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Screening For Silent Data Errors


Engineers are beginning to understand the causes of silent data errors (SDEs) and the data center failures they cause, both of which can be reduced by increasing test coverage and boosting inspection on critical layers. Silent data errors are so named because if engineers don’t look for them, then they don’t know they exist. Unlike other kinds of faulty behaviors, these errors also can c... » read more

Active Learning to Reduce Data Requirements For Defect Identification in Semiconductor Manufacturing


A new technical paper titled "Exploring Active Learning for Semiconductor Defect Segmentation" was published by researchers at Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) in Singapore. "We identify two unique challenges when applying AL on semiconductor XRM scans: large domain shift and severe class-imbalance. To address these challenges, we propose to perform contrastive pretrainin... » read more

Why Silent Data Errors Are So Hard To Find


Cloud service providers have traced the source of silent data errors to defects in CPUs — as many as 1,000 parts per million — which produce faulty results only occasionally and under certain micro-architectural conditions. That makes them extremely hard to find. Silent data errors (SDEs) are random defects produced in manufacturing, not a design bug or software error. Those defects gene... » read more

Finding Wafer Defects Using Quantum DL


New research paper titled "Semiconductor Defect Detection by Hybrid Classical-Quantum Deep Learning" by researchers at National Tsing Hua University. Abstract "With the rapid development of artificial intelligence and autonomous driving technology, the demand for semiconductors is projected to rise substantially. However, the massive expansion of semiconductor manufacturing and the develo... » read more

Driving Toward More Rugged, Less Expensive SiC


Silicon carbide is gaining traction in the power semiconductor market, particularly in electrified vehicles, but it's still too expensive for many applications. The reasons are well understood, but until recently SiC was largely a niche technology that didn't warrant the investment. Now, as demand grows for chips that can work in high-voltage applications, SiC is getting a much closer look. ... » read more

The Drive Toward Zero Defects


The automotive semiconductor market has doubled twice in the past 20 years. But the next doubling will be even faster. While short-term results may vary, it is certain that auto semis will be much larger 10-20 years from now. Today, a gas-powered car has ~$400 of semiconductor content whereas the Tesla Model 3 with an electric powertrain and Advanced Driver Assist System (ADAS) has >4... » read more

Novel E-Beam Techniques For Inspection And Monitoring


In this paper, we report an advanced e-beam defect inspection tool (eProbe®250) and the Design-for-Inspection™ (DFI) system that has been built and deployed by PDF Solutions down to 4nm FinFET technology nodes. This tool has a very high throughput which allows for in-line inspection of nanometer-level defects in the most advanced technology nodes. We also present eProbe applications for... » read more

Hiding Security Keys Using ReRAM PUFs


Resistive RAM and physically unclonable functions (PUFs) have been gaining traction for completely different reasons, but when combined they create an extremely secure and inexpensive way of storing authentication keys. As security concerns shift from purely software to a combination of hardware and software, chipmakers and systems companies have been scrambling to figure out how to prevent ... » read more

Nip The Defect In The Bud


As technology nodes shrink, end users are designing systems where each chip element is being targeted for a specific technology and manufacturing node. While designing chip functionality to address specific technology nodes optimizes a chip’s performance regarding that functionality, this performance comes at a cost: additional chips will need to be designed, developed, processed, and assembl... » read more

NIST Modifies & Improves Technique For Detecting Transistor Defects


Abstract "We utilize a frequency-modulated charge pumping methodology to measure quickly and conveniently single “charge per cycle” in highly scaled Si/SiO2 metal–oxide–semiconductor field effect transistors. This is indicative of detection and manipulation of a single interface trap spin species located at the boundary between the SiO2 gate dielectric and Si substrate (almost certainl... » read more

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