2006 February Newsletter

Volume 2, Issue 2

February 2006

Welcome to the Semitracks Online Monthly Newsletter! It is our goal that you find this newsletter interesting, informative and useful. Please email any comments or feedback to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

1. Upcoming Courses

Failure and Yield Analysis Course

Presenter - Christopher Henderson

April 24-27, 2006 in Austin, TX

May 15-18, 2006 in Munich, Germany

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. For more information or to register for this event, click here.

2. Upcoming Conferences

International Reliability Physics Symposium

March 26-30, 2006 San Jose McEnery Convention Center in San Jose, CA

To view the IRPS website, click here.

AMFA Workshop

March 31, 2006 San Jose McEnery Convention Center in San Jose, CA

Christopher Henderson, President of Semitracks, Inc., will be presenting a paper at this conference.

To view the AMFA website, click here.

Semicon West 2006

July 10-14, 2006 Moscone Center in San Francisco, CA

For more information, click here.

3. Course Schedule

Invest in yourself and your staff. Time is running short to enroll in our Winter courses on Thermal Management, Packing Technology, Packaging Design, and ESD. 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.

Packaging Technology and Challenges (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.

Packaging Design and Modeling (May 10-12, 2006) - Munich, Germany

Semiconductor Reliability

Reliability is a critical element to the success of any semiconductor product. Reliability margins are increasingly squeezed by today’s deep submicron technologies. Learn about the major reliability failure mechanisms, test structures, and test equipment. Learn how to optimize reliability, performance, and cost.

Semiconductor Reliability (May 10-12, 2006) – Munich, Germany

Semiconductor Process Integration

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.

Process Integration (May 15-17) - Munich, Germany

To register for our courses, register online or download the registration form. Fax completed form to Semitracks at (505) 858-9813, or call (505) 858-0454 to register by phone.

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 Microprocessor Troubleshooting. Microprocessors can be quite challenging to troubleshoot, especially if one cannot locate the defect using other rapid localization techniques like SDL, TIVA/OBIRCH, or LADA. Instead, one must revert to reconstructing signals on the microaddress bus and interpreting their behavior. While this technique requires knowledge of the processor instruction set, its layout, and its design, it is a standard technique that can be used on virtually any microprocessor. To learn more, click here.

Sign up to access all of Semitracks online training here and “Learn from the Experts” when it’s convenient for you.

5. Technical Tidbits

MEMS Packaging

Photos courtesy TI DLP Products and Omniprobe

Packaging is possibly the biggest problem facing MEMS. Many MEMS devices require special packaging.Sometimes, each application requires its own unique package. One example of a harsh condition needing a low-cost MEMS device is a tire pressure monitor inside a tire.It must resist any liquid it might come into contact with and withstand centripetal acceleration.It also cannot compromise the integrity of the tire.And finally it must be available at a low cost. Other examples of packaging needs for MEMS include access to an external environment, a vacuum or special atmosphere, optical windows, and harsh media compatibility.MEMS packaging also must take into account interfaces of structural elements, stability over temperature range, and testing needs. For many applications, the computer-aided design packages must comprehend unique technologies that take into account the mechanical properties, chemical properties, and biological properties as well as the electrical properties.

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.