Understanding Scandump: A Key Silicon Debugging Technique


Scandump is an advanced silicon debugging technique that ingeniously repurposes DFT (Design For Testability) scan chains for functional debugging. This method allows for the extraction of states from registers or latches that are stitched into the scan chains, providing critical diagnostic insights. Scandump is particularly invaluable when the CPU is deadlocked or when the system hardware bec... » read more

Hidden Costs And Tradeoffs In IC Quality


Balancing reliability against cost is becoming more difficult for semiconductor test, as chip complexity increases and devices become more domain-specific. Tests need to be efficient and effective without breaking the bank, while also ensuring chips are of sufficient quality for their specific application. The problem is that every new IC device adds its own set of challenges, from smaller f... » read more

Closing The Test And Metrology Gap In 3D-IC Packages


The industry is investing in more precise and productive inspection and testing to enable advanced packages and eventually, 3D ICs. The next generations of aerospace, automotive, smartphone, and wearable tech most likely will be powered by multiple layers of intricately connected silicon, a stark departure from the planar landscapes of traditional integrated circuits. These 3D-ICs, compos... » read more

Advanced DFT And Silicon Bring-Up For AI Chips


The AI market is growing quickly, spurring an insatiable demand for powerful AI accelerators. AI chip makers are pressed with aggressive time-to-market goals and need the tools to help them get their chips into the hands of customers as quickly as possible. IC test and silicon bring-up are tasks that can affect both the quality and the time-to-market of AI chips. Different companies are usin... » read more

Use Advanced DFT And Silicon Bring Up To Accelerate AI Chip Design


The market for AI chips is growing quickly, with the 2022 revenue of $20B expected to grow to over $300B by 2030. To keep up with the demand and stay competitive, AI chip designers set aggressive time-to-market goals. Design teams looking for ways to shave significant time off chip development time can look to advanced DFT and silicon bring up techniques described in this paper, including hiera... » read more

An Entangled Heterarchy


For decades, a form of structural hierarchy has been the principal means of handling complexity in chip design. It's not always perfect, and there is no ideal way in which to divide and conquer because that would need to focus on the analysis being performed. In fact, most systems can be viewed from a variety of different hierarchies, equally correct, and together forming a heterarchy. The e... » read more

DRAM Test And Inspection Just Gets Tougher


DRAM manufacturers continue to demand cost-effective solutions for screening and process improvement amid growing concerns over defects and process variability, but meeting that demand is becoming much more difficult with the rollout of faster interfaces and multi-chip packages. DRAM plays a key role in a wide variety of electronic devices, from phones and PCs to ECUs in cars and servers ins... » read more

Rebalancing Test And Yield In IC Manufacturing


Balancing yield and test is essential to semiconductor manufacturing, but it's becoming harder to determine how much weight to give one versus the other as chips become more specialized for different applications. Yield focuses on maximizing the number of functional chips from a production batch, while test aims to ensure that each chip meets rigorous quality and performance standards. And w... » read more

Connection Perfection


Whether you are a DFT engineer or a SoC designer, connectivity validation will no doubt be a top priority when taking steps to guarantee the functionality and reliability of your device. SoC designs continue to grow in both size and complexity to meet the ever-growing performance and power demands associated with modern technology. To keep up with this fast-paced evolution, the corresponding D... » read more

Designing Automotive ICs For Cybersecurity


The day has already arrived when we need to be concerned about the cybersecurity of our cars. An average modern car includes about 1400 ICs and many of them are used in sophisticated applications, like autonomous driving and vehicle-to-everything (V2X) communication. The security of road vehicles is an important issue to automakers and OEMs but is rooted in the IC devices that power the vehicle... » read more

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