SEM Analysis Reveals Real Cause Of Chip Failure


When it comes to ASIC design, DELTA’s motto is “first time right”. When the first wafers from the wafer fab showed severe electrical malfunction, we were extremely frustrated. To investigate the failure, the design team started electrical characterization of prototypes. Overall, a short between power and ground was observed and furthermore RF inputs exhibited strange VI characteristics. T... » read more

The Limits Of Energy Harvesting


Energy harvesting, once considered an inexpensive alternative to low-power design and a way of achieving nearly unlimited power in mobile devices, has settled down to more modest expectations. This approach to generating energy through a variety of means—from solar to motion to ambient RF and even pH differences between soil and trees—has been proven to work. The problem is that it doesn... » read more

X-Ray Reveals Wire Bonding And Field Failures


Wire bonding is widely used for first-level interconnection of semiconductor die to component leads or pads. It is vital that the interconnection corresponds to the product-specific bonding diagram and that the wire bonding is of an acceptable robustness and quality. X-ray technology is critical for ensuring both. To read more, click here. » read more

Failure Analysis of a Product—Not Only a Component


Classic failure analysis (FA) technique generally deals with a single failed component in a complete product to detect the root cause of failure. This approach is inexpensive and less time-consuming. However, this may end up with a wrong interpretation of the product failure or overlooking the synergetic effect of different components related to the failure. This article is about a product on ... » read more

The Growing Promise Of Printed Electronics


Printing electronics using conductive ink rather than lithography is starting to move out of the research phase, with chipmakers now looking at how to commercialize this technology across a broad range of sensor applications. Unlike traditional semiconductors, which use tiny wires as circuits, printed electronics rely on conductive inks and often flexible films, although they can be printed ... » read more

Getting Down To Business On Chiplets


Government agencies, industry groups and individual companies are beginning to rally around various chiplet models, setting the stage for complex chips that are quicker and cheaper to build using standardized interfaces and components. The idea of putting together different modules like LEGOs has been talked about for the better part of a decade. So far, only Marvell has used this concept co... » read more