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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

NIWeek Test Talk


Semiconductor Engineering sat down with David Hall, Chief Marketer, Semiconductor, of National Instruments, and Mike Watts, NI’s Senior Solutions Marketer, Semiconductor Test, during NIWeek 2018 in Austin, Texas. “One of the opportunities for National Instruments is that over the last 10 years, we’ve seen larger semiconductor organizations change the way they do testing both for R&... » read more

Packaging Chips For Cars


As the complexity of automotive chips grows, so does the complexity of the package. In fact, packaging is becoming increasingly crucial to the performance and reliability of the chips, and both parts need to meet stringent safety standards before they are used inside a vehicle. This is true for all safety-critical applications, but for automotive in particular there are several key reasons w... » read more

KLA-Tencor Buys Orbotech


In a move to expand into the process equipment and other new businesses, KLA-Tencor has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Orbotech for approximately $3.4 billion. With the acquisition of Israel’s Orbotech, KLA-Tencor expands its efforts in the inspection and metrology markets. In addition, KLA-Tencor also enters into some new equipment fronts. Orbotech is involved in three... » read more

Why Use An Assembly Design Kit And Assembly Design Flow?


A number of years ago, the packages of electronic systems were only intended to protect the circuit from mechanical stresses and to realize a simple fan-out from the close spacing of connections on the circuit to the larger spacing on the packaging. At the time, there were also only a few different packaging types, all of simple design. Over the years, however, the requirements on packages have... » read more

EDA, IP Sales Up 8%


The EDA sector continues to exhibit solid growth, increasing 8% to $2.2262 billion in Q3, up from $2.0937 billion in the same period in 2016, according to the most recent stats from the ESD Alliance Market Statistics Service. The four-quarter moving average was up 11.5%, year over year. While all of the numbers were up, two areas showed extraordinary growth. One involved Japan, which showed ... » read more

Toward Self-Driving Cars


The automotive market for semiconductors is shifting into high gear. Right now the average car has about $350 worth of semiconductor content, but that is projected to grow another 50% by 2023 as the overall automotive market for semiconductors grows from $35 billion to $54 billion. This strong growth is being driven by the need to develop what we are calling the ‘connected car.’ The ... » read more

Reliability Of Embedded Wafer-Level BGA For Automotive Radar Applications


With shrinking of chip sizes, Wafer Level Chip Scale Packaging (WLCSP) becomes an attractive and holistic packaging solutions with various advantages in comparison to conventional packages, such as Ball Grid Array (BGA) with flipchip or wirebonding. With the advancement of various fan-out (FO) WLPs, it has been proven to be a more optimal, low cost, integrated and reliable solution compared to ... » read more

Where MEMS Can Boldly Go Now


MEMS chips are being designed to go into the human body as biosensors, which will require unique packaging. And as demand grows for assisted and automated driving, MEMS devices also are finding new use cases in automotive electronics, their chief market segment prior to the millennium. Pressure sensors, such as those that monitor the air pressure in tires, remain the biggest type of [getkc i... » read more

New Power Concerns At 10/7nm


As chip sizes and complexity continues to grow exponentially at 7nm and below, managing power is becoming much more difficult. There are a number of factors that come into play at advanced nodes, including more and different types of processors, more chip-package decisions, and more susceptibility to noise of all sorts due to thinner insulation layers and wires. The result is that engineers ... » read more

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