Advanced Packaging Makes Testing More Complex


The limits of monolithic integration, together with advances in chip interconnect and packaging technologies, have spurred the growth of heterogeneous advanced packaging where multiple dice are co-packaged using 2.5D and 3D approaches. But this also raises complex test challenges, which are driving new standards and approaches to advanced-package testing. While many of the showstopper issues... » read more

Monitoring IC Abnormalities Before Failures


The rising complexities of semiconductor processes and design are driving an increasing use of on-chip monitors to support data analytics from an IC’s birth through its end of life — no matter how long that projected lifespan. Engineers have long used on-chip circuitry to assist with manufacturing test, silicon debug and failure analysis. Providing visibility and controllability of inter... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Fab tools, packaging/test VLSI Research has released its 200mm wafer fab equipment (WFE) market share figures for 2019. The top three suppliers--Applied Materials, TEL, and ASML—saw growth in the 2019 200mm WFE business. Lam Research was in fourth place, followed by KLA and Canon. In total, 200mm wafer fab equipment sales were $3.6 billion in 2019, declining 5% from 2018, according to the fi... » read more

Week In Review: Auto, Security, Pervasive Computing


The American Foundries Act, a bipartisan initiative to revive U.S. leadership in the global microelectronics sector, was announced by U.S. Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer from New York. “The economic and national security risks posed by relying too heavily on foreign semiconductor suppliers cannot be ignored, and Upstate New York, which has a robust semiconductor sector, is the perfect place... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Fast Arm-based supercomputer Japan has taken the lead in the supercomputer race, jumping ahead of the U.S. But China continues to make its presence felt in the arena. Fugaku, an ARM-based supercomputer jointly developed by Japan’s Riken and Fujitsu, is now ranked the world’s fastest supercomputer in the 55th TOP500 list. Fugaku turned in a high performance Linpack (HPL) result of 415.5... » read more

ML Opening New Doors For FPGAs


FPGAs have long been used in the early stages of any new digital technology, given their utility for prototyping and rapid evolution. But with machine learning, FPGAs are showing benefits beyond those of more conventional solutions. This opens up a hot new market for FPGAs, which traditionally have been hard to sustain in high-volume production due to pricing, and hard to use for battery-dri... » read more

What’s After PAM-4?


[This is part 2 of a 2-part series. Part 1 can be found here.] The future of high-speed physical signaling is uncertain. While PAM-4 remains one of the key standards today, there is widespread debate about whether PAM-8 will succeed it. This has an impact on everything from where the next bottlenecks are likely to emerge and the best approaches to solving them, to how chips, systems and p... » read more

China Speeds Up Advanced Chip Development


China is accelerating its efforts to advance its domestic semiconductor industry, amid ongoing trade tensions with the West, in hopes of becoming more self-sufficient. The country is still behind in IC technology and is nowhere close to being self-reliant, but it is making noticeable progress. Until recently, China’s domestic chipmakers were stuck with mature foundry processes with no pres... » read more

Week In Review: Auto, Security, Pervasive Computing


Security Many IoT devices have some of the 19 bugs known as Ripple20 vulnerabilities. Researchers JSOF discovered the security flaws in library produces by Treck, Inc., which is used in many IoT devices. Edge, cloud, data center Rambus delivered its 112G XSR/USR PHY IP on TSMC 7nm process (N7). The SerDes PHY was designed for chiplets and co-packaged optics (CPO) architectures that are des... » read more

Spreading Out The Cost At 3nm


The current model for semiconductor scaling doesn't add up. While it's possible that markets will consolidate around a few basic designs, the likelihood is that no single SoC will sell in enough volume to compensate for the increased cost of design, equipment, mask sets and significantly more testing and inspection. In fact, even with slew of derivative chips, it may not be enough to tip the ec... » read more

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