Making 3D Structures And Packages More Reliable


The move to smaller vertical structures and complex packaging schemes is straining existing testing approaches, particularly in heterogeneous combinations on a single chip and in multi-die packages. The complexity of these devices has exploded with the slowdown in scaling, as chipmakers turn to architectural solutions and new transistor structures rather than just relying on shrinking featur... » read more

Extreme Quality Semiconductor Manufacturing, Part 1: Automotive


By Ben Tsai and Cathy Perry Sullivan Across the full range of semiconductor device types and design nodes, there is a drive to produce chips with significantly higher quality. Automotive, IoT and other industrial applications require chips that achieve very high reliability over a long period of time, and some of these chips must maintain reliable performance while operating in an environmen... » read more

Where Technology Breakthroughs Are Needed


After years of delays, extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography is finally in production at the 7nm logic node with 5nm in the works. EUV, a next-generation lithography technology, certainly will help chipmakers migrate to the next nodes. But EUV doesn’t solve every problem. Nor does it address all challenges in the semiconductor industry. Not by a long shot. To be sure, the industry needs... » read more

Finding Defects In IC Packages


Several equipment makers are ramping up new inspection equipment to address the growing defect challenges in IC packaging. At one time, finding defects in packaging was relatively straightforward. But as packaging becomes more complex, and as it is used in markets where reliability is critical, finding defects is both more difficult and more important. This has prompted the development of a ... » read more

The Growing Challenges Of 5G Reliability


The test field is getting more complicated as chips become larger, more heterogeneous, and subject to almost constant changes. Nowhere is this more evident than in 5G, where standards are still evolving and use cases are still being defined. Without passing test, no technology advances. But those definitions are subject to change, and they can change again over time. The communications in... » read more

Planning For Panel-Level Fan-out


Several companies are developing or ramping up panel-level fan-out packaging as a way to reduce the cost of advanced packaging. Wafer-level fan-out is one of several advanced packaging types where a package can incorporate dies, MEMS and passives in an IC package. This approach has been in production for years, and is produced in a round wafer format in 200mm or 300mm wafer sizes. Fan-out... » read more

Different Ways To Improve Chip Reliability


A push toward greater reliability in safety- and mission-critical applications is prompting some innovative approaches in semiconductor design, manufacturing, and post-production analysis of chip behavior. While quality over time has come under intensive scrutiny in automotive, where German carmakers require chips to last 18 years with zero defects, it isn't the only market demanding extende... » read more

Test In New Frontiers: Flexible Circuits


Test is becoming increasingly complicated as new technologies such as flexible electronics begin playing mission-critical roles in applications where electronics have little or no history. Although flexible circuitry has been around for while, testing needs to catch up as these circuits are deployed across a variety of markets where conditions may be extreme. In many cases, sensors for monit... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Chipmakers China has created a new $29 billion fund to help advance its semiconductor sector, according to reports from Bloomberg and others. Here's another report. The The U.S. and China are in the midst of a trade war. This has prompted China to accelerate its efforts to become more self-sufficient in semiconductor design and production. This includes DRAMs as well as logic/foundry. -----... » read more

Power Semi Wars Begin


Several vendors are rolling out the next wave of power semiconductors based on gallium nitride (GaN) and silicon carbide (SiC), setting the stage for a showdown against traditional silicon-based devices in the market. Power semiconductors are specialized transistors that incorporate different and competitive technologies like GaN, SiC and silicon. Power semis operate as a switch in high-volt... » read more

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