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Preventing Failures Before They Occur


A decade or so ago, when MEMS sensors were in the limelight, one of the touted applications was to install them on industrial or other equipment to get an advance warning if the equipment was approaching failure. Today, in-circuit monitoring brings the same promise. Are these competing technologies? Or can they be made to work together? “Almost all advanced tool manufacturing companies ... » read more

High-Quality Test And Embedded Analytics For Secure Applications


Designs for secure applications such as smart cards and those used in the defense industry require security to ensure sensitive data is inaccessible to outside agents. This used to be a somewhat niche requirement and the implementation of custom solutions to meet these specific requirements was common. However, with the explosion within the semiconductor industry of automotive and cyber-phys... » read more

Enablers And Barriers For Connecting Diverse Data


More data is being collected at every step of the manufacturing process, raising the possibility of combining data in new ways to solve engineering problems. But this is far from simple, and combining results is not always possible. The semiconductor industry’s thirst for data has created oceans of it from the manufacturing process. In addition, semiconductor designs large and small now ha... » read more

Cleaning Up During IC Test


Test is a dirty business. It can contaminate a unit or wafer, or the test hardware, which in turn can cause problems in the field. While this has not gone unnoticed, particularly as costs rise due to increasing pin and ball density, and as more chips are bundled together in a package, the cost of dirt continues to be a focus. Cleaning recipes for test interface boards are changing, and analy... » read more

Digging Much Deeper With Unit Retest


Keeping test costs flat in the face of product complexity continues to challenge both product and test engineers. Increased data collection at package-level test and the ability to respond to it in a never-before level of detail has prompted device makers and assembly and test houses to tighten up their retest processes. Test metrology, socket contamination, and mechanical alignment have alw... » read more

Managing Wafer Retest


Every wafer test touch-down requires a balance between a good electrical contact and preventing damage to the wafer and probe card. Done wrong, it can ruin a wafer and the customized probe card and result in poor yield, as well as failures in the field. Achieving this balance requires good wafer probing process procedures as well as monitoring of the resulting process parameters, much of it ... » read more

Sharing Secure Chip Data For Analytics


New approaches and standards are being developed to securely share manufacturing and test data across the supply chain, moves that have long been considered critical to the reliability of end devices and faster time to yield and profitability. It will take time before these methods become widespread in the IC supply chain. But there is increasing agreement these kinds of measures are essenti... » read more

Chips Good Enough To Bet Your Life On


Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss automotive electronics reliability with Jay Rathert, senior director of strategic collaborations at KLA; Dennis Ciplickas, vice president of advanced solutions at PDF Solutions; Uzi Baruch, vice president and general manager of the automotive business unit at OptimalPlus; Gal Carmel, general manager of proteanTecs' Automotive Division; Andre van de ... » read more

New Data Format Boosts Test Analytics


Demand for more and better data for test is driving a major standards effort, paving the way for one of most significant changes in data formats in years. There is good reason for this shift. Data from device testing is becoming a critical element in test program decisions regarding limits and flows. This is true for everything from automotive and medical components to complex, heterogeneous... » read more

Better Analytics Needed For Assembly


Package equipment sensors, newer inspection techniques, and analytics enable quality and yield improvement, but all of those will require a bigger investment on the part of assembly houses. That's easier said than done. Assembly operations long have operated on thin profit margins because their tasks were considered easy to manage. Much has changed over the past several years, however. The r... » read more

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