High-Stakes Litho Game


The commercial introduction of EUV looks all but assured these days. There is enough history to show it works. Uptime and throughput are improving, and systems are shipping today. The question now is how to measure its success. In the short-term, this is a fairly simple financial exercise for companies like ASML and Zeiss, which have been closely collaborating to get these massive systems ou... » read more

Moore’s Law: Toward SW-Defined Hardware


Pushing to the next process node will continue to be a primary driver for some chips—CPUs, FPGAs and some ASICS—but for many applications that approach is becoming less relevant as a metric for progress. Behind this change is a transition from using customized software with generic hardware, to a mix of specialized, heterogeneous hardware that can achieve better performance with less ene... » read more

2.5D, Fan-Out Inspection Issues Grow


As advanced packaging moves into the mainstream, packaging houses and equipment makers are ratcheting up efforts to solve persistent metrology and inspection issues. The goal is to lower the cost of fan-outs, [getkc id="82" kc_name="2.5D"] and [getkc id="42" kc_name="3D-IC"], along with a number of other packaging variants consistent with the kinds of gains that are normally associated with Moo... » read more

Advanced Packaging Goes Mainstream


The roadmap for shrinking digital logic will continue for at least the next 10 years. For others devices, particularly analog, it will slow down or end. And therein lies one of the most fundamental changes in semiconductor design and manufacturing in the past half century. This is no longer just talk. Apple is using a fan-out architecture in its iPhone 7. Memory makers are stacking NAND and ... » read more

Ultra-Thin Substrate Assembly Challenges For Advanced Flip Chip Package


Advanced semiconductor packaging requirements for higher and faster performance in a thinner and smaller form factor continues to grow for mobile, network and consumer devices. While the increase in device input/output (I/O) count is driven by the famous “Moore’s Law”, the packaging industry is experiencing opposing trends for more complex packaging solutions while the expected cost targe... » read more

The Future of Testing


In our previous test blog posts, we looked at the history of automated test equipment for semiconductors and for printed circuit boards. This month, we look ahead to the test technologies that are emerging. The chip ATE field has essentially boiled down to Advantest, Teradyne, and Xcerra (LTX-Credence), while the board test market is dominated by Teradyne and Keysight Technologies (formerly ... » read more

Intel Inside The Package


Mark Bohr, senior fellow and director of process architecture and integration at Intel, sat down with Semiconductor Engineering to discuss the growing importance of multi-chip integration in a package, the growing emphasis on heterogeneity, and what to expect at 7nm and 5nm. What follows are excerpts of that interview. SE: There’s a move toward more heterogeneity in designs. Intel clearly ... » read more

Design For Silicon Success At 7nm


Next-generation automotive, mobile and high-performance computing applications demand the use of 7nm SoCs to deliver greater functionality and higher performance at much lower power. According to Gartner, when compared to 16nm/14nm technology, 7nm offers 35% speed improvement, 65% less power, and 3.3X density improvement. Hence, despite a whopping cost of $271M — per Gartner's estimate — to... » read more

Design Complexity Drives New Automation


As design complexity grows, so does the need for every piece in the design flow—hardware, software, IP, as well as the ecosystem — to be tied together more closely. At one level, design flow capacity is simply getting bigger to accommodate massive [getkc id="185" kc_name="finFET"]-class designs. But beyond sheer size, there are new interactions in the design flow that place much more emp... » read more

Historic FinFET/2.5D Firsts


Recently, I had an opportunity to watch the Academy Award nominated movie “Hidden Figures.” If you’re a geek at heart, you need to see this movie. It chronicles the strong contributions of three black women to the NASA space program during the 1960s. The civil rights backstory of the movie is powerful, but there is another aspect of the movie that stayed with me as well: all of the “fir... » read more

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