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Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


GlobalFoundries launched GF Labs, an “open framework of internal and external research and development initiatives that deliver a differentiated pipeline of market-driven process technology solutions for future data-centric, connected, intelligent and secure applications.” Greg Bartlett, GF's senior vice president of technology, engineering at quality, said the goal is to develop and exp... » read more

Energy Harvesting Starting To Gain Traction


Tens of billions of IoT devices are powered by batteries today. Depending on the compute intensity and the battery chemistry, these devices can run steadily for short periods of time, or they can run occasionally for decades. But in some cases, they also can either harvest energy themselves, or tap into externally harvested energy, allowing them to work almost indefinitely. Energy harvesting... » read more

GaN ICs Wanted for Power, EV Markets


Circuits built with discrete GaN components may get the job done, but fully integrated GaN circuits remain the ultimate goal because they would offer many of the same advantages as integrated silicon circuits. These benefits include lower cost as the circuit footprint is scaled, and reduced parasitic resistance and capacitance with shorter interconnect runs. In addition, improved device perf... » read more

Power Grids Under Attack


Cyberattacks are becoming as troublesome to the electrical power grid as natural disasters, and the problem is growing worse as these grids become more connected and smarter. Unlike in the past, when a power outage affected just the electricity supplied to homes and businesses, power grids are becoming core elements of smart cities, infrastructure, and safety-related services. Without power,... » read more

200mm Shortages May Persist For Years


A surge in demand for chips at more mature process nodes is causing shortages for both 200mm foundry capacity and 200mm equipment, and it shows no signs of letting up. In fact, even with new capacity coming on line this year, shortages are likely to persist for years, driving up prices and forcing significant changes across the semiconductor supply chain. Shortages for both 200mm foundry cap... » read more

Coping With Parallel Test Site-to-Site Variation


Testing multiple devices in parallel using the same ATE results in reduced test time and lower costs, but it requires engineering finesse to make it so. Minimizing test measurement variation for each device under test (DUT) is a multi-physics problem, and it's one that is becoming more essential to resolve at each new process node and in multi-chip packages. It requires synchronization of el... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Aug. 3


Efficient ADC Researchers at Brigham Young University, National Yang Ming Chiao Tung University, Texas Instruments, and University of California Los Angeles designed a new power-efficient high-speed analog-to-digital converter. The ADC consumes only 21 milli-Watts of power at 10GHz for ultra-wideband wireless communications, much lower than other ADCs that consume hundreds of milli-Watts to... » read more

Geo-Spatial Outlier Detection


Comparing die test results with other die on a wafer helps identify outliers, but combining that data with the exact location of an outlier offers a much deeper understanding of what can go wrong and why. The main idea in outlier detection is to find something in or on a die that is different from all the other dies on a wafer. Doing this in the context of a die’s neighbor has become easie... » read more

Massive IoT Interop Fuels Protocol Battle


Wireless standards are plentiful, but most are not capable of being scaled to the level of a smart city. As a result, such networks have been built application-by-application using proprietary stacks, often with non-interoperable network layers. That, in turn, has slowed the proliferation of dense wireless connectivity at scale. “In a hyper-connected world, connectivity choices are driv... » read more

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

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