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Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Chipmakers and OEMs Intel wants $9.7 billion in subsidies for use in building a leading-edge fab in Europe, according to a report from Reuters. As reported, in March, Intel re-entered the foundry business, positioning itself against Samsung and TSMC at the leading edge, and against a multitude of foundries working at older nodes. Eighteen members of the European Union recently launched an ... » read more

Preventing Chips From Burning Up During Test


It’s become increasingly difficult to manage the heat generated during IC test. Absent the proper mitigations, it’s easy to generate so much heat that probe cards and chips literally can burn up. As a result, implementing temperature-management techniques is becoming a critical part of IC testing. “We talk about systems, saying the system is good,” said Arun Krishnamoorthy, senior... » read more

Why Data Format Slows Chip Manufacturing Progress


The Standard Test Data Format (STDF), a workhorse data format used to pull test results data from automated test equipment, is running out of steam after 35 years. It is unable to keep up with the explosive increase in data generated by more sensors in various semiconductor manufacturing processes. First developed in 1985 by Teradyne, STDF is a binary format that is translated into ASCII or ... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Chipmakers and OEMs Apple has launched a new Apple Watch and iPad. Missing from the announcement was the iPhone 12, which may appear next month, according to Krish Sankar, an analyst at Cowen. What was interesting about this week’s announcement? Apple unveiled the iPad Air with the A14 Bionic, Apple’s most advanced chip. “Apple revealed the new 8th gen iPad (starting at $329) powered by ... » read more

New Data Format Boosts Test Analytics


Demand for more and better data for test is driving a major standards effort, paving the way for one of most significant changes in data formats in years. There is good reason for this shift. Data from device testing is becoming a critical element in test program decisions regarding limits and flows. This is true for everything from automotive and medical components to complex, heterogeneous... » read more

5G Brings New Testing Challenges


As 5G nears commercial reality, makers of chips and systems that will support 5G will need to take on the standard burden of characterizing and testing their systems to ensure both performance and regulatory adherence. Millimeter-wave (mmWave) and beamforming capabilities present the biggest testing challenges. “5G is expected to have the extended coverage plus the bandwidth to harness ... » read more

Data Becomes Key For Next-Gen Chips


Data has become vital to understanding the useful life of a semiconductor — and the knowledge gleaned is key to staying competitive beyond Moore’s Law. What's changed is a growing reliance earlier in the design cycle on multiple sources of data, including some from further right in the design-through-manufacturing flow. While this holistic approach may seem logical enough, the semiconduc... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Chipmakers Select foundries are beginning to ramp up their new 5nm processes with 3nm in R&D. There are already signs that the foundries have pushed out their 3nm production schedules. So, expect 7nm and 5nm to become long-running nodes. At 3nm, Samsung and TSMC are going in different directions. Samsung is developing a gate-all-around (GAA) technology called nanosheet FETs. TSMC will e... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Fab tools It’s been a tough period for memory. But is there now a sign of a rebound? For the September 2019 quarter, Lam Research reported revenue of $2.166 billion, and net income was $466 million, or $3.09 per diluted share on a U.S. GAAP basis. The outlook at Lam (LRCX) is a bright spot. “LRCX posted strong results and guidance, noting strength from logic and foundry in the December ... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


China's DRAM efforts Two memory vendors from China, Tsinghua Unigroup and ChangXin Memory Technology, have disclosed more details about their respective efforts to enter the DRAM arena. As reported, Tsinghua Unigroup wants to enter the DRAM business. Now, the China-based firm has secured land to build a new DRAM fab. The firm recently signed an agreement with the Chongqing government to e... » read more

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