BiTS Workshop – The Next 15 Years

March 26, 2014

Thanks to the BiTS Committee for the hard work to make this a great event!

Thanks to the BiTS Committee for the hard work to make this a great event!


Wow! The Burn-in and Test Strategy (BiTS) Workshop just turned 15! The world of semiconductors has certainly changed over the years. And the BiTS Workshop has kept up with what is “Now & Next” in the burn-in and test of packaged integrated circuits (ICs). These achievements were celebrated in style by the more than three hundred participants at the recently held 2014 BiTS Workshop in Mesa, Arizona.

“When the BiTS Workshop started in 2000, there were no Read the rest of this entry »


Riding Off Into the Sunset – BiTS 2013

March 14, 2013
Sunset over Phoenix, Arizona during BiTS Workshop

Sunset over Phoenix, Arizona during BiTS Workshop

As the Burn-in & Test Strategies (BiTS) Workshop 2013 fades into the sunset (queue the music), here is a round-up of the highlights. There were gun fights in the corral as well as technical questions for the presenters. The saloon girls and gunfighters took an edge off of the “geek” factor. This year over three hundred fifty people come to the “Circle BiTS Ranch” (aka the Hilton in Mesa, Arizona) for the premier conference focused on what is new and next for semiconductor test tooling and strategy. Oh, did I mention that the theme this year was Western?

This was the 14th annual BiTS Workshop, which has achieved the perfect conference trifecta of Read the rest of this entry »


IEEE Semiconductor Wafer Test Workshop 2012 – Session 4 (Monday)

June 28, 2012

Click image to download presentation

Here are the highlights from Session Four “New Contactor Technologies and RF PCB Design” of the 22nd annual IEEE 
Semiconductor Wafer Test Workshop (SWTW) from Monday June 11, 2012.

A last minute change to balance the schedule moved my paperThe Road to 450 mm Semiconductor Wafers” from the previous session:

Many believe that Gordon Moore in his famous 1965 paper “The Experts Look Ahead: Cramming More Components onto Integrated Circuits” that has become know as Moore’s Law, said that the number of transistors on a device would double every year (later revised to every two years). He did not say quite that. What he said was  Read the rest of this entry »


Two Conferences – Two Industries Challenged By Post PC Era

March 15, 2012

Tim Cook introducing Apple's latest iPad

The “Post Personal Computer” (Post PC) era became the hot topic when Tim Cook introduced the latest iPad last week. Yes, calling it a “revolution” is definitely hype that is part of Apple‘s Post PC marketing campaign. Hype aside, it is clear that there has been a marked shift in digital hardware for the consumption of content and communication. The PC – be it a Windows, Mac, or Linux based system – is no longer “the device”. It is now one of many devices including portable music players (dominated by iPods), smart phones (lead by iPhones and Android based systems), and tablets (dominated by iPads). The shift is large and the impact is huge. To understand how big, watch the first three minutes of Mr. Cook’s presentation. Then you will understand why Apple had the largest market capitalization of any US company in February – the numbers are staggering.

Even though many were surprised to learn that we are now “Post PC”, some of us who have been developing strategies for the electronic supply chain have Read the rest of this entry »


Silicon Valley Test Workshop – 2nd Year “Rocks”

November 28, 2011
2 5D? 3D? What? 3D IC Packaging - Ira Feldman

Click image to download presentation

Back for the second year (with a minor name change), the Silicon Valley Test Workshop is an unpolished gem. Looking past the rough edges (minor logistical issues), what really shines through is the interaction of the participants. This conference really has Read the rest of this entry »


IEEE Semiconductor Wafer Test Workshop – Probe Potpourri – Session Seven (Tuesday)

June 28, 2010

Here are the highlights from Session Seven – Probe Potpourri of the 20th annual IEEE Semiconductor Wafer Test Workshop (SWTW) from Tuesday June 8th.

Boyd Daniels, Texas Instruments, “Very Low Cost Probe Cards – A Two Piece Approach”:

For their “catalog” parts – medium complexity, low volume, and medium number of devices – historically it has been cheaper to blind package (i.e. skip wafer test prior to packaging) and take the yield loss at package test.  The main issue is the high initial cost and maintenance of probe cards is too high relative to the volume of parts to be tested.
Read the rest of this entry »


IEEE Semiconductor Wafer Test Workshop – Signal Integrity – Session Five (Tuesday)

June 27, 2010

Here are the highlights from Session Five – Signal Integrity of the 20th annual IEEE Semiconductor Wafer Test Workshop (SWTW) from Tuesday June 8th.

Gert Hohenwarter, GateWave Northern, Inc., “Hidden Performance Limiters in the Signal Path”:

For high frequency signals, designers typically pay attention to avoiding coupling to adjacent signal lines to prevent cross talk.  However, they need to look at many other areas of the design including coupling to power or sense lines, signal impedance mismatch, resonances, and the power distribution/delivery system (PDS).  Coupling and mismatch may lead to resonances which reduce the operating speed or reduce the switching margin. These areas may also increase crosstalk increasing noise levels and also reducing switching margin. In addition, problems in the PDS may also reduce operating speed or switching margin.
Read the rest of this entry »