Author's Latest Posts

Powering The Automotive Revolution: Advanced Packaging For Next-Generation Vehicle Computing

Automotive processors are rapidly adopting advanced process nodes. NXP announced the development of 5 nm automotive processors in 2020 [1], Mobileye announced EyeQ Ultra using 5 nm technology during CES 2022 [2], and TSMC announced its “Auto Early” 3 nm processes in 2023 [3]. In the past, the automotive industry was slow to adopt the latest semiconductor technologies due to reliability conc... » read more

The Rise Of Copper Wires In Automotive ICs

In 2011, the price of Gold (Au) surged to $1900/oz which had a drastic impact on Wirebonded ICs using Au wires. IC suppliers scrambled to convert from Au to copper (Cu) wire on as many products as they could. However, automotive ICs were reluctant to make the jump due to lack of reliability data and performance track-record. However, today’s automotive ICs are big users of Cu wires driven by ... » read more

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