Is 7nm The Last Major Node?


A growing number of design and manufacturing issues are prompting questions about what scaling will really look like beyond 10/7nm, how many companies will be involved, and which markets they will address. At the very least, node migrations will go horizontally before proceeding numerically. There are expected to be more significant improvements at 7nm than at any previous node, so rather th... » read more

Shrink Or Package?


Advanced packaging is rapidly becoming a mainstream option for chipmakers as the cost of integrating heterogeneous components on a single die continues to rise. Despite several years of buzz around this shift, the reality is that it has taken more than a half-century to materialize. Advanced [getkc id="27" kc_name="packaging"] began with IBM flip chips in the 1960s, and it got another boost ... » read more

Primer On Packaging


Ever open the body of your smartphone (perhaps unintentionally) and see small, black rectangles stuck on a circuit board? Those black rectangles are packaged chips. The external chip structure protects the fragile integrated circuits inside, as well as dissipates heat, keeps chips isolated from each other, and, importantly, provides connection to the circuit board and other elements. The manufa... » read more

What’s Next In Scaling, Stacking


An Steegen, executive vice president of semiconductor technology and systems at [getentity id="22217" e_name="Imec"], sat down with Semiconductor Engineering to discuss IC scaling, chip stacking, packaging and other topics. Imec is an R&D organization in Belgium. What follows are excerpts of that conversation. SE: Chipmakers are shipping 16nm/14nm processes with 10nm and 7nm technologies... » read more

Electroplating IC Packages


The electrochemical deposition (ECD) equipment market for IC packaging is heating up as 2.5D, 3D and fan-out technologies begin to ramp. [getentity id="22817" e_name="Applied Materials"]  recently rolled out an ECD system for IC packaging. In addition, Lam Research, TEL and others compete in the growing but competitive ECD equipment market for packaging. ECD—sometimes referred to as pl... » read more

Power Impacting Cost Of Chips


The increase in complexity of the power delivery network (PDN) is starting to outpace increases in functional complexity, adding to the already escalating costs of modern chips. With no signs of slowdown, designers have to ensure that overdesign and margining do not eat up all of the profit margin. The semiconductor industry is used to problems becoming harder at smaller geometries, but unti... » read more

Crossing The Chasm: Uniting SoC And Package Verification


Wafer-level packaging enables higher form factor and improved performance compared to traditional SoC designs. However, to ensure an acceptable yield and performance, EDA companies, OSAT companies, and foundries must collaborate to establish consistent and unified automated WLP design and physical verification flows, while introducing minimum disruption to already-existing package design flows.... » read more

What Next For OSATs


Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss IC-packaging and business trends with Tien Wu, chief operating officer at Taiwan’s Advanced Semiconductor Engineering ([getentity id="22930" comment="ASE"]), the world’s largest outsourced semiconductor assembly and test (OSAT) vendor. What follows are excerpts of that conversation. SE: What’s the outlook for the IC industry in 2017? Wu:... » read more

Transferring Skills Getting Harder


Rising complexity in developing chips at advanced nodes, and an almost perpetual barrage of new engineering challenges at each new node, are making it more difficult for everyone involved to maintain consistent skill levels across a growing number of interrelated technologies. The result is that engineers are being forced to specialize, but when they work with other engineers with different ... » read more

Overcoming The Limits Of Scaling


Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss the increasing reliance on architectural choices for improvements in power, performance and area, with [getperson id="11425" comment=" Sundari Mitra"], CEO of [getentity id="22535" comment="NetSpeed Systems"]; Charlie Janac, chairman and CEO of [getentity id="22674" e_name="Arteris"]; [getperson id="11032" comment="Simon Davidmann"] CEO of [getentit... » read more

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