Testing AI Systems


AI is booming. It's coming to a device near you—maybe even inside of you. And AI will be used to design, manufacture and even ship those devices, regardless of what they are, where they are used, or how they are transported. The big questions now are whether these systems work, for how long—and what do those metrics even mean? An AI system, or AI-enhanced system, is supposed to adapt ove... » read more

What AI Is… And Isn’t


AI is very good at some things. It may never be good at others. The challenge is figuring out where it can help the most, and then making the cost calculation for how it can be applied. Cost sounds like it should be fairly straightforward, but it isn't. For instance, what is the cost of continuing to doing something the same way if you aren't making necessary changes? Delaying those changes ... » read more

The Next Big Generation


As members of the global semiconductor business, we are continually looking to identify the next big thing (NBT) that will drive market growth. Typically, we try to predict which new product – from smart vehicles to wearable electronics – will become the next mass-market item that will boost our industry into a successively higher orbit. Thanks to the innovators and visionaries among us, th... » read more

4 Issues In Test


When most design engineers think about test, they envision a large piece of equipment in the fab they probably will never actually see or interact with. But as chips become more complex—driven by an explosion in both quantity and different types of data—test is emerging as one of the big challenges in design and manufacturing. There are four primary segments for test, each with its own s... » read more

Food for Thought


Eating healthy, getting plenty of rest and exercising regularly are the main ingredients in the recipe for wellness and fitness. But with today’s hectic lifestyles and hurried pace, do most of us still meet these basic requisites? Over the years, multiple programs have been launched to optimize the nutritional content of the foods we eat. Since the early 1900s, breakfast cereals have been ... » read more

The Next Materials Race


Trade wars are costly on many fronts, and a trade war between the United States and China is bound to cause a variety of problems that no one anticipated. But in some areas, there may be a silver lining. And where there is no silver lining available, other materials may suffice. For decades, big chipmakers have been squeezing the entire semiconductor supply chain in a race to double the num... » read more

Love and Affection in the Age of Robots


It is increasingly common to rely upon robotic devices to perform a wide range of tasks that were previously handled by humans. With robots becoming more pervasive in our lives, people are demonstrating a tendency to treat and relate to robot assistants as they would their pets and loved ones. We are beginning to project companion status on these mechanical tools. There is ample evidence tha... » read more

Virtual Packages Improve Signal Integrity


The 112 Gb/s generation of SerDes has brought along excessive loss within the package, around 5 dBs of loss within each monolithic package. This loss markedly reduces the usefulness of these SerDes. MCM technology has progressed to where the use of 70mm packages is routine. Non-interposer MCMs easily can use 20 or more chiplets, plus large dies and passives can be used. These MCMs have low ... » read more

SerDes For Chiplets


The XSR 56G and 112G Interoperability Agreements (IAs) announced by the OIF are intended to cover a channel consisting of a pair of up to 50mm. The primary defined application of the XSR SerDes is connecting a chip to a “nearby” optical engine. Because the requirements on these channels are much less stringent than they are on long reach channels, XSR SerDes are expected to have lower power... » read more

Why Test Costs Will Increase


The economics of test are under siege. Long seen as a necessary but rather mundane step in ensuring chip quality, or a way of testing circuitry from the inside while it is still in use, manufacturers and design teams have paid little attention to this part of the design-through-manufacturing flow. But problems have been building for some time in three separate areas, and they could have a b... » read more

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