Moving Data And Computing Closer Together


The speed of processors has increased to the point where they often are no longer the performance bottleneck for many systems. It's now about data access. Moving data around costs both time and power, and developers are looking for ways to reduce the distances that data has to move. That means bringing data and memory nearer to each other. “Hard drives didn't have enough data flow to cr... » read more

Advanced Packaging Makes Testing More Complex


The limits of monolithic integration, together with advances in chip interconnect and packaging technologies, have spurred the growth of heterogeneous advanced packaging where multiple dies are co-packaged using 2.5D and 3D approaches. But this also raises complex test challenges, which are driving new standards and approaches to advanced-package testing. While many of the showstopper issues... » read more

Monitoring IC Abnormalities Before Failures


The rising complexities of semiconductor processes and design are driving an increasing use of on-chip monitors to support data analytics from an IC’s birth through its end of life — no matter how long that projected lifespan. Engineers have long used on-chip circuitry to assist with manufacturing test, silicon debug and failure analysis. Providing visibility and controllability of inter... » 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

The Next Advanced Packages


Packaging houses are readying their next-generation advanced IC packages, paving the way toward new and innovative system-level chip designs. These packages include new versions of 2.5D/3D technologies, chiplets, fan-out and even wafer-scale packaging. A given package type may include several variations. For example, vendors are developing new fan-out packages using wafers and panels. One is... » read more

Pandemics And Panic Chip Buying


U.S.-China trade tensions are creating uncertainty in the semiconductor market, but it is also causing another event right now—panic chip buying. At present, some but not all foundry vendors are seeing “rush orders” for select products and are running their fabs at full capacity. It’s not just leading-edge devices, but also mature technologies. A surge of chip orders started in Ma... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Chipmakers Jim Keller, senior vice president in the Technology, Systems Architecture and Client Group (TSCG) and general manager of the Silicon Engineering Group (SEG) at Intel, has resigned amid a major reorganization at the company. Here's one report about the situation. Cree as well as China’s Yutong Group and StarPower are working together to accelerate the commercial adoption of sili... » read more

Aging Problems At 5nm And Below


The mechanisms that cause aging in semiconductors have been known for a long time, but the concept did not concern most people because the expected lifetime of parts was far longer than their intended deployment in the field. In a short period of time, all of that has changed. As device geometries have become smaller, the issue has become more significant. At 5nm, it becomes an essential par... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Materials A major setback has been dealt to the United States’ efforts to develop rare earths. The U.S. is attempting to develop its own supply of rare earths, hoping to reduce its reliance on China. China controls nearly 90% of the world’s rare earths, which are used in magnets and various electronic systems. In April, the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) awarded two U.S.-based firms, Lyn... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Chipmakers and OEMs Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Senator Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Senator Jack Reed (D-R.I.) have sent a letter to officials from the Trump administration, demanding answers about TSMC’s recent announcement to build a fab in Ariz. As reported, TSMC has announced its intention to build and operate an advanced semiconductor fab in the U.S. The fab, to be built in Arizona, w... » read more

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