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As chiplet usage increases, chip-level concerns shift into the area of system-in-package implementation. Therefore, the system-in-package (SiP) must now accommodate electrical performance and cost considerations. A rapid prototyping tool flow that allows the engineering team to make quick assessments of these goals is essential.

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The Ministry of Economy, Trade & Industry (METI) released the August production data from Japan.

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We’ve come a long way since the first 3D-printed item came to us by way of an eye wash cup, to now being able to rapidly fabricate things like car parts, musical instruments, and even biological tissues and organoids.

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Consider these alternatives for advanced PCB design and analysis.

These days, I try to keep up with interesting signal integrity discussions on forums, SI listservs, and LinkedIn. After reading a recent question about PDN models and parasitic extraction on SI-lists, I made the comment (paraphrased) that “S-parameters are overgeneralized.” Someone might rightly ask for clarification, and PCD&F seems the right forum to address this.

The point of the comment is this: S-parameters are not always the most conceptually satisfying mathematical tool – nor the only tool – for analyzing in every situation. Other designers might disagree with this and that’s fine; if you can garner important design insights from S-parameters, rather than some other parameter set, then so be it. My goal isn’t to knock S-parameters, but alternatives have more useful mathematical properties, or a more satisfying conceptual meaning, in certain situations.

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IC vendors should make edge rates easily available for inclusion in PCB design libraries.

PCB layout will eventually be fully automated. Although the effectiveness of automated place-and-route algorithms has declined over the years as designs became more complex, all the ECAD companies have been successfully automating other areas of the design process.

Now the age of artificial intelligence (AI) for ECAD has arrived. Jitx, DeepPCB, Luminovo and Celus already have design-related products using AI. Zuken, Mentor, Altium and Cadence have ongoing development projects applying AI methods. Many obstacles must be overcome. Yet an aspect of PCB layout is ripe for automation today, even without AI.

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SLPs with lines and spaces <35µm are ahead.

Ed.: This is the ninth of an occasional series by the authors of the 2019 iNEMI Roadmap. This information is excerpted from the roadmap, available from iNEMI (inemi.org/2019-roadmap-overview).

The iNEMI Roadmap defines portable and wireless devices as “high-volume consumer products for which cost is the primary driver, including handheld battery-powered products driven by size and weight reduction.”

A significant portion of this sector continues to be dedicated to the relatively mature but still evolving and growing smartphone/phablet/tablet. Although the market segment is mature, the content and functionality of premium tier smartphones are increasing exponentially with the adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML). A major emerging growth area in this sector is personal activity monitors, or wearable electronics, which are becoming widely adopted, especially among the more urban and suburban areas of the US and other advanced nations.

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