Coupling & Crosstalk: Moore Has Left the Building!

June 21, 2016

Dollars-Electronics canstockphoto8813445 Geleol 300x330Coupling & Crosstalk is my column in the MEPTEC Report. This column appears in the Summer 2016 edition on pages 12-13.

Electronic coupling is the transfer of energy from one circuit or medium to another. Sometimes it is intentional and sometimes not (crosstalk). I hope that this column, by mixing technology and general observations, is thought provoking and “couples” with your thinking. Most of the time I will stick to technology but occasional crosstalk diversions may deliver a message closer to home.

Moore has Left the Building!

Unlike Elvis, Gordon Moore, the co-founder of Intel, is still with us. Although the debate continues among very smart people as to whether Moore’s Law is “truly dead”, this argument is now purely academic. As the electronics industry has moved to the “Post Personal Computer (PC) Era”, Moore’s Law which accurately predicted price over time for complementary metal–oxide–semiconductor (CMOS) integrated circuits, is no longer relevant.

Heresy! Did he just say that Moore’s Law doesn’t matter? Read the rest of this entry »


Semiconductor Wafer Test Workshop 2015 Presentation – Are You Really Going To Package That?

June 24, 2015
Are You Really Going To Package That? - Ira Feldman and Debbora Ahlgren - SW Test 2015

Click image to download presentation

I had the pleasure of presenting “Are You Really Going To Package That?” at the 25th annual Semiconductor Wafer Test Workshop (SW Test / SWTW) on Tuesday June 9, 2015. Debbora Ahlgren and I took this opportunity to step back and look at how old paradigms in test-cell integration may lead to suboptimal solutions.

In an effort to reduce the cost-of-test (COT), a number of customers are increasing the parallelism of logic wafer probe cards. However, due to the complexity such as pitch and number of probes, the pricing for these cards is reaching astronomical levels. We do not believe this trend is sustainable, let alone logical. The presentation suggested examples of alternative solutions. It is clear that critical solutions need to be optimized at the test cell, factory, and supply chain level not just at the consumable (probe card) level.


Coupling & Crosstalk: Disposable Chips?

April 8, 2014

cups plates forks canstockphoto2604892 250x345Coupling & Crosstalk is my column in the MEPTEC Report. This column appears in the Spring 2014 edition on pages 10-11.

Electronic coupling is the transfer of energy from one circuit or medium to another. Sometimes it is intentional and sometimes not (crosstalk). I hope that this column by mixing technology and general observations is thought provoking and “couples” with your thinking. Most of the time I will stick to technology but occasional crosstalk diversions may deliver a message closer to home.

Disposable Chips?

I’m not a fan of disposable cups and other tableware. Yes, they are convenient and in some cases even economical. However, they are not great substitutes for 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 »


Coupling & Crosstalk: Name Calling

August 27, 2013

good bad dice canstockphoto9654181 250x320Coupling & Crosstalk is my column in the MEPTEC Report. This column appears in the Summer 2013 edition on pages 13-14.

Electronic coupling is the transfer of energy from one circuit or medium to another. Sometimes it is intentional and sometimes not (crosstalk). I hope that this column by mixing technology and general observations is thought provoking and “couples” with your thinking. Most of the time I will stick to technology but occasional crosstalk diversions may deliver a message closer to home.

Name Calling

What’s in a name? A lot! A name itself might not mean much but it can trigger expectations and stereotypes. In the United States we have red states and blue states depending on which political party has the majority vote. Similarly, when someone labels themselves on the basis of their political party affiliation (Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, Independent, etc.) others 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 »