Making Chips To Last Their Expected Lifetimes


Chips are supposed to last their lifetime, but that expectation varies greatly depending upon the end market, whether the device is used for safety- or mission-critical applications, and even whether it can be easily replaced or remotely fixed. It also depends on how those chips are used, whether they are an essential part of a complex system, and whether the cost of continual monitoring and... » read more

112G SerDes Reliability


Priyank Shukla, product marketing manager at Synopsys, digs into 112Gbps SerDes, why it’s important to examine the performance of these devices in the context of a system, what is acceptable channel loss, and how density can affect performance, power and noise. » read more

Ins And Outs Of In-Circuit Monitoring


At 7nm and 5nm, in-circuit monitoring is becoming essential. Steve Crosher, CEO of Moortec, talks about the impact of rising complexity, how different use cases and implementations can affect reliability and uptime, and why measuring electrical, voltage and thermal stress can be used to statistically predict failures and improve reliability throughout a chip’s lifetime. » read more

Smaller Nodes, Much Bigger Problems


João Geada, chief technologist at Ansys, sat down with Semiconductor Engineering to talk about device scaling, advanced packaging, increasing complexity and the growing role of AI. What follows are excerpts of that conversation. SE: We've been pushing along Moore's Law for roughly a half-century. What sorts of problems are you seeing now that you didn't see a couple nodes ago? Geada: The... » read more

New Approaches For Dealing With Thermal Problems


New thermal monitoring, simulation and analysis techniques are beginning to coalesce in chips developed at leading-edge nodes and in advanced packages in order to keep those devices running at optimal temperatures. This is particularly important in applications such as AI, automotive, data centers and 5G. Heat can kill a chip, but it also can cause more subtle effects such as premature aging... » read more

HBM Issues In AI Systems


All systems face limitations, and as one limitation is removed, another is revealed that had remained hidden. It is highly likely that this game of Whac-A-Mole will play out in AI systems that employ high-bandwidth memory (HBM). Most systems are limited by memory bandwidth. Compute systems in general have maintained an increase in memory interface performance that barely matches the gains in... » read more

Thermal Challenges In Advanced Packaging


CT Kao, product management director at Cadence, talks with Semiconductor Engineering about why packaging is so complicated, why power and heat vary with different use cases and over time, and why a realistic power map is essential particularly for AI chips, where some circuits are always on.   Interested in more Semiconductor Engineering videos? Sign-up for our YouTube channel here » read more

Finding Hotspots In AI Chips


Things are getting far more complicated as we move down to 7nm & 5nm but the tolerances of some of the physical effects that we have been measuring in the past are much tighter than they were at the older nodes. How do we track all that? What we see is that as we descend through the advanced nodes, say from 16nm down to 12nm, 7nm and more recently 5nm, we see that gate density starts to ... » read more

Thermal Challenges And Moore’s Law


Steven Woo, fellow and distinguished inventor at Rambus, looks at the evolution of graphics cards over a couple of decades and how designs changed to deal with more graphics and more heat, and why smaller, faster and cheaper doesn’t apply in this market. » read more

3D Power Delivery


Getting power into and around a chip is becoming a lot more difficult due to increasing power density, but 2.5D and 3D integration are pushing those problems to whole new levels. The problems may even be worse with new packaging approaches, such as chiplets, because they constrain how problems can be analyzed and solved. Add to that list issues around new fabrication technologies and an emph... » read more

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