In-Chip Monitoring Becoming Essential Below 10nm


Rising systemic complexity and more potential interactions in heterogeneous designs is making it much more difficult to ensure a chip, or even a block within a chip, will functioning properly without actually monitoring that behavior in real-time. Continuous and sporadic monitoring have been creeping into designs for the past couple of decades. But it hasn’t always been clear how effective... » read more

Hidden Soldier Joints Inspection: 4 Case Studies


IC packaging technologies are becoming smaller and thinner. Ball grid array (BGA) packages were introduced some years ago in order to save space on the PCB, and are now widely used. To overcome the resulting problems with using optical microscopy as an inspection tool, the endoscope found its way into quality engineering departments. To read more, click here. » read more

Gaps Emerge In Automotive Test


Demands by automakers for zero defects over 18 years are colliding with real-world limitations of testing complex circuitry and interactions, and they are exposing a fundamental disconnect between mechanical and electronic expectations that could be very expensive to fix. This is especially apparent at leading-edge nodes, where much of the logic is being developed for AI systems and image se... » read more

Making AI More Dependable


Ira Leventhal, vice president of Advantest’s new concept product initiative, looks at why AI has taken so long to get going, what role it will play in improving the reliability of all chips, and how to use AI to improve the reliability of AI chips themselves. » read more

Automotive System Design


Burkhard Huhnke, vice president of automotive at Synopsys, looks at how to build and update chips in increasingly sophisticated vehicles, where the problem spots are, and what comes next. » read more

Week In Review: Design, Low Power


ANSYS acquired the assets of DfR Solutions, a developer of automated design reliability analysis software. Founded in 2004 and based in Maryland, DfR's tool translates ECAD and MCAE data into 3D finite element models, automates thermal derating and performs thermal and mechanical analysis of electronics earlier in the design cycle. "ANSYS brings industry-leading electronic simulation capabiliti... » read more

Road Not Fully Constructed


There is a growing consensus in the semiconductor industry that SAE Level 3 and Level 4 autonomy will be full of unexpected hazards. At a number of recent conferences in Silicon Valley, experts from all parts of the semiconductor industry have voiced concern about those middle steps between assisted driving and full autonomy. This isn't the public position taken by carmakers and Tier 1s.... » read more

Addressing IC Reliability Issues Using Eldo


Advanced, short-geometry CMOS processes are subject to aging that causes major reliability issues that degrade the performance of integrated circuits (ICs) over time. Degradation effects causing aging are hot carrier injection (HCI) and negative bias temperature instability (NBTI), in addition to positive bias temperature instability (PBTI) and time-dependent dielectric breakdown (TDDB). Below ... » read more

Redefining Expectations For Test


New and rapidly expanding applications, such as artificial intelligence and automotive, are increasing in design size and complexity. These evolving market segments require unprecedented levels of quality and long-term reliability, which has created a fundamental shift in both the importance and need for integration of advanced semiconductor test. Synopsys unveiled a new family of test products... » read more

The Growing Challenge Of Thermal Guard-Banding


Guard-banding for heat is becoming more difficult as chips are used across a variety of new and existing applications, forcing chipmakers to architect their way through increasingly complex interactions. Chips are designed to operate at certain temperatures, and it is common practice to develop designs with some margin to ensure correct functionality and performance throughout the operat... » read more

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