An Archive of ITC 2012 Focus Features
ITC Focus Feature for 22 October 2012 – TestWeek Workshops
ITC Workshops are a way to learn the latest advances in an area of test in an intensive day of papers and often panels. Workshops are big enough to support an excellent variety of papers, many late breaking news, but small enough so that every participant can ask questions and be involved. Many workshop presentations will show up at a future ITC, so presenters want feedback.
This year we have three excellent workshops. You can find links to the final programs of all on the ITC Workshop Page. Here is a sampling of some of the things you can learn by attending these workshops.
3D or 2 ½ D packages are getting increasingly popular as we need to fit more into smaller and smaller products. Stacking means losing access and greater test problems. The 3D-Test Workshop examines these problems. All of our familiar processes will have to change, so the workshop presents sessions on DFT, EDA for 3D, Wafer Probe, and 3D Test Quality and Failure Analysis, among others. You will be facing these challenges in the future, now is a good time to become familiar with them.
I think an argument can be made that Silicon debug is more important than test. Slightly higher DPM – you may have annoyed customers and you may lose some money. Not bringing up a new chip on schedule -you lose a product. The Silicon Debug and Diagnosis Workshop. Topics covered include bridging the gap between pre-silicon and post-silicon validation, so that useful simulation and emulation information is not lost, finding where your defects are, and a panel on coverage metrics, so you have some idea of how close you are to being done. This workshop is intensely practical, with a lot of case studies. If you attend, you might avoid having a lot of high level executives breathing down your neck.
I trust we are aware that the future is in collecting data on everything. Many of the products our companies build are involved in the collection and analysis of our habits. Our customers think this information will help them sell to us better, and we get a lot of free browsing. DATA-2012 is about applying some of these same methods to manufacturing. Instead of recommending which movies we would like to watch or books we would like to buy statistical analysis can help us determine which tests our chips are likely to fail and which few will fail. Determining which chips are good and which are bad isn’t as easy as it used to be – statistical methods can help. We are also collecting more and more data on our parts – how do we store it and how do we process it?
As someone who has been to a lot of workshops I can see only one negative – you can only attend one of these, where I would like to attend two this year. One way to handle that – bring a colleague and get him or her to take good notes,
Register for a Workshop on the ITC Registration Page. You can add a workshop even if you have already registered for ITC, or you can register for ITC and workshops at the same time. Meals and a Thursday evening reception are included. And, when the workshops are done Friday afternoon, Disneyland beckons.
ITC Focus Feature for 22 October 2012 – ITC Panels
Not all our test questions are settled by any means. ITC Panels attempt to provide attendees with both sides of issues, and let the audience weigh in also. When panels get considered, having everyone agreeing is a sure cause for rejection. Panels also let you see different views on things too subjective for papers. Panelists have opinions.
ITC starts with a special panel on Monday afternoon. This year it is a panel of CEOs, called Entrepreneurship in Test. Some test startups have been successful, some haven’t. Here you’ll get some personal views by those who know. The panel will focus on the ATE industry.
We covered the second panel last week. Are industrial test problems real problems? which is being held Wednesday morning at 10:30.
The last four panels have resumed their position on Thursday afternoon after the invited speaker.
We have an analog panel Managing Process Variance in Analog Designs which covers how you do just that.
How are Failure Modes, Defect Types and Test Methods Changing for 32 nm/28 nm and Beyond? moderated by Phil Nigh of IBM will let you the kinds of defects you need to test for in the future – defects some of us are testing for already.
EDA tools for test always stirs up some discussion. Panel 5 Testing High-Frequency and Low-Power Designs: Do the Standard Rules and Tools Apply? is not going to have any position statements. The moderator will ask three panelists doing test in these areas some questions about how they solve these knotty problems. They’ll cover how EDA tools help or hinder them, and then three panelists from EDA companies will get to respond.
The final panel, Are the Chips Guys Helping or Hindering Board Test? should stir up some controversy also. Chip guys put instruments on their chips but often don’t let anyone else use them. Should access to these be opened beyond chip test to board test?
Pick your favorite panel, and come with questions – they all invite audience participation. See you at ITC!
Focus Feature on ITC Program Highlights for October 15, 2012 – From Practical to Research
One of the things we hear about the ITC program is that it too academic. In some sessions that may be true – though some of the impractical concepts of yesterday are the products of today. But it is very much not true in many of our sessions, especially in our AIP (Advanced Industrial Practices) sessions.
Case in point: AIP Session 4, Jitter and high-speed IO testing. This AIP session will explain the entire process of characterizing and measuring both receiver-tolerated and transmitter-created jitter. The purpose is to examine the implementer’s problems. The qualities of jitter will be surveyed, but along the way, as supporting information to explain how the qualities of different architectures pose different problems to the implementer. Through this lens, the underlying goals of the architectures will be shown, and a realistic feel for these quantities can be gleaned.
If you are working in this area, you should be learn things in this session that you can carry back to your company.
In industry we have lots of test problems still. Are there any for which collaboration with academia would be helpful? Panel 2: Are industrial test problems real problems? I thought research has resolved them all! addresses this.
We will hear from both industrial and research folks about their experiences, both successful and otherwise. How do we get past statements like these and move on to genuine and effective collaboration?
- Industry: You have to make it truly work for us …
- Research: You have to fund my students first … and give us your designs
- Industry: bye !! …
Research: So we still have no industrial test bench, … and funding
Following this panel session, there will be an invited poster session from both industry and research demonstrating their problems, technologies and their willingness to look for cooperation. Visit these posters and tell them either you solved their problem 10 years ago, or ask for a check to solve them.
