Selective Redundancy In Cars


The automotive industry has been fish-tailing its way through design strategies and electronics architectures, but it finally appears to be honing in on a strategy that actually might work. This doesn't mean fully autonomous vehicles will take over the road anytime soon, but at least it points carmakers in the right direction. The auto industry has been in panic mode ever since Tesla, Waymo,... » read more

Reliability Over Time And Space


The demand for known good die is well understood as multi-chip packages are used in safety-critical and mission-critical applications, but that alone isn't sufficient. As chips are swapped in and out of packages to customize them for specific applications, it will be the entire module that needs to be verified, simulated and tested, and analyzed. This is more complicated than it sounds for s... » read more

Are Chips Getting More Reliable?


The semiconductor industry is making huge progress in understanding the causes and telltale signs of circuit aging and irregular behavior. But are devices actually getting more reliable? The answer depends on a number of factors, none of which is easily measured. To be sure, circuits are much better designed and inspected than in the past, and the individual components are printed more accur... » read more

The Very Long Road To Autonomous Vehicles


It may be a long wait before fully autonomous vehicles hit the road. Even semi-autonomous vehicles aren't doing so well. The American Automobile Association drove 4,000 miles in cars equipped with active driver assistance, averaging problems every 8 miles. AAA cited a host of problems, including driving too close to other cars or guardrails, aggressive braking, and automated steering that wo... » read more

Next Challenge: Known Good Systems


The leading edge of design is heading toward multi-die/multi-chiplet architectures, and an increasing number of mainstream designs likely will follow as processing moves closer to the edge. This doesn't mean every chipmaker will be designing leading-edge chips, of course. But more devices will have at least some leading-edge logic or will be connected over some advanced interconnect scheme t... » read more

Liability And Reliability


As systems vendors accelerate the development of their own architectures, semiconductor companies across the supply chain are getting a seat at the table for architecting the engines in those systems. Rather than competing for a socket, they are directly involved in strategizing the optimal solution that can make a systems vendor or OEM more competitive or far more efficient. That gives the dev... » read more

Sensors, Data And Machine Learning


Strategies for building reliability into chips and systems are beginning to shift as more sensors are added into these devices and machine learning is applied to that data. In the past, system monitoring relied heavily on MEMS devices for things like acceleration, temperature and positioning (gyroscopes). While those devices are still important, in the past couple years there has been an exp... » read more

Redefining Device Failures


Can a 5nm or 3nm chip really perform to spec over a couple decades? The answer is yes, but not using traditional approaches for designing, manufacturing or testing those chips. At the next few process nodes, all the workarounds and solutions that have been developed since 45nm don't necessarily apply. In the early finFET processes, for example, the new transistor structure provided a huge im... » read more

Test Is Becoming A Horizontal Process


Semiconductor test, once a discrete part of a well-orchestrated series of manufacturing steps, is looking more like a process that extends from the early concept stage in design to the end of life of whatever system that chip ultimately is used for. This has important ramifications for safety-critical markets in general, and the semiconductor industry in particular. Both worlds have been inc... » read more

Making Light More Reliable


The buzz around photonics in packages and between packages is growing. Now the question is whether it will work as expected, and where it will be useful. Replacing electrical with optical signals has been on the technology horizon for some time. Light moves faster through fiber than electrons through copper. How much faster depends upon the diameter of the wires, the substrate and interconne... » read more

← Older posts