3D-ICs May Be The Least-Cost Option

When 2.5D and 3D packaging were first conceived, the general consensus was that only the largest semiconductor houses would be able to afford them, but development costs are quickly coming under control. In some cases, these advanced packages actually may turn out to be the lowest-cost options. With stacked die [1], each die is considered to be a complete functional block or sub-system. In t... » read more

Chiplets: Deep Dive Into Designing, Manufacturing, And Testing

Chiplets are a disruptive technology. They change the way chips are designed, manufactured, tested, packaged, as well as the underlying business relationships and fundamentals. But they also open the door to vast new opportunities for existing chipmakers and startups to create highly customized components and systems for specific use cases and market segments. This LEGO-like approach sounds ... » read more

True 3D-IC Problems

Placing logic on logic may sound like a small step, but several problems must be overcome to make it a reality. True 3D involves wafers stacked on top of each other in a highly integrated manner. This is very different from 2.5D integration, where logic is placed side-by-side, connected by an interposer. And there are some intermediate solutions today where significant memory is stacked on l... » read more

Testing 2.5D And 3D-ICs

Disaggregating SoCs allows chipmakers to cram more features and functions into a package than can fit on a reticle-sized chip. But as Vidya Neerkundar, technical marketing engineer at Siemens EDA explains, there are challenges in accessing all of the dies or chiplets in a package. The new IEEE 1838 standard addresses that, as well as what to do when 2.5D and 3D-ICs are combined together in the ... » read more

Testing The Stack: DFT Is Ready For 3D Devices

When existing advanced 2D designs already push the limits of design-for-test (DFT) tools, what hope do developers have of managing DFT for 3D devices? Can anyone afford the tool run time, on-chip area demand, pattern count, and test time? The answer, from an array of experts, is yes, there is a path to a scalable, affordable, and comprehensive DFT solution for 3D ICs. Well-covered strategies... » read more

A Practical Approach To DFT For Large SoCs And AI Architectures, Part II

By Rahul Singhal and Giri Podichetty Part I of this article discusses the design-for-test (DFT) challenges of AI designs and strategies to address them at the die level. This part focuses on the test requirements of AI chips that integrate multiple dies and memories on the same package. Why 2.5D/3D chiplet-based designs for AI SoCs? Many semiconductor companies are adopting chiplet-based d... » read more

Monitoring Chips After Manufacturing

New regulations and variability of advanced process nodes are forcing chip designers to insert additional capabilities in silicon to help with comprehension, debug, analytics, safety, security, and design optimization. The impact of this will be far-reaching as the industry discusses what capabilities can be shared between these divergent tasks, the amount of silicon area to dedicate to it, ... » read more

Dealing With Test More Effectively

By Ed Sperling Shrinking geometries are starting to have the same effect on test as they are on other parts of an SoC, with the focus shifting from area to leakage, heat, noise, signal integrity, and the impact on overall system performance. The warning that design teams have to consider test much earlier in the design was issued to chipmakers years ago and largely ignored. At 28nm that war... » read more