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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

Finding, Predicting EUV Stochastic Defects


Several vendors are rolling out next-generation inspection systems and software that locates problematic defects in chips caused by processes in extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography. Each defect detection technology involves various tradeoffs. But it’s imperative to use one or more of them in the fab. Ultimately, these so-called stochastic-induced defects caused by EUV can impact the perf... » read more

Reliability Costs Becoming Harder To Track


Ensuring reliability in chips is becoming more complex and significantly more expensive, shifting left into the design cycle and right into the field. But those costs also are becoming more difficult to define and track, varying greatly from one design to the next based upon process node, package technology, market segment, and which fab or OSAT is used. As the number of options increases fo... » read more

What’s Next In Fab Tool Technologies?


Experts at the Table: Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography and other next-generation fab technologies with Jerry Chen, head of global business development for manufacturing & industrials at Nvidia; David Fried, vice president of computational products at Lam Research; Mark Shirey, vice president of marketing and applications at KLA; and Aki Fuj... » read more

Recalculating The Cost Of Test


The cost of test is rising. For decades, test was limited to a flat 2% of the cost of designing and manufacturing a chip. Today, no one is quite sure what that cost really is, and there doesn't seem to be any single formula for determining it. In some cases, there isn't even a sense of urgency to finding out. Several significant changes are occurring that make any formula difficult to cal... » read more

Testing Analog Circuits Becoming More Difficult


Foundries and packaging houses are wrestling how to control heat in the testing phase, particularly as devices continue to shrink and as thermally sensitive analog circuits are added into SoCs and advanced packages to support everything from RF to AI. The overriding problem is that heat can damage chips or devices under test. That's certainly true for digital chips developed at advanced node... » read more

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