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 »


SEMI ISS 2014 – Scaling Innovation

February 4, 2014
Courtesy of Ivo Bolsens (Xilinx), SEMI ISS 2014

Courtesy of Ivo Bolsens (Xilinx), SEMI ISS 2014

Don’t pop the champagne just yet! Although plenty of good news was shared at the 2014 SEMI Industry Strategy Symposium (ISS) there was the sobering outlook of possible limited long-term growth due to technology issues as well as economic projections. Noticeable was the lack of news and updates on key industry developments.

This is the yearly “data rich” or “data overload” (take your pick) conference of semiconductor supply chain executives. The majority of the attendees and presenters are from the SEMI member companies that develop the equipment, materials, processes, and technology used to build, test, and package semiconductors. Keeping the pressure on for advanced technology were the “end customer” attendees and presenters – semi-conductor manufacturers.

The official theme was “Pervasive Computing – An Enabler for Future Growth” and the presentations made it clear  Read the rest of this entry »


Chip Scale Review: The Three Most Important Words for 3D ICs?

December 19, 2013
Source: Bryan Black (AMD)

Source: Bryan Black (AMD)

Below is my event summary recently published in Chip Scale Review Tech Monthly:

Cost! Cost! Cost! are the three most important words for 3D semiconductors.

Just like the real estate mantra “location, location, location”, if you don’t have a solution to the cost issues nothing else matters for 2.5/3D integrated circuit (IC) integration and packaging. It is true that, Xilinx is shipping “production” quantities of 2.5D parts and others have sampled 3D parts. However, there are plenty of technical challenges yet to be solved to make 2.5/3D practical in volume production at reasonable cost and yield.

Every presenter at the 3D Architectures for Semiconductor Integration and Packaging symposium and conference stressed cost as a major concern, requirement, or feature. Over the ten years the discussion at this conference, organized by RTI International Technology Venture Forum, has moved from Read the rest of this entry »


Chip Scale Review: International Wafer Level Packaging Conference (IWLPC) Turns 10!

December 10, 2013

IWLPC_logo

Below is my event summary recently published in Chip Scale Review Tech Monthly:

Market adoption is increasing rapidly for wafer level packaging (WLP) as it is applied to a greater range of applications. The shift of “Post-PC” from desktop to mobile devices has driven the development of WLP into the mainstream by providing extremely space efficient and low cost packaging. There has and will continue to be many technical and business challenges in packaging devices on wafer (or other substrate) en masse instead of on an individual basis.

Similar to wafer level packaging technology itself, the 2013 International Wafer-Level Packaging Conference (IWLPC) 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 »


Chip Scale Review: News from 3-D Architectures for Semiconductor Integration and Packaging

December 19, 2012
Lego Blocks (flickr: antpaniagua)

Lego Blocks (flickr: antpaniagua)

My event summary recently published in Chip Scale Review Tech Monthly:

Is 3D semiconductor packaging really the Lego of the integrated circuit (IC) world? It is a great analogy for the range of possible solutions and flexibility provided by different flavors of 3D packaging (2.5D on interposer, 3D, 5.5D, etc.) and “colors” (homogenous and heterogeneous) of die stacks. Plenty of pictures of Legos and scanning electron microscope (SEM) images were shown last week at the RTI International Technology Venture Forum symposium and conference “3-D Architectures for Semiconductor Integration and Packaging”. Presenters clearly articulated the great promise of what could be built with 3D packaging. At the same time, progress towards solving the multitude of challenges to make this technology as pervasive, if not as easy to use and fun, as Legos was discussed.

The challenges span Read the rest of this entry »


IEEE Semiconductor Wafer Test Workshop 2012 – Opening Session & Keynote (Sunday)

June 19, 2012

Semiconductor Wafer Test Workshop SWTW banner

This year’s IEEE Semiconductor Wafer Test Workshop started on Sunday June 10th with a pleasant surprise. Due to a welcomed but unexpected wave of seventy walk-in registrations, there was insufficient seating at the opening dinner. Thankfully the hotel staff quickly adjusted to accommodate these additional guests. Attendance and interest in this year’s workshop was clearly up.

Jerry Broz, general conference chair, welcomed everyone with a brief overview and presented prizes for the first annual golf tournament. We then quickly proceeded with business as Matt Nowak (Senior Director, Advanced Technology, Qualcomm CDMA Technologies) provided the keynote “Emerging High Density 3D Through Silicon Stacking (TSS) – What’s Next?” Mr. Nowak discussed the increased amount of hype within the 3D semiconductor packaging market in the last year with everyone announcing something. And Thru Silicon Vias (TSVs) technology has already been in high volume production for image sensors for several years now but at a significantly lower density than for 3D packaging.

Why the great interest recently in 3D packaging using TSVs today? Three simple reasons:  Read the rest of this entry »