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The March Toward Chiplets


The days of monolithic chips developed at the most advanced process nodes are rapidly dwindling. Nearly everyone working at the leading edge of design is looking toward some type of advanced packaging using discrete heterogeneous components. The challenge now is how to shift the whole chip industry into this disaggregated model. It's going to take time, effort, as well as a substantial reali... » read more

3D-IC Reliability Degrades With Increasing Temperature


The reliability of 3D-IC designs is dependent upon the ability of engineering teams to control heat, which can significantly degrade performance and accelerate circuit aging. While heat has been problematic in semiconductor design since at least 28nm, it is much more challenging to deal with inside a 3D package, where electromigration can spread to multiple chips on multiple levels. “Be... » read more

Variability Becoming More Problematic, More Diverse


Process variability is becoming more problematic as transistor density increases, both in planar chips and in heterogeneous advanced packages. On the basis of sheer numbers, there are many more things that can wrong. “If you have a chip with 50 billion transistors, then there are 50 places where a one-in-a-billion event can happen,” said Rob Aitken, a Synopsys fellow. And if Intel’s... » read more

Bridging IC Design, Manufacturing, And In-Field Reliability


Experts at the Table: Semiconductor Engineering sat down to talk about silicon lifecycle management and how that can potentially glue together design, manufacturing, and devices in the field, with Prashant Goteti, principal engineer at Intel; Rob Aitken, R&D fellow at Arm; Zoe Conroy, principal hardware engineer at Cisco; Subhasish Mitra, professor of electrical engineering and computer sci... » read more

Speeding Up AI Algorithms


AI at the edge is very different than AI in the cloud. Salvador Alvarez, solution architect director at Flex Logix, talks about why a specialized inferencing chip with built-in programmability is more efficient and scalable than a general-purpose processor, why high-performance models are essential for getting accurate real-time results, and how low power and ambient temperatures can affect the... » read more

Unknowns Driving Up The Cost Of Auto IC Reliability


Automotive chipmakers are considering a variety of options to improve the reliability of ICs used for everything from sensors to artificial intelligence. But collectively they could boost the number of process steps, increase the time spent in manufacturing and packaging, and stir up concerns about the amount of data that needs to be collected, shared, and stored. Accounting for advanced pro... » read more

What’s Changing In DRAM


Most of the attention in chip scaling has been focused on logic and on-chip memory, but off-chip memory is starting to encounter problems, as well. David Fried, vice president of computational products at Lam Research, looks at the impact of shrinking features and increasing density, including variation, thermal effects and aging, as well as effects such as micro-loading and DRAM stacking. » read more

Adding Circuit Aging To Variability


Moving to a smaller node usually means another factor becomes important. The industry has become accustomed to doing process, temperature, voltage (PVT) corner analysis, but now it has to add aging into that mix. The problem is that planning for circuit aging is no longer a purely statistical process. Aging is dependent on activity over the lifetime of the device. Tools need to be modified a... » read more

Customizing Chips For Power And Performance


Sandro Cerato, senior vice president and CTO of the Power & Sensor Systems Business Unit at Infineon Technologies, sat down with Semiconductor Engineering to talk about fundamental shifts in chip design with the rollout of the edge, AI, and more customized solutions. What follows are excerpts of that conversation. SE: The chip market is starting to fall into three distinct buckets, the e... » read more

Configuring AI Chips


Change is almost constant in AI systems. Vinay Mehta, technical product marketing manager at Flex Logix, talks about the need for flexible architectures to deal with continual modifications in algorithms, more complex convolutions, and unforeseen system interactions, as well as the ability to apply all of this over longer chip lifetimes. Related Dynamically Reconfiguring Logic A differ... » read more

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