When I started my missionary work for 3D IC technology years ago, I was able to proudly claim that I had read every 3D-related article right away, had attended most of the relevant conferences, and really had my finger on the pulse of this promising technology. Today I have to admit, despite having 10 fingers at my disposal, I frequently miss 3D related news and conferences.
Just today a good friend pointed me to this article about a 3D panel at the recent International Wafer-Level Packaging Conference. The IWLPC keynote by Simon McElrea, president of Invensas, impressed me even more than the panel, because Simon really did justice to his topic of how a consumer-driven market changes everything.
Consumer and wireless products represent very large markets and growth rates. Like Simon, I strongly believe that following Moore's Law with only one die per package will no longer meet the requirements of these markets for lower power and higher performance. Not even today's SiP and PoP technologies will suffice. Stacking multiple dies into very thin packages, minimizing interconnect length and capacitance, as well as offering very broad buses, are just a few of the winning criteria for future success.
In his slides, Simon shared views from TSMC and Samsung (above) on how that the level of component integration will continue. Their views confirm the promise of 3D technology to reduce package size and power dissipation and break down the memory-bandwidth wall.
Simon did not forget to remind us that we can no longer rely on the economics of continued shrinking (below). He showed how packaging technology is evolving rapidly to meet the challenges of our most important markets.
I found it very encouraging that most IWLPC sessions also addressed interposer-based 2.5D technologies. While vertically stacked 3D ICs with through silicon vias are still a few years from volume production, the 2.5D ecosystem is ready.
Meanwhile I keep reading and attending events. Next week, I'll be at Georgia Tech in Atlanta, to attend the third International Interposer Workshop. Watch for my summary of it.