fragile integrated circuits inside, as well as dissipates heat, keeps chips isolated from each other, and, importantly, provides connection to the circuit board and other elements. The manufa... » read more

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