Semiconductor

Blog Review: November 15

Systems & Design Bringing up USB4 links; TCAD improves DTCO; electrical/electronic co-design for PCBs; metalenses; ruthenium metal lines. Cadence’s Neelabh Singh explores the process of lane initialization and link training in bringing up a high-speed link in USB4. Synopsys’ Shela Aboud argues that TCAD should be an integral part of an EDA flow as it enhances design technology co-optimization with

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Semiconductor

Using Smart Data To Boost Semiconductor Reliability

The chip industry is looking to AI and data analytics to improve yield, operational efficiency, and reduce the overall cost of designing and manufacturing complex devices. In fact, SEMI estimates its members could capture more than $60B in revenues associated through smart data use and AI. Getting there, however, requires overcoming a number of persistent obstacles. Smart data utilization is

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Semiconductor

Fab And Field Data Transforming Manufacturing Processes

The ability to capture, process, and analyze data in the field is transforming semiconductor metrology and testing, providing invaluable insight into a product’s performance in real-time and under real-world conditions and use cases. Historically, data that encapsulates parameters such as power consumption, temperature, voltages, currents, timing, and other characteristics, was confined to diagnostics, testing, and verification in the lab and

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Automotive

Customizing IC Test To Improve Yield And Reliability

Testing the performance and power of semiconductors as they come off the production line is beginning to shift left in the fab, reversing a long-standing trend of assessing chips just prior to shipping. While this may sound straightforward, it’s a difficult challenge which, if successful, will have broad implications for the entire design-through-manufacturing flow. Manufacturers typically grade chips just before

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Automotive

Mission-Critical Devices Drive System-Level Test Expansion

System-level testing is becoming essential for testing complex and increasingly heterogeneous chips, driven by rising demand for reliable parts in safety- and mission-critical applications. More and more chip manufacturers are jumping on the SLT bandwagon for high-volume manufacturing (HVM) of these devices. Unlike ATE and packaged device testing, SLT mimics actual semiconductor system operation. It is only through SLT testing

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Semiconductor

Chiplet Planning Kicks Into High Gear

Chiplets are beginning to impact chip design, even though they are not yet mainstream and no commercial marketplace exists for this kind of hardened IP. There are ongoing discussions about silicon lifecycle management, the best way to characterize and connect these devices, and how to deal with such issues as uneven aging and thermal mismatch. In addition, a big effort

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What Data Center Chipmakers Can Learn From Automotive

Automotive OEMs are demanding their semiconductor suppliers achieve a nearly unmeasurable target of 10 defective parts per billion (DPPB). Whether this is realistic remains to be seen, but systems companies are looking to emulate that level of quality for their data center SoCs. Building to that quality level is more expensive up front, although ultimately it can save costs versus

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Ai

Test Challenges Mount As Demands For Reliability Increase

An emphasis of improving semiconductor quality is beginning to spread well beyond just data centers and automotive applications, where ICs play a role in mission- and safety-critical applications. But this focus on improved reliability is ratcheting up pressure throughout the test community, from lab to fab and into the field, in products where transistor density continues to grow — and

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Looking Forward To SPIE, And Beyond

On the eve of this year’s SPIE Advanced Lithography + Patterning conference, I took a look at the IEEE Devices and Systems Roadmap’s lithography section. It’s especially notable for the emergence of EUV lithography, which has quickly become critical for advanced logic. High-NA tools to support still smaller dimensions are on the horizon. In the near-term, though, the key challenge

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Semiconductor

Hunting For Hardware-Related Errors In Data Centers

The semiconductor industry is urgently pursuing design, monitoring, and testing strategies to help identify and eliminate hardware defects that can cause catastrophic errors. Corrupt execution errors, also known as silent data errors, cannot be fully isolated at test — even with system-level testing — because they occur only under specific conditions. To sort out the environmental conditions that produce errors,

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Semiconductor

Chip Industry’s Earnings Roundup

Many companies reported revenue growth in the most recent quarter, but the latest round of chip industry earnings releases reflected some major themes: Demand for consumer electronics softened due to inflation, rising interest rates, and post-pandemic market saturation, creating a slump in the memory chip sector; Automotive growth remained solid as the supply chain stabilized, offsetting some declines in other

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