Auto Chip Test Issues Grow


By Jeff Dorsch & Ed Sperling Semiconductor suppliers are flocking to the automotive chip market to gain share in fitting out the connected car and the autonomous vehicle. But before those chips are sold to automotive manufacturers and Tier 1 suppliers, they must be tested and certified to meet stringent industry standards. This is no ordinary testing, though. Assisted and autonomous v... » read more

Getting Serious About Chiplets


Demand for increasingly complex computation, more features, lower power, and shorter lifecycles are prompting chipmakers to examine how standardized hard IP can be used to quickly assemble systems for specific applications. The idea of using chiplets, with or without a package, has been circulating for at least a half-dozen years, and they can trace their origin back to IBM's packaging schem... » read more

Changes Ahead For Test


Testing microprocessors is becoming more difficult and more time consuming as these devices are designed to take on more complex tasks, such as accelerating artificial intelligence computing, enabling automated driving, and supporting deep neural networks. This is not just limited to microprocessors, either. Graphics processing units are grabbing market share in supercomputing and other area... » read more

That Was The Year That Was In Test


Looking back on the year about to end, one deal stands out, because it is in legal limbo – the proposed $580 million acquisition of Xcerra by Hubei Xinyan Equity Investment Partnership. At this writing, the transaction has not been completed. Both parties said they planned to sew up the purchase by the end of 2017, so a few weeks remain to make that happen. The deal is in the hands of t... » read more

2017 ITC Wrap-up


Advantest was among the exhibitors and corporate sponsors at last week’s 2017 International Test Conference in Fort Worth, Texas. The automatic test equipment company also presented papers, took part in sessions, and provided posters during ITC’s technical program. In the booth, Advantest demonstrated its on-demand CloudTesting Service. It also showed off its EVA100 analog/mixed-signal IC t... » read more

Improving Yield, Reliability With Data


Big data techniques for sorting through massive amounts of data to identify aberrations are beginning to find a home in semiconductor manufacturing, fueled by new requirements in safety-critical markets such as automotive as well as the rising price of packaged chips in smartphones. Outlier detection—the process of finding data points outside the normal distribution—isn't a new idea. It ... » read more

The 2017 International Test Conference


Machine learning is a hot topic at many technical conferences this year. It will be true at the upcoming International Test Conference, which opens near the end of this month in Fort Worth, Texas. On Sunday, October 29, there are two tutorials devoted to machine learning. Monday, October 30, will have one tutorial related to the topic. The conference gets fully under way on Halloween, wit... » read more

How To Make Autonomous Vehicles Reliable


The number of unknowns in automotive chips, subsystems and entire vehicles is growing as higher levels of driver assistance are deployed, sparking new concerns and approaches about how to improve reliability of these systems. Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) will need to detect objects, animals and people, and they will be used for parking assistance, night vision and collision avoi... » read more

Module Testing Adds New Challenges


System-in-package (SiP) and other advanced packaging technologies are putting more components together in tighter spaces than previously seen. Often these packages are contained in a module, which is something more than a chip package and a great deal smaller than most printed circuit boards. Testing these modules often requires system-level test. These modules typically will be inserted int... » read more

Massively Parallel System-Level Testing


Decades of advances in the semiconductor industry continue to drive an insatiable consumer demand for smaller, more powerful, more ubiquitous devices – whether in our cars, on our countertops or around our wrists. To meet this demand now and into the future, the fabrication of increasingly complex semiconductor systems for an incredible spectrum of applications must scale accordingly. Additio... » read more

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