Bonding Issues For Multi-Chip Packages


The rising cost and complexity of developing chips at the most advanced nodes is forcing many chipmakers to begin breaking up that chip into multiple parts, not all of which require leading edge nodes. The challenge is how to put those disaggregated pieces back together. When a complex system is integrated monolithically — on a single piece of silicon — the final product is a compromise ... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Trade and government The U.S. continues to tighten its export controls for hi-tech, including a move to restrict fab technologies that enable 5nm chip production. The U.S. Department of Commerce has imposed controls on six more technologies, bringing the total to 37. They include: hybrid additive manufacturing/computer controlled tools; computational lithography software designed for EUV masks... » read more

Much Smarter Manufacturing


Smart manufacturing is undergoing some fundamental changes as more sensors are integrated across fabs to generate more usable data, and as AI/ML systems are deployed to sift through that data and identify patterns and anomalies more quickly. The concept of smart manufacturing — also referred to as Industrie 4.0 in Europe, for the fourth industrial revolution — emerged from the World Econ... » read more

The Race To Much More Advanced Packaging


Momentum is building for copper hybrid bonding, a technology that could pave the way toward next-generation 2.5D and 3D packages. Foundries, equipment vendors, R&D organizations and others are developing copper hybrid bonding, which is a process that stacks and bonds dies using copper-to-copper interconnects in advanced packages. Still in R&D, hybrid bonding for packaging provides mo... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: July 21


Intel’s next-gen MRAM At the recent 2020 Symposia on VLSI Technology and Circuits, Intel presented a paper on a CMOS-compatible spin-orbit torque MRAM (SOT-MRAM) device. Still in R&D, SOT-MRAM is a next-generation MRAM designed to replace SRAM. Generally, processors integrate a CPU, SRAM and a variety of other functions. SRAM stores instructions that are rapidly needed by the processo... » read more

Atomic Layer Etch Expands To New Markets


The semiconductor industry is developing the next wave of applications for atomic layer etch (ALE), hoping to get a foothold in some new and emerging markets. ALE, a next-generation etch technology that removes materials at the atomic scale, is one of several tools used to process advanced devices in a fab. ALE moved into production for select applications around 2016, although the technolog... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: June 16


GaN power modules Gallium-nitride (GaN) devices are emerging in several markets, such as power semiconductors and RF. GaN, a binary III-V compound, is a wide-bandgap technology, meaning it is faster and more efficient than silicon-based devices. GaN has 10 times the breakdown field strength with double the electron mobility than silicon. Generally, some GaN vendors don’t use a traditio... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: May 26


7-level nanosheets The 2020 Symposia on VLSI Technology & Circuits for the first time will be held as a virtual conference. The event, to be held from June 15-18, is organized around the theme “The Next 40 Years of VLSI for Ubiquitous Intelligence.” Among the papers at the event include advanced nanosheet transistors, 3D stacked memory devices and even an artificial iris. At the ... » read more

New Ways To Optimize Machine Learning


As more designers employ machine learning (ML) in their systems, they’re moving from simply getting the application to work to optimizing the power and performance of their implementations. Some techniques are available today. Others will take time to percolate through the design flow and tools before they become readily available to mainstream designers. Any new technology follows a basic... » read more

Memory Issues For AI Edge Chips


Several companies are developing or ramping up AI chips for systems on the network edge, but vendors face a variety of challenges around process nodes and memory choices that can vary greatly from one application to the next. The network edge involves a class of products ranging from cars and drones to security cameras, smart speakers and even enterprise servers. All of these applications in... » read more

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