Power-Aware Revolution In Automated Test For ICs


As semiconductor devices advance in complexity and sensitivity to power fluctuations, the integration of power-aware automatic test pattern generation (ATPG) is becoming indispensable for yield and the overall functionality of a chip. Unlike traditional ATPG, which generates test patterns solely to ensure device functionality, power-aware ATPG takes it a step further by meticulously consider... » read more

3D Metrology Meets Its Match In 3D Chips And Packages


The pace of innovation in 3D device structures and packages is accelerating rapidly, driving the need for precise measurement and control of feature height to ensure these devices are reliable and perform as expected throughout their lifetimes. Expansion along the z axis is already well underway. One need look no further than the staircase-like 3D NAND stacks that rise like skyscrapers to p... » read more

Trouble Ahead For IC Verification


Verification complexity is roughly the square of design complexity, but until recently verification success rates have remained fairly consistent. That's beginning to change. There are troubling signs that verification is collapsing under the load. The first-time success rate fell (see figure 1) in the last survey conducted by Wilson Research, on behalf of Siemens EDA, in 2022. A new survey ... » read more

Integration Hurdles For Analog And RF In Next-Gen Packages


A rapid increase in wireless connectivity and more sensors, coupled with a shift away from monolithic SoCs toward heterogeneous integration, is driving up the amount of analog/RF content in systems and changing the dynamics within a package. Since the early 2000s, the majority of chips used at the most advanced nodes were systems-on-chip (SoCs). All features had to fit into a single planar S... » read more

The 3D-IC Multiphysics Challenge Dictates A Shift-Left Strategy


As the industry marches forward in a 3D-IC centric design approach (figure 1), we are facing a new problem. Sometimes referred to as “electro-thermal” or “electro-thermo-mechanical,” it really is the confluence of multiple forms of physics exerting impacts on both the physical manufacture and structure of these multi-die designs and their electrical behavior. Fig. 1: Illustration... » read more

Electromigration Concerns Grow In Advanced Packages


The incessant demand for more speed in chips requires forcing more energy through ever-smaller devices, increasing current density and threatening long-term chip reliability. While this problem is well understood, it's becoming more difficult to contain in leading-edge designs. Of particular concern is electromigration, which is becoming more troublesome in advanced packages with multiple ch... » read more

Memory On Logic: The Good And Bad


The chip industry is progressing rapidly toward 3D-ICs, but a simpler step has been shown to provide gains equivalent to a whole node advancement — extracting distributed memories and placing them on top of logic. Memory on logic significantly reduces the distance between logic and directly associated memory. This can increase performance by 22% and reduce power by 36%, according to one re... » read more

NoCs In 3D Space


A network on chip (NoC) has become an essential piece of technology that enables the complexity of chips to keep growing, but when designs go 3D, or when third-party chiplets become pervasive, it's not clear how NoCs will evolve or what the impact will be on chiplet architectures. A NoC enables data to move between heterogeneous computing elements, while at the same time minimizing the resou... » read more

The City In The Tower: 3D ICs Transform The Electronics System Landscape


By Keith Felton and Todd Burkholder The time of 3D integrated circuits (3D ICs) is here, and they will revolutionize the semiconductor industry and effect a watershed in the nature of electronics products that can be designed and manufactured. Yet again—as with personal computers, the internet, and smart phones—our increasingly digital world will never be the same. 3D IC architectures... » read more

Impact Of 3DHI On Aerospace And Government Applications


By Ian Land, Kenneth Larsen, and Rob Aitken With challenging size, weight, and power (SWaP) requirements, chip designs for aerospace, defense, and government applications are a unique breed. No surprise here, considering systems like satellites and submarines must operate reliably in the distinctly harsh environments of outer space and ocean depths, respectively. Given the SWaP criteria a... » read more

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