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Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Government policy At one point, there was a school of thought that the Biden administration would relax the current tariffs and export controls in regards to China. So far, the Biden administration hasn’t changed any of the previous policies and is doubling down on those efforts. The Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) this week added seven Chinese supercomput... » read more

Week In Review: Auto, Security, Pervasive Computing


Pervasive computing — IoT, edge, cloud, data center, and back LG Electronics says it is closing its mobile business unit to focus on growth areas such as electric vehicle components, connected devices, smart homes, robotics, artificial intelligence and business-to-business solutions, as well as platforms and services. The company will continue to update some premium phones after it leaves th... » read more

AI In Inspection, Metrology, And Test


AI/ML is creeping into multiple processes within the fab and packaging houses, although not necessarily for the purpose it was originally intended. The chip industry is just beginning to learn where AI makes sense and where it doesn't. In general, AI works best as a tool in the hands of someone with deep domain expertise. AI can do certain things well, particularly when it comes to pattern m... » read more

Sharing Secure Chip Data For Analytics


New approaches and standards are being developed to securely share manufacturing and test data across the supply chain, moves that have long been considered critical to the reliability of end devices and faster time to yield and profitability. It will take time before these methods become widespread in the IC supply chain. But there is increasing agreement these kinds of measures are essenti... » read more

Monitoring Chips On Many Levels


Monitoring is an important trend for optimizing yield, performance, and uptime in systems that use complex integrated circuits, but not all monitoring is the same. In fact, there are multiple levels of monitors. In many cases, they can be used together to help solve problems when something is amiss. They also can be used to help identify who in the supply chain owns the fix. “If the sys... » read more

Demand for IC Resilience Drives Methodology Changes


Applications that demand safety, security, and resilience are driving new ways of thinking about design, verification, and the long-term reliability of chips on a mass scale. The need is growing for chips that can process more data faster, over longer periods of time, and often within a shrinking power budget. That, in turn, is forcing changes at multiple levels, at the architecture, design,... » 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

Hunting For Open Defects In Advanced Packages


Catching all defects in chip packaging is becoming more difficult, requiring a mix of electrical tests, metrology screening, and various types of inspection. And the more critical the application for these chips, the greater the effort and the cost. Latent open defects continue to be the bane of test, quality, and reliability engineering. Open defects in packages occur at the chip-to-substra... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Government policy For the last four years, the U.S. and China have been embroiled in a trade war, especially on the technology front. The U.S. has implemented a number of export control measures and tariffs in the arena. But there might be a thawing in the tense relationship between the two superpowers. “Reports surfaced Thursday indicating the China Semiconductor Industry Association (CSIA)... » read more

Week In Review: Auto, Security, Pervasive Computing


Automotive/Mobility General Motors is working on a next version of Ultium battery chemistry and announced a joint development agreement with Singapore-based SolidEnergy Systems, a lithium metal battery startup founded by a graduate of MIT. The companies plan to open a Woburn, Massachusetts prototype production line by 2023. GM’s is attempting to lower the cost of its proprietary battery tech... » read more

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