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Machine Vision – The Eye of Semiconductor Manufacturing

White Paper: MVTec Software GmbH

Introduction Semiconductor manufacturing is not brand new anymore. Nevertheless, the global attention and demand for this “old economy” could hardly be greater. It is driven by megatrends such as digitalization, climate change and sustainability. However, manufacturing is highly complex, small-scale, and supply chains are subject to political, economic, and logistical dislocations. Demand turbulence, triggered by the Corona pandemic, is causing semiconductor shortages in many industries. In addition, geopolitical forces and trade disputes are also tightening the supply of semiconductors. And finally, an imbalance between supply and demand is resulting from the sharp increase in demand in the consumer electronics sector. Since the start of the Corona pandemic, demand for 5G phones, laptops, and other consumer electronics for the home office has grown rapidly. At the same time, cars are increasingly becoming true computers on wheels, relying on electronics and semiconductors to power battery management, driver assistance systems, and consumer electronics. To ensure the availability of semiconductors and to become less dependent on supply chain disruptions, semiconductor manufacturing capacity is currently being rapidly built in many regions of the world. The production of semiconductors is complex and involves more than 1,000 different process steps. The construction of production facilities is correspondingly complex and sensitive. In addition, the individual manufacturers of semiconductors have also implemented different processes in their production. There are also different types of wafers and chips, which place different demands on production. Thus, there is no such thing as a uniform semiconductor manufacturing process. This means that flexible technologies are needed for the industry that can quickly add value despite different processes. One such key technology is machine vision. The advantage is, in particular, that in the high-precision production of semiconductors, the numerous necessary inspection and alignment processes can be automated and carried out with high precision.

Agile Hardware Adopting a heterogeneous computing approach

White Paper: Mobica

How do you maximise performance from both a hardware and software perspective with this approach? Introduction Built in the spirit of cooperation, DevOps has quickly become the gold standard methodology for the development of IT services. Its growth is based on its capacity to bring new products and features to market faster. Where organisations may have traditionally waited 3-6 months to release updates, organisations can now do this on a weekly or even daily basis. This increased agility is allowing companies to react to customer needs and quickly seize a competitive advantage when the opportunity presents itself. DevOps has made this possible by breaking down the barriers that have previously existed between development and operation teams and, in many cases, they still exist today. By adopting a more expansive view of the development process, and encouraging greater transparency and collaboration, DevOps removes an ‘us and them’ mentality that can hamper progress. Instead of pitting teams against each other when problems occur, a DevOps philosophy encourages a unified approach – with teams working together towards the common goal of continuous development. This approach has proved so successful in practice that organisations are now keen to expand the scope of DevOps to include their security and business teams. This has given birth to the unwieldy term, BizDevSecOps. BizDevSecOps advocates for a holistic approach, with teams working together so security patches and product improvements can be deployed almost instantly. It is allowing business services to be updated with real time data, automatically – and enabling game changing decisions to be taken quickly, which is providing companies with a competitive advantage. This approach will undoubtedly become the standard methodology for developing IT services going forward. With that in mind, we’ve produced the following guidance to help business, solution and security architects make the transition to a BizDevSecOps methodology – and assist those businesses seeking to become more agile and improve customer services.

Changing the Existing Verification Model within the Semiconductor Industry

White Paper: Istgroup

Enter the Supply Chain of EV in Five Steps: An analysis of International Automotive Reliability Specs Author: Integrated Service Technology (iST) “Honda sets to stop selling pure fuel vehicles in Europe in 2022 Volvo sets to become a brand of pure electric vehicle in 2030 Ford targets to stop selling fuel vehicles in Europe in 2030 While leading car manufacturers are flocking to shift to making EVs (electric vehicles) in the next ten years, demands for car chips bottomed out and skyrocketed in Q4 2020, leading to a severe shortage of semiconductors. The large demands for automotive semiconductors come in two categories. One is power semiconductors required by the aforementioned electric vehicles which consume 7 ~ 10 as much as that of their conventional counterparts. The other is the sensor components found in electric vehicles (usually denoted by level 2, 3, 4 or 5). Leading global car brands, including M-Benz, BMW and TOYOTA, have launched series of AI- based driverless smart cars featuring automatic driving, automatic parking, collision warning and automatic braking to name a few. Electronic components facilitating these functions are subject to a series of stringent reliability tests, designed to ensure their faultlessness and damage free operation, before they can be adopted to ensure the best protection of rider safety. The automotive industry has been well known for being closed to outsiders. Leading car manufacturers do not focus on "cost down" in their production as the lives and health of riders are much more important. Poor product design and/or reliability may result in large sums in compensation lawsuits. This makes them reluctant to change suppliers. This is not the case with the rocketing demands for "AI electric vehicles" and "ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistance Systems)," as costs of automotive electronics now account for 40-50% of total car prices (up to 8,000 ICs per car). These two new factors are pressing car makers to source electronic product supply chains out of their traditional comfort zone. The more we rely on electronic system response, the more we mandate better functional safety and the least impact on personal safety imposed by risks of malfunctions. Aiming for better quality and reliability of electronic components, vehicle makers and tier 1 system providers are setting failure rate of the former to one part per billion (ppb) and promoting the concept of Zero Defect throughout the entire supply chain.

A Guide to the Benefits of the Lattice Nexus FPGA Platform for Mission-Critical Applications


There is growing demand for mission-critical applications in the industrial, automotive, communications, aerospace, and defense markets. Today, the Lattice Nexus™ Platform provides a true differentiator for FPGAs destined for use in mission-critical systems. Introduction (MPUs vs. FPGAs) Today’s mission-critical systems can require significant computing power. One well-known computing solution is to use microprocessor units (MPUs), such as those found in PCs and workstations. Although these processors may appear to be powerful, in reality all they are doing is performing simple operations like adding two numbers together or comparing two numbers to see which is larger. Similarly, although they may appear to be fast, this is because their system clocks are running sequentially at 2.4 GHz or higher. The real issue is that, while MPUs are good for performing decision-making tasks, they can be inefficient when it comes to performing many data processing assignments. As a result, MPUs tend to consume large amounts of power and generate a lot of heat while performing their duties. A more efficient way to perform signal and data processing in embedded applications is through the use of field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs). FPGAs benefit from an inherent parallel architecture to run data processing operations in parallel with low latency. As was noted in the column Fundamentals of FPGAs: What Are FPGAs and Why Are They Needed?: “At the heart of any FPGA . . . is its programmable fabric, which is presented as an array of programmable logic blocks. Each of these logic blocks contains a collection of elements – including a look-up table (LUT), a multiplexer, and a register – all of which can be configured (programmed) to act as required.”

Video Bridging Solution Promises New Level of Design Flexibility and Innovation


Video bridging solution for embedded video system that delivers a new level of high performance in low power and compact interface bridges that can convert incompatible interfaces between cameras, displays and processors, combine multiple video stream inputs into a single interface output, or split video streams into multiple interfaces is the need today. Video bridging service offers designers a unique opportunity to maximize design flexibility and, in the process, enable design innovations. This whitepaper on “Video bridging solution promises new level of design flexibility and innovation,” addresses the issues and challenges in embedded video system design: The video interface type :Number of interfaces on the applications processor does not match those on the system’s image sensors or displays The need of  a video bridging solution that supports a broad range of both new and legacy interfaces Very limited options and the ones that do exist are limited in performance, high in power, and have a relatively large footprint To convert incoming video from a single MIPI DSI interface and split it out over two MIPI DSI interfaces at half the bandwidth

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