pathfinding

Intercepting IC Products with a Disruptive Technology Option

Intercepting IC Products with a Disruptive Technology Option

Much has been written about the challenges that corporations face – especially established corporations – in adapting to a disruptive technology and the associated paradigm shifts. Most of the tomes on the subject focus on corporate management strategies. My intent is to discuss these challenges from a technology point of view – specifically when it comes to adopting so-called 2.5D and 3D d... »

PDN Noise: PDN and Signal

PDN Noise: PDN and Signal

In a previous blog, I discussed a power design network’s (PDN) self and transfer impedances. Self impedance highlights anti-resonances causing a significant increase in the PDN’s impedance. The anti-resonances increase a design’s power, noise, and lessen performance. Transfer impedance shows the change in impedance from one location to another on the PDN structure. The higher transfer i... »

Path Finding and 3DPF

Path Finding and 3DPF

In the past year, I have written short pieces explaining how Path Finding methodology can proactively help identify viable solutions or reactively identify solutions if something changes during manufacturing. The next few blogs will look at specific examples using a PF tool to help separate the ‘wheat from the chaff’. Signal Assignments When I was designing ASICs/SOCs at VLSI Technology, we no... »

Path Finding Series Part 3: The Cost of Non-robust Design

Path Finding Series Part 3: The Cost of Non-robust Design

In previous posts, I discussed a process for process-centering a design. In this post, we will examine how non-robust design’s erratic yields can impact the manufacturing environment and cost of a product. A non-robust design will have at least one specification that is skewed away from the specification’s center as shown in Figure 1. But what happens if your design is NOT robust? Does the pro... »

3D ASIP 2014: All Aboard the 3D IC Train!

3D ASIP 2014: All Aboard the 3D IC Train!

Like the previous 10 years, RTI International held the 11th 3D-IC focused conference in early December. Instead of the usual two and a half days, this year it spanned 3 days, because it also offered a 4-hour session about 3D design challenges and solutions available from foundries, EDA and IP vendors, a power-user’s 3D views, as well as a low-power design tutorial presented by Si2’s Jerry Fren... »

Can Product Design learn a Trick from Manufacturing?

Can Product Design learn a Trick from Manufacturing?

You might think this is crazy but bear with me for 421 words. Early in my career, I worked at an IDM as a product engineer and manager over IC products. ‘We’ were responsible for the overall product cost, maintaining yields (including speed binning) as well as improving yields. This was long before the SoC/ASIC disaggregation. This IDM was vertically integrated and had its own mask production,... »

3D By Design: Exploring Viable Path Finding

3D By Design: Exploring Viable Path Finding

Fruitful path finding eventually identifies solutions that are viable for mechanical, electrical, thermal, and cost (METC) requirements. Hopefully, more than one viable solution is found to offer a backup in case something was overlooked during exploration or your supply chain can no longer support your needs. Even if you need to re-explore due to changing situations, path finding is still faster... »

3D By Design: Are Path Finding Tools the Missing Link?

3D By Design: Are Path Finding Tools the Missing Link?

TechSearch International’s recently published 3D IC Gap Analysis report has a section for a new class of tools called Path Finding, which are separated from the classical EDA tools. The classical EDA tools discuss implementation and verification for IC, package, and PCB. Path Finding tools are used well before the Implementation/Verification cycles begin and should help reduce the number of cyc... »

Are there still Gaps in 3D IC Readiness?

Are there still Gaps in 3D IC Readiness?

Good news! At last week’s GSA 3D IC Packaging Working Group Meeting, July 23, 2014, Jan Vardaman uttered the words I’ve been waiting to hear her say for quite some time. “Memory stacks with TSVs are here!” Vardaman cited three companies actively involved in new memory architectures, all of which involve stacking memory either with or without interposers – Tezzaron, Micron and Hynix. She ... »

Path Finding: Who Performs and When?

Path Finding: Who Performs and When?

Microelectronic products all have mechanical, thermal and electrical properties that degrade until the device is permanently damaged. Path finding adds value to an end-product by pre-determining where the breaking points are, and if or how they can be enlarged. For decades, product designers have used various methods of path finding to determine optimum solutions for the design and manufacture of ... »