3D Metrology Meets Its Match In 3D Chips And Packages


The pace of innovation in 3D device structures and packages is accelerating rapidly, driving the need for precise measurement and control of feature height to ensure these devices are reliable and perform as expected throughout their lifetimes. Expansion along the z axis is already well underway. One need look no further than the staircase-like 3D NAND stacks that rise like skyscrapers to p... » read more

The Race To Glass Substrates


The chip industry is racing to develop glass for advanced packaging, setting the stage for one of the biggest shifts in chip materials in decades — and one that will introduce a broad new set of challenges that will take years to fully resolve. Glass has been discussed as a replacement material for silicon and organic substrates for more than a decade, primarily in multi-die packages. But ... » read more

Using Predictive Maintenance To Boost IC Manufacturing Efficiency


Predicting exactly how and when a process tool is going to fail is a complex task, but it's getting a tad easier with the rollout of smart sensors, standard interfaces, and advanced data analytics. The potential benefits of predictive maintenance are enormous. Higher tool uptime correlates with greater fab efficiency and lower operating costs, so engineers are pursuing multiple routes to boo... » read more

Return On Investment Of A Pre-Reflow AOI System


This paper describes the losses from defects at the placement process in the SMT line. Two case studies of European and Taiwanese SMT manufacturers illustrate the actual losses from their defects. An evaluation method to select a pre-reflow AOI system maximizing the return on investment (ROI) is introduced. In the end, ROIs of three commercial pre-reflow AOI systems are compared to demonstrate ... » read more

Progress In Wafer And Package Level Defect Inspection


The technology to enable sampling and the need for more metrology and inspection data in a production setting have aligned just in time to address the semiconductor industry’s newest and most complex manufacturing processes. In both wafer and assembly manufacturing, engineering teams have long relied on imaging tools to measure critical features and to inspect for defects after specific pr... » read more

Deep Learning For Corner Fill Inspection


When automated optical inspection (AOI) works, it is almost always preferable to human visual inspection. It can be faster, more accurate, more consistent, less expensive, and it never gets tired. But there are some challenging applications. Some tasks that are very simple for humans are quite difficult for machines. Object detection is an example. Given an image containing a cat, a dog and a d... » read more

Glass Substrates Gain Foothold In Advanced Packages


Glass substrates are starting to gain traction in advanced packages, fueled by the potential for denser routing and higher signal performance than the organic substrates used today. There are still plenty of problems to solve before this approach becomes mainstream. While glass itself is cheap and shares some important physical similarities to silicon, there are challenges with buildup, stre... » read more

Closing The Test And Metrology Gap In 3D-IC Packages


The industry is investing in more precise and productive inspection and testing to enable advanced packages and eventually, 3D ICs. The next generations of aerospace, automotive, smartphone, and wearable tech most likely will be powered by multiple layers of intricately connected silicon, a stark departure from the planar landscapes of traditional integrated circuits. These 3D-ICs, compos... » read more

New Insights Into IC Process Defectivity


Finding critical defects in manufacturing is becoming more difficult due to tighter design margins, new processes, and shorter process windows. Process marginality and parametric outliers used to be problematic at each new node, but now they are persistent problems at several nodes and in advanced packaging, where there may be a mix of different technologies. In addition, there are more proc... » read more

Rebalancing Test And Yield In IC Manufacturing


Balancing yield and test is essential to semiconductor manufacturing, but it's becoming harder to determine how much weight to give one versus the other as chips become more specialized for different applications. Yield focuses on maximizing the number of functional chips from a production batch, while test aims to ensure that each chip meets rigorous quality and performance standards. And w... » read more

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