Riding Off Into the Sunset – BiTS 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 Continue reading “Riding Off Into the Sunset – BiTS 2013”

IEEE Semiconductor Wafer Test Workshop – Power Probing – Session Three (Monday)

Semiconductor Wafer Test Workshop (SWTW) Banner

Here are the highlights from Session Three – “Power Probing” of the 21st annual IEEE Semiconductor Wafer Test Workshop (SWTW) from Monday June 13, 2011.

Michael Huebner, FormFactor, “A Hot Topic: Current Carrying Capacity, Tip Melting and Arcing”:

Power consumption per dynamic random-access memory (DRAM) is increasing to as high as 400 mA or more under normal test conditions. At the same time the number of DRAMs being tested in parallel – and sharing the same power supply – is increasing. Therefore, the risk of current damage to probes is increasing.

Two distinct, but related concerns are Continue reading “IEEE Semiconductor Wafer Test Workshop – Power Probing – Session Three (Monday)”

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

On Sunday evening June 12th, 2011 Jerry Broz, the general conference chair, opened the IEEE Semiconductor Wafer Test Workshop welcoming us to the 21st year with a combined total attendance of over 5,000. He also briefly highlighted the positives in recent market trend data from the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) and VLSIresearch.

Dr. William Chen, Senior Technical Advisor, ASE Group, provided the keynote presentation “Backend to the Front Line”:

Dr. Chen started with Continue reading “IEEE Semiconductor Wafer Test Workshop – Opening Session & Keynote (Sunday)”

iPad Memories

…or Memory Magic via More Than Moore

Toshiba 16 Die Stack (64 GB NAND Flash)

No this isn’t a soliloquy to an Apple iPad that is no longer, but a brief tour of the incredible memory, packaging, and system technology that can be found under the hoods of the original iPad and the iPad 2 along with some of the manufacturing and test implications. These devices clearly demonstrate the new paradigm of “More Than Moore where scaling of systems and packaging will propel the next wave of growth in electronics beyond the traditional doubling of performance every two years predicted by Moore’s Law. For many in semiconductor packaging and test engineering communities the issues related to More than Moore have been an academic discussion up to now, but clearly the success of the iPad product line shows the current reality for advanced devices and where the future is headed. Apple and their suppliers took huge risks in developing these new technologies in exchange for substantial returns.

As I recently noted in “Memory Alphabet Soup“, the most pressing question about memory most consumers currently have is “which iPad 2?” – 16 GB, 32 GB, or 64 GB? If Mr. Jobs believed in Continue reading “iPad Memories”

Memory Alphabet Soup

iSuppli Flash Market Forecast (Jan 2011)

There are so many different types of memory technologies that there is an alphabet soup of acronyms. Ever wonder why we have many different memory technologies some long forgotten with more on the horizon? I refreshed my own memory after last week’s IEEE Nano Technology Council presentation on conductive bridge random access memory (CBRAM).


The simple answer is Continue reading “Memory Alphabet Soup”