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New Memories Add New Faults


New non-volatile memories (NVM) bring new opportunities for changing how we use memory in systems-on-chip (SoCs), but they also add new challenges for making sure they will work as expected. These new memory types – primarily MRAM and ReRAM – rely on unique physical phenomena for storing data. That means that new test sequences and fault models may be needed before they can be released t... » read more

Addressing High Precision Automated Optical Inspection Challenges With Unique 3D Technology Solution


Driven by the continued decrease in the size of electronics packaging, combined with the increase in density, there is a critical need for highly accurate 3D inspection for defect detection. Using multi-view 3D sensors and parallel projection, it is possible to capture more of the board at a faster rate as compared to serial image acquisition, which is more time consuming. Precise 3D image r... » read more

Fabs Drive Deeper Into Machine Learning


Advanced machine learning is beginning to make inroads into yield enhancement methodology as fabs and equipment makers seek to identify defectivity patterns in wafer images with greater accuracy and speed. Each month a wafer fabrication factory produces tens of millions of wafer-level images from inspection, metrology, and test. Engineers must analyze that data to improve yield and to reject... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Chipmakers, OEMs Reports have surfaced that TSMC has delayed its 3nm process. But TSMC says the technology remains on track. Volume production for TSMC’s 3nm is still scheduled for the second half of 2022. On the flip side, there is speculation that TSMC may increase its wafer prices by up to 20%, according to a report from the Taipei Times. Here's another report. This is due to chip shortag... » read more

Designing Chips For Test Data


Collecting data to determine the health of a chip throughout its lifecycle is becoming necessary as chips are used in more critical applications, but being able to access that data isn't always so simple. It requires moving signals through a complex, sometimes unpredictable, and often hostile environment, which is a daunting challenge under the best of conditions. There is a growing sense of... » read more

Why Wafer Bumps Are Suddenly So Important


Wafer bumps need to be uniform in height to facilitate subsequent manufacturing steps, but a push for 100% inspection in packaging in mission-critical markets is putting a strain on existing measurement technologies. Bump co-planarity is essentially a measure of flatness. Specifically, it measures the variation in bump height, which may have a target, for example, of about 100 microns. As a ... » read more

In-Line Airborne Particle Sensing Supports Faster Response To Contamination Excursions


Fine particles (less than 5 micrometers in diameter) do not affect most industrial processes, but they can have a disastrous impact on semiconductor manufacturing. From the earliest days, manufacturing facilities have deployed air filtering and recirculation to remove particles from the cleanroom, but particles may still be generated inside process tools, where they can cause defects and yield ... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Chipmakers Intel has outlined its new process technology roadmap with plans to regain the leadership position in the market. As part of the move, Intel has changed the way it designates the nodes, revealed its new gate-all-around (GAA) transistor, and disclosed a customer for the GAA technology--Qualcomm. And not to be outdone, Intel has broadened its packaging portfolio. Intel is changing ... » read more

MicroLEDs Moving From Lab to Fab


Every disruptive technology has its "aha" moment — the time when everyone from engineers to investors realizes that, yes, this technology is the real deal and it won’t be scrapped on the R&D floor. For many, it was Samsung’s recent announcement of a 110-inch microLED TV that irrevocably put microLEDs on the map. The TV’s price is $155,000, but as with most consumer electronics th... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Chipmakers and OEMs China has been working on compound semiconductors, such as gallium-nitride (GaN) and silicon carbide (SiC). Now, a China-backed company has taken a big step in the SiC and related markets. Chip supplier Nexperia, a subsidiary of China’s Wingtech Technology, has acquired Newport Wafer Fab (NWF), a U.K.-based manufacture of power and compound semiconductors, including Si... » read more

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