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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

Momentum Builds For Advanced Packaging


The semiconductor industry is stepping up its efforts in advanced packaging, an approach that is becoming more widespread with new and complex chip designs. Foundries, OSATs and others are rolling out the next wave of advanced packaging technologies, such as 2.5D/3D, chiplets and fan-out, and they are developing more exotic packaging technologies that promise to improve performance, reduce p... » read more

Chiplet Reliability Challenges Ahead


Assembling chips using LEGO-like hard IP is finally beginning to take root, more than two decades after it was first proposed, holding the promise of faster time to market with predictable results and higher yield. But as these systems of chips begin showing up in mission-critical and safety-critical applications, ensuring reliability is proving to be stubbornly difficult. The main driver fo... » read more

Better Analytics Needed For Assembly


Package equipment sensors, newer inspection techniques, and analytics enable quality and yield improvement, but all of those will require a bigger investment on the part of assembly houses. That's easier said than done. Assembly operations long have operated on thin profit margins because their tasks were considered easy to manage. Much has changed over the past several years, however. The r... » read more

China Speeds Up Advanced Chip Development


China is accelerating its efforts to advance its domestic semiconductor industry, amid ongoing trade tensions with the West, in hopes of becoming more self-sufficient. The country is still behind in IC technology and is nowhere close to being self-reliant, but it is making noticeable progress. Until recently, China’s domestic chipmakers were stuck with mature foundry processes with no pres... » read more

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