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Enablers And Barriers For Connecting Diverse Data


More data is being collected at every step of the manufacturing process, raising the possibility of combining data in new ways to solve engineering problems. But this is far from simple, and combining results is not always possible. The semiconductor industry’s thirst for data has created oceans of it from the manufacturing process. In addition, semiconductor designs large and small now ha... » read more

Strategies For Meeting Stringent Standards For Automotive ICs


It may surprise you, but when it comes to chips in electronic braking systems, airbag control units, and more, automotive manufacturers are still using 10-year-old technology — and with good reason. For the automotive industry, the reliability, stability, and robustness of electronic components are critical, especially when it comes to meeting the stringent Automotive Electronics Council (... » read more

The Everything New Syndrome


Technology is all about the latest features, the fastest processing, with the lowest power. While that sounds great in marketing pitch, any or all of those factors don't necessarily equate to a better product or long-term user satisfaction. There's a reason semiconductor companies are conservative by nature. They want to know that when they spend tens or hundreds of millions of dollars on a ... » read more

Inspecting, Testing, And Measuring SiC


Achieving the auto industry's stringent zero defect goals is becoming a big challenge for makers of silicon carbide substrates, which are struggling to achieve sufficient yields and reliability as they migrate from 150mm to 200mm wafers and shift their focus away from pure silicon. SiC is a combination of silicon and harder carbide materials, and it has emerged as a key technology for batter... » read more

PCB And IC Technologies Meet In The Middle


Surface-mount technology (SMT) is evolving far beyond its roots as a way of assembling packaged chips onto printed circuit boards without through-holes. It is now moving inside packages that will themselves be mounted on PCBs. But SMT for advanced packages isn’t the same as the SMT we’ve been used to. “Many systems include multiple ASICs, a lot of memory, and that's all integrated i... » read more

Growing Challenges With Wafer Bump Inspection


As advanced packaging goes mainstream, ensuring that wafer bumps are consistent has emerged as a critical concern for foundries and OSATs. John Hoffman, computer vision engineering manager at CyberOptics, talks about the shift toward middle-of-line and how that is affecting inspection and metrology, why there is so much concern over co-planarity and alignment, how variation can add up and creat... » read more

In The Spotlight: What Is Responsible For The Surging Demand For CIS?


After TSMC announced plans to construct a new fab in Arizona, the Taiwan-based company disclosed that they are considering building new fabs in Japan and Germany. While the Arizona fab will focus on producing 5nm nodes using extreme ultraviolet lithography (EUV) technology, the new plant in Japan reportedly would focus on the 28nm node. This 28nm fab in Japan would be in addition to a 28nm fab ... » read more

Making Test Transparent With Better Data


Data is critical for a variety of processes inside the fab. The challenge is getting enough consistent data from different equipment and then plugging it back into the design, manufacturing, and test flows to quickly improve the process and uncover hard-to-find defective die. Progress is being made. The inspection and test industry is on the cusp of having more dynamic ways to access the dat... » read more

Designing Chips For Test Data


Collecting data to determine the health of a chip throughout its lifecycle is becoming necessary as chips are used in more critical applications, but being able to access that data isn't always so simple. It requires moving signals through a complex, sometimes unpredictable, and often hostile environment, which is a daunting challenge under the best of conditions. There is a growing sense of... » read more

Why Wafer Bumps Are Suddenly So Important


Wafer bumps need to be uniform in height to facilitate subsequent manufacturing steps, but a push for 100% inspection in packaging in mission-critical markets is putting a strain on existing measurement technologies. Bump co-planarity is essentially a measure of flatness. Specifically, it measures the variation in bump height, which may have a target, for example, of about 100 microns. As a ... » read more

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