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Cloud Vs. On-Premise Analytics


The immense and growing volume of data generated in chip manufacturing is forcing chipmakers to rethink where to process and store that data. For fabs and OSATs, this decision is not one to be taken lightly. The proprietary nature of yield, performance, and other data, and corporate policies to retain tight control of that data, have so far limited outsourcing to the cloud. But as the amount... » read more

Firmware Skills Shortage


Good hardware without good software is a waste of silicon, but with so many new processors and accelerator architectures being created, and so many new skills required, companies are finding it hard to hire enough engineers with low-level software expertise to satisfy the demand. Writing compilers, mappers and optimization software does not have the same level of pizazz as developing new AI ... » read more

Part Average Tests For Auto ICs Not Good Enough


Part Average Testing (PAT) has long been used in automotive. For some semiconductor technologies it remains viable, while for others it is no longer good enough. Automakers are bracing for chips developed at advanced process nodes with much trepidation. Tight control of their supply chains and a reliance upon mature electronic processes so far have enabled them to increase electronic compone... » read more

Power Converter Chip Research Booms


Power electronics are booming, fueled by demand ranging from induction chargers for wearable and portable electronics, to charging stagings for electric vehicles. An estimated 80% of all U.S. electricity will pass through some form of power converter by 2030, said Yogesh Ramadass, director of power management at Texas Instruments' Kilby Labs. Transportation applications, in particular, deman... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Chipmakers The U.S. Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) and several chip executives have sent a joint letter to President Biden, urging the administration to include substantial funding for semiconductor manufacturing and research in the U.S. As reported, the share of global semiconductor manufacturing capacity in the U.S. has decreased from 37% in 1990 to 12% today. “Semiconductors pow... » read more

Week In Review: Auto, Security, Pervasive Computing


Automotive/Mobility With the chip supply so tight it is shutting down automotive production lines, U.S. chip company CEOs signed a Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) letter asking the U.S. president to include funding incentives for the chip manufacturing in U.S. economic recovery plans. The letter references the CHIPS for America Act and asks the president to work with Congress to suppo... » read more

Too Much Fab And Test Data, Low Utilization


Can there be such a thing as too much data in the semiconductor and electronics manufacturing process? The answer is, it depends. An estimated 80% or more of the data collected across the semiconductor supply chain is never looked at, from design to manufacturing and out into the field. While this may be surprising, there are some good reasons: Engineers only look at data necessary to s... » read more

Using Analytics To Reduce Burn-in


Silicon providers are using adaptive test flows to reduce burn-in costs, one of the many approaches aimed at stemming cost increases at advanced nodes and in advanced packages. No one likes it when their cell phone fails within the first month of ownership. But the problems are much more pressing when the key components in data warehouse servers or automobiles fail. Reliability expectations ... » read more

Testing More To Boost Profits


Not all chips measure up to spec, but as more data becomes available and the cost of these devices continues to rise, there is increasing momentum to salvage and re-purpose chips for other applications and markets. Performance-based binning is as old as color-banded resistors, but the practice is spreading — even for the most advanced nodes and packages. Over the last three decades, engine... » read more

200mm Demand Surges


A surge in demand for various chips is causing shortages for select 200mm foundry capacity as well as 200mm fab equipment, and it shows no signs of abating in 2021. Foundry customers will face a shortfall of 200mm capacity at select foundries at least in the first half of 2021, and perhaps beyond. Those customers will need to plan ahead to ensure they obtain enough 200mm capacity in 2021. Ot... » read more

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