The Precision Knob


Precision used to be a goal, but increasingly it is being used as a tool. This is true for processing and algorithms, where less precision can greatly improve both performance and battery life. And it is true in manufacturing, where more precision can help minimize the growing impact of variation. Moreover, being able to dial precision up or down can help engineers see the impact on a system... » read more

Leveraging The Digital Twin In Smart Microelectronics Manufacturing


Among the many tenets of smart manufacturing, “digital twin” solutions represent a significant opportunity for microelectronics manufacturers to leverage existing and emerging technologies to improve quality and throughput, and reduce variability and cost. The microelectronics industry is working vigorously to leverage the big data revolution and tap into smart manufacturing (SM) and Indu... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Public policy The rise of the digital economy is creating millions of new jobs, but it’s difficult to fill these positions. So, the Consumer Technology Association (CTA), a U.S.-based trade group, is encouraging hi-tech companies to offer more apprenticeships. This is especially true for software engineering, networking, data analytics, cybersecurity and artificial intelligence. The Semic... » read more

The Long And Detailed Road To Automotive Compliance


Compliance with automotive safety requirements is slowing down both innovation and participation by a flurry of startups as the whole ecosystem struggles to bring autonomous vehicles to reality. This is particularly onerous for chipmakers, which face a high bar for IC integrity and reliability. They must meet specifications and be free of design errors. Improper behavior in corner-case s... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Materials Wesfarmers, an Australian diversified firm, has made an unsolicited bid to acquire Lynas, one of the world’s largest suppliers of rare earths outside of China. Rare earths are chemical elements found in the Earth’s crust. They are used in cars, consumer electronics, computers, communications, clean energy and defense systems. The big market for rare earths is magnets. In semicond... » read more

Creating Higher Density 3D NAND Structures


3D NAND flash memory has enabled a new generation of non-volatile solid-state storage useful in nearly every electronic device imaginable. 3D NAND can achieve data densities exceeding those of 2D NAND structures, even when fabricated on later generation technology nodes. The methods used to increase storage capacity come with potentially significant tradeoffs in memory storage, structural sta... » read more

Boosting Analog Reliability


Aveek Sarkar, vice president of Synopsys’ Custom Compiler Group, talks about challenges with complex design rules, rigid design methodologies, and the gap between pre-layout and post-layout simulation at finFET nodes. https://youtu.be/JRYlYJ31LLw » read more

Machine Learning For IC Production


Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, and chip and photomask manufacturing technologies with Aki Fujimura, chief executive of D2S; Jerry Chen, business and ecosystem development manager at Nvidia; Noriaki Nakayamada, senior technologist at NuFlare; and Mikael Wahlsten, director and product area manager at Mycronic. What follows are excerpt... » read more

Testing AI Systems


AI is booming. It's coming to a device near you—maybe even inside of you. And AI will be used to design, manufacture and even ship those devices, regardless of what they are, where they are used, or how they are transported. The big questions now are whether these systems work, for how long—and what do those metrics even mean? An AI system, or AI-enhanced system, is supposed to adapt ove... » read more

Top Stories For 2018


Each year, I look back to see what articles people like to read. The first thing that has amazed me each year at Semiconductor Engineering is that what should be a strong bias towards articles published early in the year never seems to play out. The same is true this year. More than half of the top articles were published after July. The second thing that remains constant is that people love... » read more

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