2006 April Newsletter
Volume 2, Issue 4
1. Upcoming Courses
Presenter: Dr. Badih El-Kareh
This course is being held on May 15-17, 2006 at the Hilton at Am Tucherpark in Munich, Germany
Semitracks, along with Semiconductor International, have put together a three-day course on Semiconductor Process Integration for CMOS, Analog, and Mixed Signal Technologies. Dr. Badih El-Kareh of Texas Instruments will give an overview of the process integration challenges associated with today's advanced semiconductor devices. Dr. El-Kareh will cover passive and active components, contact and interconnect issues, isolation technologies such as STI and SOI, transistor integration issues, as well as full CMOS, BiCMOS and high speed bipolar process integration techniques.
- (May 15-17, 2006) – Munich, Germany
2. Upcoming Conferences
Semicon West 2006
July 10-14, 2006 Moscone Center in San Francisco, CA
For more information, click here.
International Symposium for Testing and Failure Analysis
November 12-16, 2006 Renaissance Austin Hotel in Austin, TX
For more information, click here.
3. Course Schedule
Invest in yourself and your staff. Time is running short to enroll in our Summer courses on Packing Technology, Packaging Design, Process Integration, Reliability, and Failure and Yield Analysis. Come and learn from the experts!
Packaging Technology and Challenges
Semitracks, Inc. and Semiconductor International have put together a course which will provide an overview of the current business climate, anticipated trends and the associated impact on assembly/packaging roadmaps. There will be an in depth discussion of both high-end CPU roadmaps plus the roadmaps to address the multitude of communications and network devices that are driving the digital revolution.
- (May 8-9, 2006) - Munich, Germany
Packaging Design and Modeling
Semitracks, Inc. and Semiconductor International have assembled a course on IC Packaging Design and Modeling. This course provides an overview of the packaging design process. The course covers current packaging technologies, including chip scale packaging, Ball Grid Array technology and other current concepts. This class focuses on techniques and the importance of thermal and mechanical simulations. Discussions and examples will concentrate on thermal performance simulations, assembly & packaging stresses, package reliability (including solder joint fatigue simulation), and interactions between chip and package. In addition, a special section will be examples of successful wafer level simulations.
- (May 10-12, 2006) - Munich, Germany
Semiconductor reliability is at a crossroads. In the past, reliability meant discovering, characterizing and modeling failure mechanisms and determining their impact on the reliability of the circuit. Today, reliability can involve tradeoffs between performance and reliability, assessing the impact of new materials, dealing with limited margins, etc. Analysis and experimentation is now performed at the wafer level instead of the packaging level. This requires knowledge of subjects like: design of experiments, testing, technology, processing, materials science, chemistry, and customer expectations. While reliability levels are at an all-time high level in the industry, rapid changes may quickly cause reliability to deteriorate. Your industry needs competent engineers and scientists to help solve these problems.
- (May 10-12) - Munich, Germany
Failure and Yield Analysis Course
Failure and Yield Analysis is an increasingly difficult and complex process; engineers are required to locate defects on complex integrated circuits. In many ways, this is akin to locating a needle in a haystack, where the needles get smaller and the haystack gets bigger every year. Engineers are required to understand a variety of disciplines in order to effectively perform failure analysis. This requires knowledge of subjects like: design, testing, technology, processing, materials science, chemistry, and even optics! Failed devices and low yields can lead to customer returns and idle manufacturing lines that can cost a company millions of dollars a day. Your industry needs competent analysts to help solve these problems. This is a multi-day course that offers detailed instruction on a variety of effective tools, as well as the overall process flow for locating and characterizing the defect responsible for the failure.
- (April 24-27, 2006) - Austin, Texas
- (May 15-18, 2006) - Munich, Germany
Special Event at Semicon West!
Reliability and Characterization Challenges for Advanced Semiconductor Devices
Dr. John Suehle and Dr. Jeffrey Gambino
Friday, July 14 (8:30 AM - 5:00 PM) in San Francisco, location TBD
Semitracks, along with Semiconductor International, have put together a one-day course on the Reliability and Characterization Challenges for Advanced Semiconductor Devices. Dr. John Suehle of the National Institute of Standards and Technology and Dr. Jeffrey Gambino of IBM, two leading researchers and lecturers in field of Semiconductor Reliability, will give an overview of the problems and reliability challenges associated with today's advanced semiconductor devices.
Dr. Suehle will cover front-end reliability issues including: Hi-K dielectrics, Negative Bias Temperature Instability, and Positive Bias Temperature Instability. Dr. Gambino will cover back-end process integration and reliability issues including: copper metallization, electromigration, stress induced voiding, and Lo-K dielectric breakdown. The course will be held in San Francisco on Friday, July 14 from 8:30 AM to 5 PM with an hour and a half lunch break. To learn more about this course, visit the course page here.
We offer other courses as well as in-house courses. For more information, visit our website at http://www.semitracks.com.
4. Semitracks Segment of the Month
Semitracks’ new and improved online training is convenient, up-to-date, and cost effective. Access the same material presented in our courses whenever you need it, right when you need it without having to worry about the high costs and hassle of traveling. The semiconductor field is an ever-changing one. With access to the most current information, you can stay on top of the new technology. Online training is also very cost effective. For only $500 per year, you gain access to thousands of dollars worth of courses and course material.
Give our online training a try – for free.
This month's topic is Lead-Free Issues. The conversion of the electronics industry to lead-free solders is an important topic this year. Lead-free solders pose an entirely new set of challenges for the industry. These include issues like reflow temperature, materials properties, and reliability. To learn more, click here.
Sign up to access all of Semitracks online training at http://www.semitracks.com/default.htm and “Learn from the Experts” when it’s convenient for you.
5. Technical Tidbit
In a DAC, an N-bit word creates a single output voltage. The output voltage is a fraction of the reference voltage, V sub REF, and is a function of the number of bits in the DAC. If one has a DAC with N digital inputs, then the number of input combinations is 2 to the power N. For example, a 10-bit DAC would have 1024 input combinations. There are several other terms that are important to understand with regards to DACs. The first is the transfer curve. The transfer curve is generated by plotting the input word D versus the output voltage as D is incremented from the lowest value to the highest value. The most significant bit, or MSB is the bit that causes the biggest change in the output. It essentially controls whether the voltage is in the lower half or the upper half of the reference voltage range. The least significant bit, or LSB, controls the size of the smallest step possible, or the resolution. The resolution is the smallest step possible. Let’s assume we have a 10-bit DAC with a reference voltage of 10 volts. The smallest step would be 10 volts divided by 1024 steps, or approximately 10 millivolts. The accuracy is a term that denotes the precision that the application requires. One can use the accuracy specification to determine the number of bits needed in the DAC. For example, let’s say we need 0.1% accuracy in the application. That means that the smallest step divided by the reference voltage is 0.001. If we then solve for N, the number of bits is log base 2 of the quantity 10 volts divided by 10 millivolts, or 9.97 bits. Therefore, a 10-bit DAC will work for the application.
6. Our Mission
Education and Training for the Electronics Industry
Semitracks provides education, training, and certification services and products for the electronics industry. We specialize in serving Semiconductor, Microsystems and Nanotechnology suppliers and users. Semitracks Inc. helps engineers, technicians, scientists, and management understand these dynamic fields. We offer courses in Semiconductor Reliability, Test, Packaging, Process Integration, Failure and Yield Analysis, and Focused Ion Beam technology. Learn from the Experts, Semitracks.