Article Roundup: Intelligent PCB Documentation, Reliability Waiver Management, Chip Aging, Democratized Engineering & Chip Architecture Changes

  1. Virtual and Intelligent PCB Fabrication and Assembly Documentation
  2. Managing waivers in reliability verification
  3. Chip Aging Becomes Design Problem
  4. Democratizing Engineering and Manufacturing
  5. Big Changes For Mainstream Chip Architectures

Virtual and Intelligent PCB Fabrication and Assembly Documentation

Much of the critical fabrication and assembly information for printed circuit boards is communicated to manufacturing in a static and non-intelligent format. Transitioning to virtual documentation enables the receiving tool to automate the planning and execution of the manufacturing process preparation. The ODB++ intelligent product model has been updated with a data model that can convey this fabrication and assembly documentation in electronic form, reducing the need for tedious and error-prone documentation creation.

Managing waivers in reliability verification
Tech Design Forum

Reliability violations identified by verification tools may be waived under certain conditions. For example, a chip using a new electrostatic discharge (ESD) protection scheme may contain embedded intellectual property with an older version that would be flagged by the verification solution. Advanced verification tools now include automated waiver management functionality that help resolve these issues quickly.

Chip Aging Becomes Design Problem

Most IC design teams have yet to encounter chip aging as a significant problem, however, the increased reliability requirements of markets such as automotive will make chip aging a central concern. As chip components are subjected to electrical stress over time, the threshold voltage of the device can change causing eventual total failure. Unfortunately, the exact impact that aging will have is difficult to predict, making the high-reliability requirements of automotive and industrial markets even more challenging.

Democratizing Engineering and Manufacturing
Automation World

Hackrod and Siemens PLM Software have entered into a partnership to bring the engineering and manufacturing of a custom car closer to the consumer. Hackrod’s ‘La Bandita’ will be designed in virtual reality, engineered using artificial intelligence, and then 3D printed, full size, in structural alloy. ‘La Bandita’ will serve as a proof-of-concept for a new design-to-production methodology that will enable start-ups, small enterprises, and even individuals to design and produce the car of their dreams.

Big Changes For Mainstream Chip Architectures

New IC architectures are being created that will increase the amount of data a chip can process per watt and clock cycle considerably. These new chips will incorporate new processor architectures to boost data processing per clock cycle, new memory architectures that change how data is stored, read, written, and accessed, artificial intelligence, and more. This article examines how chipmakers are using these various technologies and innovations to keep pace with exploding data processing needs, while maintaining tight power budgets.

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