The Chiplet Option


All of the leading chipmakers, foundries and OSATs are now working with some sort of advanced packaging. The next step is to add some consistency to those efforts to be able to assemble chips much more quickly and inexpensively. DARPA has been promoting chiplets as the best way to solve this problem, and for the military, this is a pretty logical choice. With a push toward heterogeneity in c... » read more

The 2017 International Test Conference


Machine learning is a hot topic at many technical conferences this year. It will be true at the upcoming International Test Conference, which opens near the end of this month in Fort Worth, Texas. On Sunday, October 29, there are two tutorials devoted to machine learning. Monday, October 30, will have one tutorial related to the topic. The conference gets fully under way on Halloween, wit... » read more

Is It Safe To Assume That All “Passed” Die Are Actually “Good” Die?


In a world where Quality and Brand Protection is King, as certainly is the case for the automotive and medical device industries where strict minimal DPPM (defective parts per million) requirements are a common constraint, new methods for “escape” prevention and outlier detection are constantly being evaluated and implemented by semiconductor vendors to prevent any defective or marginal par... » read more

The Future Of Human/Machine Interaction Is Personal


What comes to mind when you think of a human/machine interface? Something close at hand like your smartphone’s GPS and the ATMs at your bank? Something futuristic like flying cars and jetpacks? Something dangerous like menacing cyborgs? As technology becomes more pervasive in our everyday activities, there are a growing number of human/machine interfaces. They also are becoming more personal.... » read more

Tips For Research Grants


One of the challenges in academic research is to find ways to accelerate innovation and bring new technologies to market faster for broader use and for benefiting society. In fact, only a small fraction of the research performed in academic institutions successfully leaves the labs and reaches the marketplace. Some of the known causes for this include product-market mismatch, limited funding, a... » read more

Systems Of Packages


The shift from IP blocks to subsystems, with pre-integrated and pre-verified IP, has never lived up to the initial hype. That doesn't mean the concept isn't valid, though. The problem with subsystems, as originally conceived, is they were far too limited for widespread adoption. When this idea first began surfacing in the early pat of the Millennium, this all made sense because the number o... » read more

Whither Xcerra?


Trade tensions between the People’s Republic of China and the Trump Administration could sink a big transaction in the automatic test equipment business. Xcerra, a supplier of semiconductor test systems, board testers, and electronic interconnects, announced in April that it had accepted an offer from Unic Capital Management, an affiliate of Sino IC Capital, to acquire the company for $10.... » read more

Packaging Enters New Phase


The race is on to make advanced packaging less expensive than shrinking everything down onto the same die—much less expensive, in fact. Following several years of speculation and rather shaky market predictions at the beginning of this decade, packaging houses and foundries spent the last four years proving that packaging really does provide a viable alternative to shrinking die in terms o... » read more

A Tale of Two Testers


David Tacelli, president and CEO of Xcerra, was excited. His company’s reception for customers (and the press) at the Trou Normand restaurant in San Francisco’s hip South of Market neighborhood was going very well. Gourmet salames and other tasty foods were on offer, along with fine wines and craft ales and beers. He gleefully pointed out to editors that the product to be introduced at t... » read more

Women In Engineering


While I’ve been involved in Women In Microwaves for many years now, beginning in 2011 with my chairmanship of what was then only a WIM social hour at IMS, until this year I had never participated in the WIM panel sessions that were expanded from the social hour starting several years ago. In Hawaii this year that changed when I was invited to join in the 2017 WIM panel, “Inspiring the Next ... » read more

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