Designs Beyond The Reticle Limit


Designs continue to grow in size and complexity, but today they are reaching both physical and economic challenges. These challenges are causing a reversal of the integration trend that has provided much of the performance and power gains over the past couple of decades. The industry, far from giving up, is exploring new ways to enable designs to go beyond the reticle size, which is around 8... » read more

How Secure Is The Package?


Advanced packaging is a viable way of extending the benefits of Moore's Law without the excessive cost of shrinking everything to fit on a single die, but it also raises some issues about security for which there are no clear answers at the moment. OSATs and foundries have been working the kinks out of how to put the pieces together in the most cost-effective and reliable way for the better ... » read more

Momentum Builds For Advanced Packaging


The semiconductor industry is stepping up its efforts in advanced packaging, an approach that is becoming more widespread with new and complex chip designs. Foundries, OSATs and others are rolling out the next wave of advanced packaging technologies, such as 2.5D/3D, chiplets and fan-out, and they are developing more exotic packaging technologies that promise to improve performance, reduce p... » read more

Is This The Year Of The Chiplet?


Customizing chips by choosing pre-characterized — and most likely hardened IP — from a menu of options appears to be gaining ground. It's rare to go to a conference these days without hearing chiplets being mentioned. At a time when end markets are splintering and more designs are unique, chiplets are viewed as a way to rapidly build a device using exactly what is required for a particul... » read more

Moore’s Law, Supply Chains And Security


The debate about the future of Moore's Law continues, while other parts of the industry look for alternatives. In between, supply chains are being pulled in multiple directions, with safety and security often in the middle. All across the semiconductor industry, significant changes are underway. Some of these have been in the works for some time. Others are new or accelerating faster than an... » read more

Cloudy Outlook Seen For IC Biz


After a slowdown in the first half of 2019, chipmakers and equipment vendors face a cloudy outlook for the second half of this year, with a possible recovery in 2020. Generally, the semiconductor industry began to see a slowdown starting in mid- to late-2018, which extended into the first half of 2019. During the first half of this year, memory and non-memory vendors were negatively impacted... » read more

5nm Vs. 3nm


Foundry vendors are readying the next wave of advanced processes, but their customers will face a myriad of confusing options—including whether to develop chips at 5nm, wait until 3nm, or opt for something in between. The path to 5nm is well-defined compared with 3nm. After that, the landscape becomes more convoluted because foundries are adding half-node processes to the mix, such as 6nm ... » read more

Sidestepping Moore’s Law


Calvin Cheung, vice president of engineering at ASE, sat down with Semiconductor Engineering to talk about advanced packaging, the challenges involved with the technology, and the implications for Moore’s Law. What follows are excerpts of that conversation. SE: What are some of the big issues with IC packaging today? Cheung: Moore’s Law is slowing down, but transistor scaling will co... » read more

The Precision Knob


Precision used to be a goal, but increasingly it is being used as a tool. This is true for processing and algorithms, where less precision can greatly improve both performance and battery life. And it is true in manufacturing, where more precision can help minimize the growing impact of variation. Moreover, being able to dial precision up or down can help engineers see the impact on a system... » read more

Using Sensor Data To Improve Yield And Uptime


Semiconductor equipment vendors are starting to add more sensors into their tools in an effort to improve fab uptime and wafer yield, and to reduce cost of ownership and chip failures. Massive amounts of data gleaned from those tools is expected to provide far more detail than in the past about multiple types and sources of variation, including when and where that variation occurred and how,... » read more

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