Making Random Variation Less Random


The economics for random variation are changing, particularly at advanced nodes and in complex packaging schemes. Random variation always will exist in semiconductor manufacturing processes, but much of what is called random has a traceable root cause. The reason it is classified as random is that it is expensive to track down all of the various quirks in a complex manufacturing process or i... » read more

Scaling Up And Down


You don’t have to look very far in the semiconductor world before you see the word “scaling.” Perhaps you read an industry news article headline about transistor scaling – how those nearly nanoscale components are shrinking even smaller in size down to the atomic scale. Or maybe you heard a reference to memory capacity scaling – how our favorite mobile devices can store more high-reso... » read more

Who’s Watching The Supply Chain?


Every company developing chips at the most advanced process nodes these days is using different architectures and heterogeneous processing and memory elements. There simply is no other way to get the kind of power/performance improvements needed to justify the expense of moving to a new process node. So while they will reap the benefits of traditional scaling, that alone is no longer enough. ... » read more

What’s The Best Advanced Packaging Option?


As traditional chip designs become more unwieldy and expensive at each node, many IC vendors are exploring or pursuing alternative approaches using advanced packaging. The problem is there are too many advanced packaging options on the table already, and the list continues to grow. Moreover, each option has several tradeoffs and challenges, and all of them are still relatively expensive. ... » read more

Process To Produce High Aspect Ratio Electroplated Copper Pillars On 300 mm Wafers


This work provides details of a complete and partially optimized process to manufacture high aspect ratio copper pillars with heights of up to 80 µm on 200 and 300 mm wafers. Across wafer uniformity data for all materials and process steps are given. Results will show excellent resist adhesion on copper and electroplating durability. Cross sectional SEM analysis of resist and electroplated pil... » read more

Pushing Memory Harder


In an optimized system, no component is waiting for another component while there is useful work to be done. Unfortunately, this is not the case with the processor/memory interface. Put simply, memory cannot keep up. Accessing memory is slow, and it can consume a significant fraction of the power budget. And the general consensus is this problem is not going away anytime soon, despite effort... » read more

Less Margin, More Respins, And New Markets


Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss the impact of multi-physics and new market applications on chip design with John Lee, general manager and vice president of ANSYS' Semiconductor Business Unit; Simon Burke, distinguished engineer at Xilinx; Duane Boning, professor of electrical engineering and computer science at MIT; and Thomas Harms, director EDA/IP Alliance at Infineon. What foll... » read more

Reducing Costly Flaws In Heterogeneous Designs


The cost of defects is rising as chipmakers begin adding multiple chips into a package, or multiple processor cores and memories on the same die. Put simply, one bad wire can spoil an entire system. Two main issues need to be solved to reduce the number of defects. The first is identifying the actual defect, which becomes more difficult as chips grow larger and more complex, and whenever chi... » read more

More Data, More Processing, More Chips


Simon Segars, CEO of Arm, sat down with Semiconductor Engineering to talk about the impact of heterogeneous computing and new packaging approaches on IP, the need for more security, and how 5G and the edge will impact compute architectures and the chip industry. SE: There are a whole bunch of new markets opening up. How does Arm plan to tackle those? Segars: Luckily for us, we can design ... » read more

Driving With Chiplets


The first examples of the upper class of vehicles that can drive autonomously on the highway already have arrived on the market or will be introduced to the market in the coming years. Travel on the highway was selected as the first application because the number of objects that have to be taken into account in front of, next to, and behind the vehicle is manageable. This means the required ... » read more

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