ECTC Packaging Trends


At the recent IEEE Electronic Components and Technology Conference (ECTC) in Las Vegas, a number of packaging houses, R&D organizations and universities presented a slew of papers on the latest IC packaging technologies. The event provided a glimpse of the future of packaging, which is becoming more important in the industry. At one time, IC packaging took a backseat in the semiconductor... » read more

CEO Outlook: It Gets Much Harder From Here


Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss what's changing across the semiconductor industry with Wally Rhines, CEO emeritus at Mentor, a Siemens Business; Jack Harding, president and CEO of eSilicon; John Kibarian, president and CEO of PDF Solutions; and John Chong, vice president of product and business development for Kionix. What follows are excerpts of that discussion, which was held in... » read more

Partitioning In 3D


The best way to improve transistor density isn't necessarily to cram more of them onto a single die. Moore’s Law in its original form stated that device density doubles about every two years while cost remains constant. It relied on the observation that the cost of a processed silicon wafer remained constant regardless of the number of devices printed on it, which in turn depended on litho... » read more

Chiplet Momentum Builds, Despite Tradeoffs


Chip design is a series of tradeoffs. Some are technical, others are related to cost, competitive features or legal restrictions. But with the nascent 'chiplet' market, many of the established balance points are significantly altered, depending on market segments and ecosystem readiness. Chiplets provide an alternative mechanism for integrating intellectual property (IP) blocks into a semico... » read more

Raising The Abstraction Level For Power


Power-aware design is still a relatively new concern for many semiconductor products, and since inception it has changed several times and in different ways. Initially people were concerned about peak power. Today, they care about peak, total energy, thermal and other effects. The industry has tried several abstractions ranging from system-level analysis, which promised to swamp implementati... » read more

Focus Shifting From 2.5D To Fan-Outs For Lower Cost


Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss advanced packaging with Calvin Cheung, vice president of engineering at ASE; Walter Ng, vice president of business management at UMC; Ajay Lalwani, vice president of global manufacturing operations at eSilicon; Vic Kulkarni, vice president and chief strategist in the office of the CTO at ANSYS; and Tien Shiah, senior manager for memory at Samsung. W... » read more

Controlling IC Manufacturing Processes For Yield


Equipment and tools vendors are starting to focus on data as a means of improving yield, adding more sensors and analysis capabilities into the manufacturing flow to circumvent problems in real time. How much this will impact the cost of developing complex chips at leading-edge nodes, and in 2.5D and 3D-IC packages, remains to be seen. But the race to both generate data during manufacturing ... » read more

GDDR6 – HBM2 Tradeoffs


Steven Woo, Rambus fellow and distinguished inventor, talks about why designers choose one memory type over another. Applications for each were clearly delineated in the past, but the lines are starting to blur. Nevertheless, tradeoffs remain around complexity, cost, performance, and power efficiency.   Related Video Latency Under Load: HBM2 vs. GDDR6 Why data traffic and bandw... » read more

Making Chip Packaging Simpler


Packaging is emerging as one of the most critical elements in semiconductor design, but it's also proving difficult to master both technically and economically. The original role of packaging was simply to protect the chips inside, and there are still packages that do just that. But at advanced nodes, and with the integration of heterogeneous components built using different manufacturing pr... » read more

Power Budgets At 3nm And Beyond


There is high confidence that digital logic will continue to shrink at least to 3nm, and possibly down to 1.5nm. Each of those will require significant changes in how design teams approach power. This is somewhat evolutionary for most chipmakers. Five years ago there were fewer than a handful of power experts in most large organizations. Today, everyone deals with power in one way or another... » read more

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