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What Do Feedback Loops For AI/ML Devices Really Show?


AI/ML is being designed into an increasing number of chips and systems these days, but predicting how they will behave once they're in the field is, at best, a good guess. Typically, verification, validation, and testing of systems is done before devices reach the market, with an increasing amount of in-field data analysis for systems where reliability is potentially mission- or safety-criti... » read more

Demystifying ADC


ADC stands for automatic defect classification. It’s a software that classifies defects based on image and metadata such as location, ROI, and other information associated with a defect. ADC is not a mysterious black box that’s impossible to understand. Instead, ADC classifies defects the same way a human operator does, by first being trained by an expert. Then, just like human classificati... » read more

A View Across The Siliconscape


What would it look like if you had the magical ability to look inside a chip and cast your eyes across the tumultuous activities within the silicon itself? If you could gaze into the die and see the real-time peaks and troughs of voltage supply, stressed areas with high activity and heat and areas of calm where uneven workloads create idle processor cores. A vision of the chip landscape, seasca... » read more

Parallel RF Test For Next-Generation Communications


The test economics of state-of-the-art smartphones, tablets and routers demand highly parallel RF test. We are addressing this next wave in RF communications test, enabled by Wi-Fi 6E, operating in the 6GHz band and coming up to 7.125GHz. This forthcoming update to the Wi-Fi standard will extend the features and capabilities, including higher performance, lower latency, and faster data rates fo... » read more

Testing VCSEL Devices On-Wafer


Vertical-Cavity Surface-Emitting Lasers, or VCSELs, are seeing unparalleled demand, thanks to new uses for them in smartphone and automotive applications. 3D sensing for facial recognition is the key application in smartphones, with up to three VCSEL dies being integrated into a single phone. Emerging automotive applications such as driver monitoring, infotainment control and LiDAR will provide... » read more

Customer-Developed, Hyper-Convergent Design Flows Are Now Possible


We all know the days of sequential, compartmentalized chip design are over. In advanced technology nodes, placement impacts performance, performance impacts power, and routing impacts everything. The way to manage these challenges is to interleave design tasks. For example, provide information on late-stage routing to early-stage synthesis tools to improve convergence. This technique is commonl... » read more

Why AI Systems Are So Hard To Predict


AI can do many things, but how to ensure that it does the right things is anything but clear. Much of this stems from the fact that AI/ML/DL systems are built to adapt and self-optimize. With properly adjusted weights, training algorithms can be used to make sure these systems don't stray too far from the starting point. But how to test for that, in the lab, the fab and in the field is far f... » read more

DFT For SoCs Is Last, First, And Everywhere In Between


Back in the dawn of time, IC test was the last task in the design flow. First, you designed the chip and then you wrote the functional test program to verify it performed as expected after manufacturing. Without much effort, some portion of the functional test program was often reused as the manufacturing test to determine that the silicon was defect-free. Fast forward to today and things ha... » read more

System-Level Test Methodologies Take Center Stage


Because electronic systems for all applications in end-user markets must provide the highest possible reliability to match customers’ quality expectations, semiconductor components undergo multiple tests and stress steps to screen out defects that could arise during their lifecycle. Due to new semiconductor devices’ increasing design complexity and extreme process technology, increased test... » read more

Predicting Reliability At 3/2nm And Beyond


The chip industry is determined to manufacture semiconductors at 3/2nm — and maybe even beyond — but it's unlikely those chips will be the complex all-in-one SoCs that have defined advanced electronics over the past decade or so. Instead, they likely will be one of many tiles in a system that define different functions, the most important of which are highly specialized for a particular app... » read more

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