The Week In Review: Design


M&A Synopsys will acquire Black Duck Software, a provider of software for securing and managing open source software. Synopsys already has a stake in this area from its Coverity acquisition in 2014, which it has been using to analyze security practices in open source software. Founded in 2003 and headquartered in Massachusetts, Black Duck's products automate the process of identifying and ... » read more

Test More Complex For Cars, IoT


With increasing focus on safety-critical semiconductors—driven by ADAS, IoT, and security—functional safety concerns are going through the roof. Engineering teams are scrambling to determine how to conduct better in-field or online testing because test no longer can be an afterthought. This has been a common theme across the automotive ecosystem for the past few years, and as the automot... » read more

Putting Design Back Into DFT


Test always has been a delicate balance between cost and quality, but there are several changes happening in the industry that might cause a significant alteration in strategy. Part one of this two part series about [getkc id="47" comment="Design for Test (DFT)"] looked at changes in areas such as automotive, where built in self-test is becoming a mandated part of the design process. This co... » read more

New Drivers For Test


Mention Design for Test (DFT) and scan chains come to mind, but there is much more to it than that—and the rules of the game are changing. New application areas such as automotive may breathe new life into built-in self-test (BIST) solutions, which could also be used for manufacturing test. So could DFT as we know it be a thing of the past? Or will it continue to have a role to play? Te... » read more

Are Chips Getting More Reliable?


Reliability is emerging as a key metric in the semiconductor industry, alongside of power, performance and cost, but it also is becoming harder to measure and increasingly difficult to achieve. Most large semiconductor companies look at reliability in connection with consumer devices that last several years before they are replaced, but a big push into automotive, medical and industrial elec... » read more

Why Test Is Changing


Test is undergoing a revolution in terms of how it is perceived, how it is performed and where it is done. For years, test was something of an afterthought. It was a separate operation that was done after the design was finished, or it was a self-contained module that had to be characterized for power, heat and electrical effects, but not much else. As more chips find their way into markets ... » read more

Power Estimation: Early Warning System Or False Alarm?


Semiconductor Engineering sat down with a large panel of experts to discuss the state of power estimation and to find out if the current levels of accuracy are sufficient to being able to make informed decisions. Panelists included: Leah Schuth, director of technical marketing in the physical design group at [getentity id="22186" comment="ARM"]; Vic Kulkarni, senior vice president and general m... » read more

Memory Design At 16/14nm


As we get older the memory may start to fade, but that is not a viable option if we are talking about embedded memory. Chips contain increasing amounts of memory, and for many designs memory consumes more than half of the total chip area. “At 28nm we saw a few people with greater than 400Mbits of memory on chip,” says Prasad Saggurti, product marketing manager for Embedded Memory IP at [... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: Dec. 16


Space DSA NASA's Physical Science Research Program is taking directed self-assembly (DSA) technology to new heights. On the International Space Station, astronauts are exploring the development of nanoparticles suspended in magnetorheolocial (MR) fluids. MR fluids, which are a new class of smart materials, self-assemble into shapes in the presence of a magnetic field. With the technology, r... » read more

Balancing The Cost Of Test


As semiconductor devices became larger and more complex, the cost of [getkc id="174" kc_name="test"] increased. Testers were large pieces of capital equipment designed to execute functional vectors at-speed and the technology being used had to keep up with increasing demands placed on them. Because of this, the cost of test did not decrease in the way that other high-tech equipment did. Around ... » read more

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