An Inside Look At Testing’s Leading Edge


Mike Slessor, president and CEO of FormFactor, sat down with Semiconductor Engineering to discuss testing of AI and 5G chips, and why getting power into a chip for testing is becoming more difficult at each new node. SE: How does test change with AI chips, where you've got massive numbers of accelerators and processors developed at 7 and 5nm? Slessor: A lot of the AI stuff that we've been... » read more

Millimeter Wave: A Bridge Too Far?


5G is here. It already is available in new mobile phones, and the infrastructure for extremely fast cellular communication is being built out at a rapid pace. The big question now is which parts of this technology will be successful, and there still is no consistency in those predictions. 5G comes in two flavors, sub-6 GHz and millimeter wave, and the sub-6 GHz version offers immediate perfo... » read more

Auto Industry Shifts Gears On Where Data Gets Processed


In-vehicle processing is becoming a major challenge in automotive electronics due to the massive amount of data being generated by sensors — especially cameras — and the rapid response time required to avoid accidents. The initial idea that all data could be sent to the cloud for processing has been shelved, most likely permanently. In its place is a growing recognition that data needs t... » read more

What Engineers Are Reading And Watching


By Brian Bailey And Ed Sperling An important indicator of where the chip industry is heading is what engineers are reading and what videos they are watching. While some subjects remain on top, such as the level of interest in the latest manufacturing technologies, other areas come and go. The stories with the biggest traffic numbers are almost identical to last year. Readers want to know wh... » 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

Cadence To Buy NI’s AWR Unit For $160M


Cadence signed a deal to buy National Instruments' AWR business unit for about $160 million in cash, a move that Cadence describes as a way to broaden its market into intelligent system design. AWR's strength is high-frequency RF design automation tools, particularly in the millimeter wave and microwave spectrums, which are critical for radar and 5G. Both of those technologies are expected t... » read more

New Challenges In Testing 5G Devices


Alejandro Buritica, senior solutions marketing manager at National Instruments, talks about what will be needed for mass-market testing of 5G devices, how to focus signals to overcome signal attenuation, and how to make over-the-air testing viable where leads are not exposed. » read more

System Bits: Sept. 11


Everything’s faster in Texas The Frontera supercomputing system was formally unveiled last week at the Texas Advanced Computing Center. The system was deployed in June on the University of Texas at Austin campus. It is the fifth-fastest supercomputer in the world at present and the world's fastest academic supercomputer. Dell EMC and Intel collaborated on fitting out Frontera. Work beg... » read more

Ensuring A 5G Design Is Viable


Ron Squiers, network solutions specialist at Mentor, a Siemens Business, explains what’s different in 5G chips versus 4G, how to construct a front haul and back haul system so it is testable in the network stack. » read more

On The Cusp Of 5G


Carriers and chipmakers are celebrating the rollout of the first standards-compliant commercial 5G services. "We are, officially in the era of 5G," said John Smee, vice president of engineering at Qualcomm at the recent 5G Summit at IEEE's International Microwave Symposium (IMS) in Boston. Movement is happening on the commercial end. Major U.S. carriers Verizon, AT&T and Sprint have set ... » read more

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