What’s The Best Advanced Packaging Option?


As traditional chip designs become more unwieldy and expensive at each node, many IC vendors are exploring or pursuing alternative approaches using advanced packaging. The problem is there are too many advanced packaging options on the table already, and the list continues to grow. Moreover, each option has several tradeoffs and challenges, and all of them are still relatively expensive. ... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Fab tools A consortium of 31 companies have launched a new project, called the “Advanced packaging for photonics, optics and electronics for low cost manufacturing in Europe.” The program is referred to as APPLAUSE. With a budget of 34 million euros, the project is being coordinated by ICOS, a division of KLA. “APPLAUSE will focus on advanced optics, photonics and electronics packagin... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Trade wars Talks between the United States and China continue to stall and the two nations are still embroiled in a trade war. So this week, U.S. President Donald Trump would like to impose a 10% tariff on the remaining $300 billion list of China-based imports starting Sept. 1, according to a report from Reuters. This in turn will impact the electronics and IC industries. In response to the... » read more

Challenges Grow For 5G Packages And Modules


The shift to 5G wireless networks is driving a need for new IC packages and modules in smartphones and other systems, but this move is turning out to be harder than it looks. For one thing, the IC packages and RF modules for 5G phones are more complex and expensive than today's devices, and that gap will grow significantly in the second phase of 5G. In addition, 5G devices will require an as... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Market research What’s the CapEx outlook for 2020? Semiconductor capital spending is down in 2019, but the industry faces another slump in 2020, according to IC Insights. The firm sees a 15% decline in CapEx for 2019 with a 5% drop expected in 2020. New 300mm fab construction in Korea is still going strong despite the memory downturn, according to SEMI. “Korea’s fab construction spen... » read more

What’s Next In Advanced Packaging


Packaging houses are readying the next wave of advanced IC packages, hoping to gain a bigger foothold in the race to develop next-generation chip designs. At a recent event, ASE, Leti/STMicroelectronics, TSMC and others described some of their new and advanced IC packaging technologies, which involve various product categories, such as 2.5D, 3D and fan-out. Some new packaging technologies ar... » read more

Getting Down To Business On Chiplets


Government agencies, industry groups and individual companies are beginning to rally around various chiplet models, setting the stage for complex chips that are quicker and cheaper to build using standardized interfaces and components. The idea of putting together different modules like LEGOs has been talked about for the better part of a decade. So far, only Marvell has used this concept co... » read more

Testing Millimeter Wave for 5G


By Susan Rambo and Ed Sperling The telecommunications world is hurtling toward 5G, but there is no consistency about how this next-gen wireless technology will be rolled out across various regions and plenty of unknowns about how it will be tested and how reliable it will be initially. A fair amount of confusion exists around what 5G constitutes in the first place. There is sub-6GHz 5G, w... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Tariffs The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) took a step in its ongoing efforts to remove regulatory barriers that inhibit the deployment of infrastructure necessary for 5G and other advanced wireless services in the U.S. "5G networks in America are key for powering the next generation of innovation, such as artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things and smart cities. (The FCC... » read more

Old Vs. New Packages


Over the years, the semiconductor industry has witnessed a parade of packaging innovations, such as system-in-package, semiconductor embedded in substrate, and fan-out wafer-level packaging. Two interesting packaging innovations are now being used in the process of miniaturizing microchips and electronics. One is a new concept that combines two tried-and-true technologies. The other is a de... » read more

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