Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Chipmakers Foxconn is in talks to build a fab in Zhuhai, China, according to a report from Nikkei. The fab, to cost $9 billion, would make chips for Foxconn and outside companies, the report said, which says the company will enter the foundry business. The European Commission has approved funding for 1.75 billion euros ($2 billion) of public investment for projects in the microelectronics... » read more

Making Sure A Heterogeneous Design Will Work


An explosion of various types of processors and localized memories on a chip or in a package is making it much more difficult to verify and test these devices, and to sign off with confidence. In addition to timing and clock domain crossing issues, which are becoming much more difficult to deal with in complex chips, some of the new devices are including AI, machine learning or deep learning... » read more

Virtual Design Chains At The EDA Forum


The German edacentrum’s EDA Forum was held in Berlin, Germany, in early November. It was very interesting to see the design chain effects in the automotive domain, very visible in a panel yours truly was part of, together with Audi, Bosch, Infineon, MicroChip, Synopsys, Mentor, and the BMBF. Driven from the top of the design chain, the direction is clearly to go more virtual to optimize the c... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Test There is more consolidation in the ATE business. In October, Cohu completed the acquisition of Xcerra, a supplier of ATE and other products. Then, Astronics this week entered into an agreement for the sale of the intellectual-property and certain assets associated with its semiconductor test business to Advantest for $185 million in cash. The sale additionally includes a $30 million earn-... » read more

Panel Fan-out Ramps, Challenges Remain


After years of R&D, panel-level fan-out packaging is finally beginning to ramp up in the market, at least in limited volumes for a few vendors. However, panel-level fan-out, which is an advanced form of today’s fan-out packaging, still faces several technical and cost challenges to bring this technology into the mainstream or high-volume manufacturing. Moreover, several companies are d... » read more

Carmakers To Chipmakers: Where’s The Data?


The integration of electronics into increasingly autonomous vehicles isn't going nearly as smoothly as the marketing literature suggests. In fact, it could take years before some of these discrepancies are resolved. The push toward full autonomy certainly hasn't slowed down, but carmakers and the electronics industry are approaching that goal from very different vantage points. Carmakers and... » read more

SiC Chip Demand Surges


The silicon carbide (SiC) power semiconductor market is experiencing a sudden surge in demand amid growth for electric vehicles and other systems. But the demand also is causing a tight supply of SiC-based devices in the market, prompting some vendors to add fab capacity in the midst of a tricky wafer-size transition. Some SiC device makers are transitioning from 4- to 6-inch wafers in the f... » read more

Week In Review: Design, Low Power


Synopsys unveiled a new formal app, Regression Mode Accelerator, which uses machine learning algorithms to speed up formal property verification, as well as better convergence of formal proofs for subsequent runs. According to Synopsys, the app also allows for significant saving of compute resources in nightly regressions. Hitachi used OneSpin Solutions' 360 EC product family to verify vCOSS... » read more

Auto Chip Test Getting Harder


Chipmakers and test/validation companies are helping lead the effort to develop self-driving cars, but they are facing a wide range of technical and even cultural barriers. Advanced driver assist systems (ADAS) already are the most complex systems by far in modern cars, the best of which hover between Level 2 and Level 3 on the five-step autonomy ladder maintained by the Society of Automotiv... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Trade wars After opposing $34 billion in U.S. trade tariffs on behalf of the U.S. semiconductor manufacturing industry, Jonathan Davis, global vice president of industry advocacy at SEMI, recently spoke out against an additional $16 billion in duties on Chinese goods. The tariffs do little to address U.S. concerns over IP loss, according to SEMI. Over the past month, SEMI has also submitte... » read more

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