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Piecing Together Chiplets


Several companies are implementing the chiplet model as a means to develop next-generation 3D-like chip designs, but this methodology still has a long way to go before it becomes mainstream for the rest of the industry. It takes several pieces to bring up a 3D chip design using the chiplet model. A few large players have the pieces, though most are proprietary. Others are missing some key co... » read more

Bumps Vs. Hybrid Bonding For Advanced Packaging


Advanced packaging continues to gain steam, but now customers must decide whether to design their next high-end packages using existing interconnect schemes or move to a next-generation, higher-density technology called copper hybrid bonding. The decision is far from simple, and in some cases both technologies may be used. Each technology adds new capabilities in next-generation advanced pac... » read more

Reliability Costs Becoming Harder To Track


Ensuring reliability in chips is becoming more complex and significantly more expensive, shifting left into the design cycle and right into the field. But those costs also are becoming more difficult to define and track, varying greatly from one design to the next based upon process node, package technology, market segment, and which fab or OSAT is used. As the number of options increases fo... » read more

Chip Monitoring And Test Collaborate


As on-chip monitoring becomes more prevalent in complex advanced-node ICs, it’s easy to question whether or not it conflicts with conventional silicon testing. It might even supplant such testing in the future. Or alternatively, they could interact, with each supporting the other. “On-chip monitors provide fine-grained observability into effects and issues that are otherwise difficult or... » read more

What Goes Wrong In Advanced Packages


Advanced packaging may be the best way forward for massive improvements in performance, lower power, and different form factors, but it adds a whole new set of issues that were much better understood when Moore's Law and the ITRS roadmap created a semi-standardized path forward for the chip industry. Different advanced packaging options — system-in-package, fan-outs, 2.5D, 3D-IC — have a... » read more

The Darker Side Of Hybrid Bonding


With semiconductors, it's often things everyone takes for granted that cause the biggest headaches, and that problem is compounded when something fundamental changes — such as bonding two chips together using a process aimed at maximizing performance. Case in point: CMP for backend of the line metallization in hybrid bonding. While this is a mature process, it doesn't easily translate for ... » read more

Taking Advantage Of Outsourced Test Services


The business model in today’s competitive world of commerce has shifted over recent years to “services.” Companies like Microsoft, Amazon and Google are prime success stories that have advanced the industry with business-enabling services. These economic productivity improvement services allow their customers to focus on product architecture, design and quick time to market. The service p... » read more

Regaining The Edge In U.S. Chip Manufacturing


The United States is developing new strategies to prevent it from falling further behind Korea, Taiwan, and perhaps even China in semiconductor manufacturing, as trade tensions and national security concerns continue to grow. For years, the U.S. has been a leader in the development of new chip products like GPUs and microprocessors. But from a chip manufacturing standpoint, the U.S. is losin... » read more

Defect Challenges Grow For IC Packaging


Several vendors are ramping up new inspection equipment based on infrared, optical, and X-ray technologies in an effort to reduce defects in current and future IC packages. While all of these technologies are necessary, they also are complementary. No one tool can meet all defect inspection requirements. As a result, packaging vendors may need to buy more and different tools. For years, p... » read more

How Secure Is The Package?


Advanced packaging is a viable way of extending the benefits of Moore's Law without the excessive cost of shrinking everything to fit on a single die, but it also raises some issues about security for which there are no clear answers at the moment. OSATs and foundries have been working the kinks out of how to put the pieces together in the most cost-effective and reliable way for the better ... » read more

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