Why Chips Die


Semiconductor devices contain hundreds of millions of transistors operating at extreme temperatures and in hostile environments, so it should come as no surprise that many of these devices fail to operate as expected or have a finite lifetime. Some devices never make it out of the lab and many others die in the fab. It is hoped that most devices released into products will survive until they be... » read more

From Physics To Applications


Jack Harding, president and CEO of eSilicon, sat down with Semiconductor Engineering to talk about the shift toward AI and advanced packaging, and the growing opportunities at 7nm at a time when Moore's Law has begun slowing down. What follows are excerpts of that conversation. SE: Over the past year, the industry has changed its focus from shrinking features and consolidation to all sorts o... » 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

Sorting Out Packaging Options


Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss advanced packaging with David Butler, executive vice president and general manager of SPTS Technologies; Ingu Yin Chang, senior vice president president at ASE Group; Hubert Karl Lakner, executive director of the Fraunhofer Institute for Photonic Microsystems; Robert Lo, division director for electronics and optoelectronics research at Industrial T... » read more

Processing In Memory


Adding processing directly into memory is getting a serious look, particularly for applications where the volume of data is so large that moving it back and forth between various memories and processors requires too much energy and time. The idea of inserting processors into memory has cropped up intermittently over the past decade as a possible future direction, but it was dismissed as an e... » read more

Scaling Sideways


The next steps in semiconductor technology don't follow the same vectors. While 3nm chips are likely to roll out at some point in the future, it's not clear what the business case will be for developing them. What's clear is the number of companies developing chips at that node will shrink to a handful (or less), because they're going to be far too expensive to design, verify and manufacture... » read more

Practical Methods To Overcome The Challenges Of 3D Logic Design


What should you do If you don’t have enough room on your floor to store all your old boxes? Luckily, we live in a 3D world, and you can start stacking them on top of each other. The Challenge: How can we shrink logic devices? Logic designers are currently facing even bigger challenges than you might be having in tidying up your storage area. Not only are logic cells highly packed together... » read more

Advanced Packaging Confusion


Advanced packaging is exploding in all directions. There are more chipmakers utilizing different packaging options, more options for the packages themselves, and a confusing array of descriptions and names being used for all of these. Several years ago, there were basically two options on the table, 3D-ICs and 2.5D. But as chipmakers began understanding the difficulty, cost and reduced benef... » read more

Choosing The Right Interconnect


Efforts to zero in on cheaper advanced packaging approaches that can speed time to market are being sidetracked by a dizzying number of choices. At the center of this frenzy of activity is the [getkc id="36" kc_name="interconnect"]. Current options range from organic, silicon and glass interposers, to bridges that span different die at multiple levels. There also are various fan-out approach... » read more

AI: The Next Big Thing


The next big thing isn't actually a thing. It's a set of finely tuned statistical models. But developing, optimizing and utilizing those models, which collectively fit under the umbrella of artificial intelligence, will require some of the most advanced semiconductors ever developed. The demand for artificial intelligence is almost ubiquitous. As with all "next big things," it is a horizonta... » read more

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