New plastic package decapsulation capability launching soon.

New plastic package decapsulation capability launching soon.

            NanoScope is bringing additional capabilities in house – from Unisem. Unisem has been a key supplier for NanoScope Services for many years, and we have worked closely together to offer our clients the best support available from both sites. The unfortunate recent closure of the Unisem Crumlin site has been widely seen as a reduction in the strategic capabilities of the UK semiconductor industry, both in terms of the equipment available but also the extensive experience of the engineers who worked there. However, NanoScope has been successful in acquiring much of the FA capability of the Unisem facility and we are now in the process of transferring this equipment over to our Bristol Laboratory. We plan to offer Dual-acid decapsulation from early February 2014, with even shorter turnaround times than previously, with other techniques to follow. For more information please contact Lloyd Peto at NanoScope on 07768 172049 Or email...
Accelerating MEMS development with FIB Nano-Surgery

Accelerating MEMS development with FIB Nano-Surgery

In this article I will be discussing why the growth in MEMS development is lagging the growth that was witnessed for IC development in many respects – but highlighting that there are valuable lessons available to accelerate future growth too.Both for design and manufacture there are non-trivial challenges that continue to hinder the growth of this technology in the way IC technology developed. The emergence of Fabless MEMS design houses as a successful model is only just starting to expand. The promise of successfully mimicking Fabless Chip design houses as a functioning corporate model, has not happened as expected. Fabless growth is limited by many factors such as an absence of standardisation, a diverse range of foundry capabilities, and also that MEMS behavioural modelling is still the poor cousin of IC modelling.Independent MEMS foundries are also struggling to mimic the growth seen by their IC brethren. The lack of standardisation and the variety of FAB processes required to support a broad spectrum of MEMS designs, continues to be a hindrance. Routine volume based profits available from a dial-up/high yield/integrated process are proving elusive. Every MEMS Foundry is offering a different toolset and process book, and yields/costs can still be variable. Because the range of applications is so diverse, it is difficult to streamline or standardise the manufacturing process for clients supporting different markets. There are no ‘off the shelf’ processes that can be equally applied to devices as varied as a microphone and a gyroscope, and the old adage of ‘1 process/1 product’ is proving to be difficult to overcome. This situation is further complicated by the introduction of MEMS...
NanoScope adds a Nano-Surgery flavour to NMI IP Integration Networking Event

NanoScope adds a Nano-Surgery flavour to NMI IP Integration Networking Event

IP integration can be a shortcut to market if effectively executed, but has many pitfalls for the unwary. Nano-Surgery as a fast remedial option provides an extra level of security to designers using acquired IP for new products. Our invited presentation titled ‘When Integration Goes Wrong – your Nano-Surgery Options’ was given at the recent NMI meeting at Imagination Technologies in Kings Langsley...
The Problem With Copper Bond Wires…. For Designers

The Problem With Copper Bond Wires…. For Designers

In this short piece I’m linking Semi Design groups to an increasingly important discussion in the Semi Failure Analysis group. Here’s the link Why? Because materials decisions made about bonding and packaging are not just downstream from the design process, they have important effects on how a Design cycle can be shortened by facilitating – or inhibiting – verification, modification and test. As a Failure Analyst the reasons for getting into packages while leaving the devices functional is obvious (to understand problems) and is an important step as you can see from the active discussion linked here. But as a FIB-Chip Design-Nano Surgeon supporting design teams with circuit edit, I also need routine access to functional opened devices. Using FIB Nano-Surgery in the Design Verification process is quite commonplace, either to confirm metal fixes before implementing layout changes, or getting 1st Silicon through test and starting applications board testing. So the link between how you correct a design flaw and open a package, is increasingly important for shortening design times. The move from Gold to Copper bond wires shaves a finite fraction from the cost of bonding a device, but also presents an additional challenge for opening up these packages. The discussion here shows many different approaches being tried as people try to adapt the Gold or Aluminium compatible ‘opening’ processes and existing hardware, to handle Copper (instead of instantly dissolving it). Decap tool vendors provide valuable insight with information about their latest Copper specific solutions. The danger is that the unpredictable and sometimes involved process of Design Verification and specifically FIB nano-surgery, may not have been fully factored in to that cost/material decision along...
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