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OCTOBER 2019         TAP TIMES          -9-         nancials, customers were still able to buy
                                                                memory from several competitors.
                     Casebook  (from 8)
                                                                In the U.S., the leading makers of Field
        ability to operate during the monsoons.                 Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs) for
                                                                mission critical defense applications gen-
        At many companies, vendor sourcing often                erally rely on a single-source subcontrac-
        does not receive the same careful thought               tor to provide services to attach copper-
        that is given to other aspects of the manu-             wrapped solder columns, a simple but
        facturing process.                                      necessary subcomponent in the assembly
                                                                of some FPGA packages.
        The semiconductor industry has weathered
        disasters in the past at key component
        manufacturing facilities caused by natural              Logic and memory IC
        catastrophes, such as fi re or fl ood, be-              FPGA is an IC with modifi able logic and
        cause multiple vendors quickly stepped in               memory blocks confi gurable by customers
        to fi ll a void in the supply chain.                    in the fi eld, making such devices ideal for
                                                                space and military applications to reduce
        A halt in production may be caused by                   cost and improve design cycle time.
        something as seemingly simple as a power
        outage.                                                 An enhanced version known as a Radia-

                                                                tion Hardened FPGA (RadHard FPGA) is
        As recently as June, production at Toshi-               designed to withstand attacks from elec-
        ba’s memory fabrication plant in Yokkaichi,             tromagnetic and particle radiation in outer
        Japan—a multi-billion dollar facility—was               space and high-altitude fl ight missions.
        partially suspended for nearly a month
        due to a brief power outage, the company                A disruption in the FPGA production cycle
        reported.                                               can potentially cripple the defense and
                                                                aerospace industries.
        Second largest Flash memory maker
        Toshiba, which operated the plant with
        Western Digital, is the second largest pro-
        ducer of NAND memory.


        While the outage had a severely negative
        impact on the company’s next-quarter fi -



                                                                Copper-Wrapped  Solder  Columns  are  constructed  with
                                                                a  high melting temperature  solder core,  such  as  Pb80/
                                                                Sn20, wrapped with a thin ribbon of pure copper wire, all
                                                                coated by eutectic Sn63/Pb37. The combination of these
                                                                three materials comprising a solder column relieves stress
                                                                caused by the mismatch of the coeffi  cient of thermal ex-
                                                                pansion (CTE) between a ceramic FPGA package and an
                                                                FR4 PCB Board.

                                                                The semiconductor industry has weathered
                                                                disasters  in the past at key  component
                                                                manufacturing facilities, caused by natural

         A power outage shuttered Toshiba’s Flash memory plant                                         Next page
         in June 2018.  (Toshiba photo)
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