Pressure Builds On Failure Analysis Labs


Failure analysis labs are becoming more fab-like, offering higher accuracy in locating failures and accelerating time-to-market of new devices. These labs historically have been used for deconstructing devices that failed during field use, known as return material authorizations (RMAs), but their role is expanding. They now are becoming instrumental in achieving first silicon and ramping yie... » read more

Fabs Begin Ramping Up Machine Learning


Fabs are beginning to deploy machine learning models to drill deep into complex processes, leveraging both vast compute power and significant advances in ML. All of this is necessary as dimensions shrink and complexity increases with new materials and structures, processes, and packaging options, and as demand for reliability increases. Building robust models requires training the algorithms... » read more

Closing The Test And Metrology Gap In 3D-IC Packages


The industry is investing in more precise and productive inspection and testing to enable advanced packages and eventually, 3D ICs. The next generations of aerospace, automotive, smartphone, and wearable tech most likely will be powered by multiple layers of intricately connected silicon, a stark departure from the planar landscapes of traditional integrated circuits. These 3D-ICs, compos... » read more

Fingerprinting Chips For Traceability


Semiconductor components increasingly require unclonable and tamper resistant identifiers, which are especially necessary as devices become increasingly heterogeneous collections of chiplets and subsystems. These fingerprints provide traceability, which contributes to process improvements and yield learning and enable tracking for a tightly managed supply chain. While some of this technology... » read more

New Insights Into IC Process Defectivity


Finding critical defects in manufacturing is becoming more difficult due to tighter design margins, new processes, and shorter process windows. Process marginality and parametric outliers used to be problematic at each new node, but now they are persistent problems at several nodes and in advanced packaging, where there may be a mix of different technologies. In addition, there are more proc... » read more

Using Smart Data To Boost Semiconductor Reliability


The chip industry is looking to AI and data analytics to improve yield, operational efficiency, and reduce the overall cost of designing and manufacturing complex devices. In fact, SEMI estimates its members could capture more than $60B in revenues associated through smart data use and AI. Getting there, however, requires overcoming a number of persistent obstacles. Smart data utilization is... » read more

Installing Yield Software Early In A Ramp Up


In 1999, the White Oak Semiconductor Fab in Richmond, VA, was awarded the prestigious “Top Fab of the Year” (yes, that actually existed – proof attached!) by the leading semiconductor magazine of the time. Back then, I was a young engineer on the ramp up team and I recall that the reason we were chosen for the award was the incredibly short time in which we were able to ramp up production... » read more

Fab And Field Data Transforming Manufacturing Processes


The ability to capture, process, and analyze data in the field is transforming semiconductor metrology and testing, providing invaluable insight into a product's performance in real-time and under real-world conditions and use cases. Historically, data that encapsulates parameters such as power consumption, temperature, voltages, currents, timing, and other characteristics, was confined to d... » read more

Power Semis Usher In The Silicon Carbide Era


Silicon carbide production is ramping quickly, driven by end market demand in automotive and price parity with silicon. Many thousands of power semiconductor modules already are in use in electric vehicles for on-board charging, traction inversion, and DC-to-DC conversion. Today, most of those are fabricated using silicon-based IGBTs. A shift to silicon carbide-based MOSFETs doubles the powe... » read more

SiC Growth For EVs Is Stressing Manufacturing


The electrification of vehicles is fueling demand for silicon carbide power ICs, but it also is creating challenges in finding and identifying defects in those chips. Coinciding with this is a growing awareness about just how immature SiC technology is and how much work still needs to be done — and how quickly that has to happen. Automakers are pushing heavily into electric vehicles, and t... » read more

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