Changes Ahead For Test


Testing microprocessors is becoming more difficult and more time consuming as these devices are designed to take on more complex tasks, such as accelerating artificial intelligence computing, enabling automated driving, and supporting deep neural networks. This is not just limited to microprocessors, either. Graphics processing units are grabbing market share in supercomputing and other area... » read more

That Was The Year That Was In Test


Looking back on the year about to end, one deal stands out, because it is in legal limbo – the proposed $580 million acquisition of Xcerra by Hubei Xinyan Equity Investment Partnership. At this writing, the transaction has not been completed. Both parties said they planned to sew up the purchase by the end of 2017, so a few weeks remain to make that happen. The deal is in the hands of t... » read more

Variation Spreads At 10/7nm


Variation between different manufacturing equipment is becoming increasingly troublesome as chipmakers push to 10/7nm and beyond. Process variation is a well-known phenomenon at advanced nodes. But some of that is actually due to variations in equipment—sometimes the exact same model from the same vendor. Normally this would fall well below the radar of the semiconductor industry. But as t... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing


Packaging and test A*STAR’s Institute of Microelectronics (IME) has formed a fan-out wafer-level packaging consortium comprising of OSATs, materials vendors, equipment suppliers and others. The group is called the FOWLP Development Line Consortium. As part of the announcement, Singapore’s IME has established a development line to accelerate the development of fan-out. Located in IME’s... » read more

2017 ITC Wrap-up


Advantest was among the exhibitors and corporate sponsors at last week’s 2017 International Test Conference in Fort Worth, Texas. The automatic test equipment company also presented papers, took part in sessions, and provided posters during ITC’s technical program. In the booth, Advantest demonstrated its on-demand CloudTesting Service. It also showed off its EVA100 analog/mixed-signal IC t... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing


Chipmakers Bloomberg has reported that Broadcom is in talks to acquire Qualcomm for $70 per share or about $90 billion. Qualcomm is attempting to acquire NXP, but Broadcom has its sights on Qualcomm, not NXP. “We think AVGO would want to acquire QCOM assets not NXP,” said Amit Daryanani, an analyst with RBC. Samsung continues to reshuffle its management amid a plethora of changes at t... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing


Chipmakers At this week’s International Wafer-Level Packaging Conference (IWLPC), Samsung disclosed details about its efforts in the panel-level fan-out market. Samsung as well as ASE, Nepes and others are developing a next-generation fan-out technology using a panel-level format. In panel-level fan-out packaging, you can put more die on a panel as compared to a traditional round wafer, w... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing


Materials and equipment A scandal has rocked Japan’s Kobe Steel. The company disclosed that it has falsified inspection data for iron powder, aluminum and copper products that were sent to over 200 customers in the automotive, electronics, transportation and other sectors. The falsified data involves 20,000 tones of products, according to reports. Kobe apologized for the issues and provided ... » read more

Improving Yield, Reliability With Data


Big data techniques for sorting through massive amounts of data to identify aberrations are beginning to find a home in semiconductor manufacturing, fueled by new requirements in safety-critical markets such as automotive as well as the rising price of packaged chips in smartphones. Outlier detection—the process of finding data points outside the normal distribution—isn't a new idea. It ... » read more

The 2017 International Test Conference


Machine learning is a hot topic at many technical conferences this year. It will be true at the upcoming International Test Conference, which opens near the end of this month in Fort Worth, Texas. On Sunday, October 29, there are two tutorials devoted to machine learning. Monday, October 30, will have one tutorial related to the topic. The conference gets fully under way on Halloween, wit... » read more

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