Advanced Packaging Is Suddenly Very Cool


The hottest chip markets today—automotive AI for autonomous and heavily assisted driving, machine learning, virtual and augmented reality—all are beginning to look at advanced packaging as the best path forward for improving performance and reducing power. Over the past four years, which is when 2.5D and fan-out wafer-level packaging first really began garnering interest, these and othe... » read more

That Was The Year That Was In Test


Looking back on the year about to end, one deal stands out, because it is in legal limbo – the proposed $580 million acquisition of Xcerra by Hubei Xinyan Equity Investment Partnership. At this writing, the transaction has not been completed. Both parties said they planned to sew up the purchase by the end of 2017, so a few weeks remain to make that happen. The deal is in the hands of t... » read more

At The Intersection Of Electronics And Automobiles


While we’re idling at this traffic light, let’s “blue sky” a bit. Over the course of a year, the average American driver spends the equivalent of more than seven 40-hour work weeks just sitting in a car. Crazy, right?  But who measures work weeks as only 40 hours anymore? Those 280+ hours spent driving means there’s a lot of non-productive overhead time, to borrow a term from semi... » read more

What’s Missing In Packaging


The growth of advanced packaging on the leading edge of design is inching backwards into older nodes. With most technology—tools, methodologies, materials and processes—this is business as usual. But in packaging, it's both counterintuitive and potentially problematic. The main reason that companies began investing in advanced packaging—OSATs, foundries, chipmakers such as Intel and Qu... » read more

2017 ITC Wrap-up


Advantest was among the exhibitors and corporate sponsors at last week’s 2017 International Test Conference in Fort Worth, Texas. The automatic test equipment company also presented papers, took part in sessions, and provided posters during ITC’s technical program. In the booth, Advantest demonstrated its on-demand CloudTesting Service. It also showed off its EVA100 analog/mixed-signal IC t... » read more

Let’s Be Smart About Artificial Intelligence


Technology visionaries no less than Stephen Hawking and Elon Musk have called artificial intelligence (AI) the greatest threat facing the future of mankind. But unless we all wind up running for our lives from a “Terminator” killing machine, don’t the benefits of AI far outweigh the downsides? Looking past purely mathematic calculators from the abacus to Charles Babbage’s difference ... » read more

Meanwhile, Back In Barcelona…


We recently wrapped up another successful IoT Solutions World Congress (IoTSWC), hosted by the Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC) in Barcelona. We’ve been participating in the Congress since its inception three years ago, and this year was particularly exciting given the Catalonia Independence Referendum happening at the same time. Even with this as a backdrop, the event attracted 50 percen... » read more

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

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