What’s What In Advanced Packaging


Ever open the body of your smartphone (perhaps unintentionally) and see small, black rectangles stuck on a circuit board? Those black rectangles are packaged chips. The external chip structure protects the fragile integrated circuits inside, as well as dissipates heat, keeps chips isolated from each other, and, importantly, provides connection to the circuit board and other elements. The manufa... » read more

Mixed Messages For Mixed-Signal


There is no such thing as a purely digital design at advanced nodes today. Even designs that have no [getkc id="37" kc_name="analog"] content are likely relying on [getkc id="38" kc_name="mixed-signal"] components such as SerDes for communications, or voltage regulators for adaptive power control. But the days of purposely attempting to integrate everything including analog and RF onto a single... » 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

Litho Options For Panel Fan-out


Several packaging houses are inching closer to production of panel-level fan-out packaging, a next-generation technology that promises to reduce the cost of today’s fan-out packages. In fact, ASE, Nepes, Samsung and others already have installed the equipment in their panel-level fan-out lines with production slated for 2018 or so. But behind the scenes, panel-level packaging houses contin... » read more

Chiplets Gaining Steam


Building chips from pre-verified chiplets is beginning to gain traction as a way of cutting costs and reducing time to market for heterogeneous designs. The chiplet concept has been on the drawing board for some time, but it has been viewed more as a possible future direction than a necessary solution. That perception is beginning to change as complexity rises, particularly at advanced nodes... » read more

Noise Abatement


[getkc id="285" kc_name="Noise"] is a fact of life. Almost everything we do creates noise as a by-product and quite often what is a signal to one party is noise to another. Noise cannot be eliminated. It must be managed. But is noise becoming a larger issue in chips as the technology nodes get smaller and packaging becomes more complex? For some, the answer is a very strong yes, while for ot... » 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

Advanced Packaging’s Progress


Shim Il Kwon, CTO at STATS ChipPAC, sat down with Semiconductor Engineering to discuss the current and future trends of chip packaging. What follows are excerpts of that conversation. SE: The outsourced semiconductor assembly and test (OSAT) vendors provide third-party IC-packaging and test services. What are the big challenges for OSATs today? Shim: The OSAT market is very competitive, w... » read more

Plugging Gaps In Advanced Packaging


The growing difficulty of cramming more features into an SoC is driving the entire chip industry to consider new packaging options, whether that is a more complex, integrated SoC or some type of advanced packaging that includes multiple chips. Most of the work done in this area so far has been highly customized. But as advanced packaging heads into the mainstream, gaps are beginning to appea... » read more

Light In A Package


Silicon photonics is gaining significant traction inside the data center, but creating a simpler method of packaging the laser with other circuitry remains a stumbling block for cutting costs and using this technology across a wider swath of applications. Progress does appear to be on the horizon, even though exact time frames remain unclear. The advantages of light in communications are wel... » read more

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