ITC is the place where both these sides meet – not just at this panel, but at the parties, in the hallways, outside the meeting rooms, in the bar. Anyone interested in this issue can work on it even before attending the panel.
Focus Feature on ITC Tutorials for October 8, 2012
Testweek offers seven Tutorials on the Sunday and Monday before ITC. These full day tutorials involve test experts providing basic and advanced knowledge on a variety of subjects.
Why attend? Why send someone to a tutorial?
If you are facing a new challenge at work, a tutorial on that subject can give you an overview of what is know about that area. If you have just hired someone from a university, or someone without a deep background in test, a tutorial is a great way of getting them up to speed. The cost is very reasonable and they’ll get a full day without interruptions, the best way to learn.
Space prevents me from giving details on all the tutorials (you can find it in the Advance Program. but here are some highlights.
Mixed Signal Test: At our current process nodes, a lot of interesting test problems are analog. Tutorial 2 will give an overview of Analog and Mixed Signal test, while Tutorial 7 gives you some hints at solving your mixed signal test problems with DFT and BIST.
3-D Stacked IC Testing: 3-D ICs are the wave of the future. This year we are having a second 3-D Test Workshop after the packed one of 2011. Get ready for it, and for testing the new packaging, with Tutorial 11.
See you at a tutorial.
Focus Feature for October 1, 2012: The Top 11 Reasons to Attend ITC in 2012
We test people talk about failures all the time. At ITC we can talk about things going wrong in The Happiest Place on Earth. We’ll keep you busy during TestWeek, but you can get discounted hotel rates and discount park tickets to visit Disneyland before and after ITC. The newly revised and upgraded California Adventure Park is a must-see.
Reason Everything you need to know is 3 feet x 4 feet in size.
The 2012 ITC Poster Session will be held on Wednesday during lunch. We have 34 posters this year. It is a place to hear about the latest in standards and some late-breaking results. The other advantage of a poster is that it is more interactive than a paper – you can ask questions any time.
Reason Go up in the clouds.
Yes we know there are too many ITC Benchmarks in some of these, but some of the best concepts of tomorrow can be found in the academic papers of today. A good example is test compression, which seemed purely theoretical and unattached to reality right up until it became one of the most significant real advances in DFT. Come to these papers and dare to dream.
Reason Be stuck in a room with 100 of your best colleagues.Workshops, held after ITC, give you a chance to hear a concentrated dose of late news papers on one area, along with comments by those expert in that area. It is an excellent way of finding out what is important in 3D chips, system debug, and the use of data for defect analysis. Find more at the ITC Workshop Page.
ITC parties are a good way of touching base with former colleagues, future colleagues, and even some people in your own company you only talk to in conference calls. Our Welcome Reception this year is on Election Night, and will have an election theme – and will let you keep up with the returns with a beer in your hand. Republicans can yell at Democrats, Democrats can yell at Republicans, Independents can yell at both, and those not US citizens can be thankful that their choice of leaders is not as crazy as ours.
Reason Be down to earth.
Practical papers including Lecture Series and Advanced Industrial Practices. Academics, feel free to exchange Number 9 with this one. Learn what really goes on behind the gates of industry. Sometimes we will even admit to having made mistakes. It is a good place to learn what works and what doesn’t. We try our best to provide papers that will let you take something concrete back to your boss to show ITC was worth the cost.
Reason Learn, learn, learn.
Who has the chance to spend a full day learning something any more? Seven Tutorials let you learn all about an area of testing at a basic or advanced level from leading experts. If you’ve been moved to a new area tutorials are a great way of jump starting your knowledge. If you’ve been working in an area tutorials are a great way to learn the latest advances.
Learn more about tutorials from the tutorial page.
At ITC, like at any good conference, more information sometimes gets exchanged outside the meeting rooms than within them. Nearly everyone who is anyone in test is at ITC, and most are easy to get a hold of. Boundary scan blossomed from the seed of JETAG into JTAG and the standard it is today thanks to possibly the best question ever asked at an ITC paper ever. Well, perhaps it was more of a statement. But at ITC you can find out what people really think about test issues. You can even ask our opinion, but be ready to do the opposite.
See Debates where something interesting actually gets said. Test people are an argumentative bunch, and ITC panels are designed to stimulate discussion, both up on the podium and with the audience. A highlight this year is the Monday Test/ATE Vision 2020 – Entrepreneurship in Test CEO Panel where you can here the people making the decisions tell what is important now and in the future. We have another Wednesday morning, and a four panel block to close ITC on Thursday afternoon.Exhibit Floor. There you will find high tech test solutions you can buy. Collect contacts, get your passport stamped, and find a solution or a better solution to one of your testing problems.
And the Number reason to attend ITC: Time to think in a stimulating environment.At ITC you are somewhat isolated from the minute-to-minute demands of work yet immersed in information and ideas about test. Let your subconscious make the connection between your problems and technical needs and the solutions about which you will be hearing. Maybe at a paper you will suddenly see what you can do to be more efficient and save your company money. It is okay to not concentrate on every slide of every paper – that is why you can purchase the Presentation CD.
In today’s environment we must be ever more efficient in solving ever greater challenges. We try do this at work, 51 weeks a year. Give yourself one week at ITC TestWeek to refresh your technical mindset, and who knows how far you will go.