Silicon Photonics Begins To Make Inroads


Integrating photons and electrons on the same die is still a long way off, but advances in packaging and improvements in silicon photonics are making it possible to use optical communication for a variety of new applications. Utilizing light-based communication between chips, or in self-contained modules, ultimately could have a big impact on chip design. Photons moving through waveguides ar... » read more

Playing Into China’s Hands


The fallout over blacklisting Huawei in particular, and China in general, has set the tone for a nasty global race. But it is almost certain to produce a different result than the proponents of a trade war are expecting. The idea behind tariffs and the blacklisting of Huawei is to starve China of vital technology. So far, the impact has been minimal. Reports from inside of China are equa... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: June 10


Predicting warpage in packages At the recent IEEE Electronic Components and Technology Conference (ECTC) in Las Vegas, there were several papers on ways to predict variation and warpage in IC packages. Advanced packages are prone to unwanted warpage during the process flow. The warpage challenges escalate as the packages become thinner. Warpage in turn can impact yields in IC packages. ... » read more

ECTC Packaging Trends


At the recent IEEE Electronic Components and Technology Conference (ECTC) in Las Vegas, a number of packaging houses, R&D organizations and universities presented a slew of papers on the latest IC packaging technologies. The event provided a glimpse of the future of packaging, which is becoming more important in the industry. At one time, IC packaging took a backseat in the semiconductor... » read more

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

Packaging Biz Faces Challenges in 2019


The IC packaging industry is bracing for slower growth, if not uncertainty, in 2019, even though advanced packaging remains a bright spot in the market. Generally, IC packaging houses saw strong demand in the first part of 2018, but the market cooled in the second half of the year due to a slowdown in memory. Going forward, the slower IC packaging market is expected to extend into the first ... » read more

Finding New Dimensions Of Innovation


Whenever a company announces a major strategy shift and restructuring, such as pivoting away from 7nm FinFET technology development, it’s understandable that confusion, uncertainty and misunderstandings may arise. The best way to allay these concerns is to take an objective look at the situation: Demand for chips for the automotive, IoT, mobility and data center/wireless infrastructure mar... » read more

Interaction Of Hard IP And Chip-Package


Current and future customer-specific circuit development requires an increasing number of different interfaces, such as for memory (DDR3, DDR4, LPDDR3, LPDDR4, etc.), radio interfaces (Bluetooth, NBIoT, etc.) or high-speed LVDS/SERDES interfaces (DisplayPort, Ethernet, USB, etc.). For customer-specific circuit projects, these components are frequently purchased as hard IP because the developmen... » read more

Variation At 10/7nm


Klaus Schuegraf, vice president of new products and solutions at PDF Solutions, explains why variability is a growing challenge at advanced nodes, why middle of line is now one of the big problem areas, and what happens when a via is misaligned due to a small process variation. https://youtu.be/jQfggOnxZJQ » read more

The Big Blur


Chip companies, research houses, foundries—and more recently large systems companies—have been developing alternative technologies to continue scaling power and performance. It's still not obvious which of those will win, let alone survive, or what they will do to the economics of developing chips. For more than five decades, the biggest concern was scaling devices in order to save money... » read more

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