Silicon wafers: the building blocks of semiconductors

First-Time-Right Manufacturing for Post-Silicon Validation Boards

There’s an infamous saying that is often used to describe the likelihood of a process failing. The phrase “garbage in, garbage out (GIGO)” is most commonly used to describe computer science applications whose questionable input data are prone to produce erroneous outputs.

Similarly, PCBA development processes may create inferior quality or unusable boards when low-quality silicon wafer manufactured such as IC components are utilized. Fortunately, actions can be taken to significantly lower the possibility of your circuit boards not meeting their functionality and performance objectives. A major preventive measure that can help minimize bring-up times and lower development costs is post silicon validation.

Why Post-Silicon Validation is Critical for PCBA Development

Electronic circuits built from silicon wafers fall into one of the following three IC types based on the manufacturing process.

Types of Silicon-Based Integrated Circuits

  1. Monolithic
    Internal components and interconnections create a single microchip.
  2. Hybrid
    Connected internal components form multiple chips for best performance.
  3. Thick and thin film
    Individually connected components form circuits within the chip.   

Depending on the application, either of these may be the best option. For example, hybrid ICs perform better and monolithic ICs are ideal for low-power applications. ICs may comprise hundreds, thousands, or millions of components where small placement inaccuracies may result in functionality errors. Component manufacturers fabricate these components in large volumes. Therefore, the potential loss for producing silicon-based ICs that do not meet expectations is tremendous. Avoiding this contingency is the reason why pre and post silicon validation testing is crucial.

Achieving First-Time-Right Manufacturing for Your Semiconductor Boards

Post silicon validation is most useful if performed on actual PCBAs under actual deployment conditions. And the results of testing for functionality of the evaluation process depend on the quality of the board build process. Therefore, you need your CM to deliver first-time-right manufacturing of your design. By following the guidelines below, you can aid your CM in achieving this goal.

The Guide to PCBA Development for Semiconductor Applications

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Guidelines for Optimizing Post-Silicon Validation Testing

  • Only source from reliable suppliers
  • Ensure that selected components are readily available
  • Incorporate and follow your CM’s DFM rules and guidelines
  • Perform pre-manufacturing testing and simulations to avoid or minimize component and/or design modifications
  • Work with a CM that has an agile manufacturing process
Tempo‘s Custom Demo and Evaluation Board PCBA Manufacturing Service
  • ISO-9001, IPC-600, and IPC-610 commitment to quality certifications.
  • Accurate quote in less than a day.
  • DFX support, including DFM, DFA, and DFT from Day 1 of design.
  • Entire turnkey PCB manufacturing in as fast as 3 days.
  • Agile manufacturing process to quickly adapt to design changes.
  • Specialization in high-speed and HDMI trace optimization.
  • Reliable supplier component sourcing for quality, reliability, and traceability.
  • Performs multiple automated inspections during PCB assembly to ensure quality for prototyping and low volume production.
  • Comprehensive process documentation, including testing regimens and verifications.

By following the guidelines above, your design process will help facilitate the optimal building of your boards the first time around. At Tempo Automation, we lead the industry in building high-quality PCBAs with the fastest turnaround time. This is possible because we leverage automation and software to minimize the possibility of common and exotic errors remaining undetected during post silicon validation testing.

Our automated turnkey PCBA manufacturing process leads the industry in quickly delivering high-quality boards that meet the flexibility and reliability requirements of semiconductor evaluation/test boards for prototyping and on-demand production. It includes deep collaboration with your engineers when needed and can furnish information for DFM checks as downloadable DRC files in Altium Designer, Cadence Allegro, Mentor Pads, other CAD formats, and Excel.

If you are ready to have your design manufactured, try our quote tool to upload your CAD and BOM files. If you want more information on the role of electronics in aerospace systems, contact us.

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