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The Drive Toward Zero Defects


The automotive semiconductor market has doubled twice in the past 20 years. But the next doubling will be even faster. While short-term results may vary, it is certain that auto semis will be much larger 10-20 years from now. Today, a gas-powered car has ~$400 of semiconductor content whereas the Tesla Model 3 with an electric powertrain and Advanced Driver Assist System (ADAS) has >4... » read more

Wirebond IC Substrates: Challenges Ahead


Substrate suppliers are slashing capacity allocated to wirebond IC substrates. We hear about "limited tenting capacity," "no support for EBS designs," and requests for "conversion to etchback" designs. What does all this mean? Let's start with "Line" and "Space." "Line" is the width of a trace on a substrate and "Space" is the distance between the two traces. For wirebond packages such a... » read more

Automotive Chip Shortages: An Assembly Perspective


Since March 2020, the pandemic has brought on scarcity in odd goods like toilet paper, baking flour and exercise equipment. The latest casualty is the auto industry as car production across the world has been hobbled by chip shortages. While much has been written about the role of semiconductor suppliers, foundries, wafer fab equipment, fires, and snowstorms in the chip shortages, we should als... » read more

A Look Inside ADAS Modules


You glance down at your phone while rolling in slow-moving traffic. Against your better judgment, you proceed to read your latest email, oblivious to the fact that the car in front of you has braked. In the nick of time, your car starts beeping and flashing. You look up and slam the brakes. Whew! That was close. If this has happened to you, don't forget to thank the radar and camera modules in ... » read more