Making Random Variation Less Random


The economics for random variation are changing, particularly at advanced nodes and in complex packaging schemes. Random variation always will exist in semiconductor manufacturing processes, but much of what is called random has a traceable root cause. The reason it is classified as random is that it is expensive to track down all of the various quirks in a complex manufacturing process or i... » read more

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

Reducing Costly Flaws In Heterogeneous Designs


The cost of defects is rising as chipmakers begin adding multiple chips into a package, or multiple processor cores and memories on the same die. Put simply, one bad wire can spoil an entire system. Two main issues need to be solved to reduce the number of defects. The first is identifying the actual defect, which becomes more difficult as chips grow larger and more complex, and whenever chi... » read more

The Race To Next-Gen 2.5D/3D Packages


Several companies are racing each other to develop a new class of 2.5D and 3D packages based on various next-generation interconnect technologies. Intel, TSMC and others are exploring or developing future packages based on one emerging interconnect scheme, called copper-to-copper hybrid bonding. This technology provides a way to stack advanced dies using copper connections at the chip level,... » read more

Challenges Grow For Finding Chip Defects


Several equipment makers are developing or ramping up a new class of wafer inspection systems that address the challenges in finding defects in advanced chips. At each node, the feature sizes of the chips are becoming smaller, while the defects are harder to find. Defects are unwanted deviations in chips, which impact yield and performance. The new inspection systems promise to address the c... » read more

Using Machine Learning In Fabs


Amid the shift towards more complex chips at advanced nodes, many chipmakers are exploring or turning to advanced forms of machine learning to help solve some big challenges in IC production. A subset of artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, uses advanced algorithms in systems to recognize patterns in data as well as to learn and make predictions about the information. In the fab, ... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Chipmakers and OEMs Delphi Technologies is in volume production with a 800 volt silicon carbide (SiC) inverter for next-generation electric and hybrid vehicles. The inverter extends electric vehicle (EV) ranges. It also halves the charging times compared with today's 400 volt systems. In a separate announcement, Delphi Technologies and Cree have announce a partnership to utilize SiC semicon... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Chipmakers GlobalFoundries has filed suits in the U.S. and Germany, alleging that semiconductor manufacturing technologies used by TSMC infringe upon 16 of GF's patents. The suits were filed in the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC), the U.S. Federal District Courts in the Districts of Delaware and the Western District of Texas, and the Regional Courts of Dusseldorf and Mannheim in Germ... » read more

The Next New Memories


Several next-generation memory types are ramping up after years of R&D, but there are still more new memories in the research pipeline. Today, several next-generation memories, such as MRAM, phase-change memory (PCM) and ReRAM, are shipping to one degree or another. Some of the next new memories are extensions of these technologies. Others are based on entirely new technologies or involve ar... » read more

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