Silicon Photonics Begins To Make Inroads


Integrating photons and electrons on the same die is still a long way off, but advances in packaging and improvements in silicon photonics are making it possible to use optical communication for a variety of new applications. Utilizing light-based communication between chips, or in self-contained modules, ultimately could have a big impact on chip design. Photons moving through waveguides ar... » read more

Deprocessing And SEM For Semiconductor Failure Analysis


A typical semiconductor is fabricated from metal and barrier layers separated by passivation layers. A further glassivation and/or polyimide layer on top of these provides environmental and mechanical protection. Optical microscopes By using optical microscopy, the semiconductor die can be inspected for failure modes such as top-down visible crack degradation, melt-down of metal conductors,... » read more

Data Confusion At The Edge


Disparities in pre-processing of data at the edge, coupled with a total lack of standardization, are raising questions about how that data will be prioritized and managed in AI and machine learning systems. Initially, the idea was that 5G would connect edge data to the cloud, where massive server farms would infer patterns from that data and send it back to the edge devices. But there is far... » read more

Failure Analysis Of Electronic Devices Using Scanning Acoustic Microscopy


Scanning acoustic microscopy, or SAM, is a non-destructive technique used in failure analysis of complex devices. SAM can provide a resolution down to sub-micron thicknesses. SAM is an efficient tool for analysis of adhesion between layers and presence of possible flaws in each layer. This can be used e.g. for investigations of sealing, coating, flip-chip underfills, BGA, QFN, wafer to wafer ... » read more

Hidden Soldier Joints Inspection: 4 Case Studies


IC packaging technologies are becoming smaller and thinner. Ball grid array (BGA) packages were introduced some years ago in order to save space on the PCB, and are now widely used. To overcome the resulting problems with using optical microscopy as an inspection tool, the endoscope found its way into quality engineering departments. To read more, click here. » read more

A Different Approach To Failure Analysis


Decapsulation of plastic IC packages in different types and size were performed by wet chemical technique. Studied devices were to use in satellites and going to subject a series of test which require the die to be exposed. Different package types with changing sizes and bonding types such as Au- and Cu-bonded packages for unmounted and PCBA-mount components were successfully achieved. A combin... » read more

Gaps Emerge In Automotive Test


Demands by automakers for zero defects over 18 years are colliding with real-world limitations of testing complex circuitry and interactions, and they are exposing a fundamental disconnect between mechanical and electronic expectations that could be very expensive to fix. This is especially apparent at leading-edge nodes, where much of the logic is being developed for AI systems and image se... » read more

New Approaches To Security


Different approaches are emerging to identify suspicious behavior and shut down potential breaches before they have a chance to do serious damage. This is becoming particularly important in markets where safety is an issue, and in AI and edge devices where the rapid movement of data is essential. These methods are a significant departure from the traditional way of securing devices through l... » read more

Chips That See


An opto-based microchip implemented in standard CMOS technology has made it possible to develop a new type of on-chip functionality which combines normal ASIC technology with optical filters on the chip diode. The chip emulates the human eye and the way it detects light can be used for industrial purposes to create artificial intelligence for functions such as 3D motion control, eye protection ... » read more

Shedding Pounds In Automotive Electronics


Weight is emerging as a key concern for carmakers as more electronic circuitry is added into vehicles that are either fully or partially powered by batteries. As a result, chipmakers and OEMs are exploring alternative substrate materials, different types of sensor fusion, and new ways to reduce the number of wires. Adding pounds reduces driving range for electric or hybrid vehicles. The auto... » read more

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