SAN JOSE, Calif.Chip-making consortium Sematech on Friday (June 26) disclosed plans to set up a 300-mm R&D ''test bed'' for the production of 3-D devices based on through-silicon-via (TSVs) technology.
Sematech (Albany, N.Y.) also disclosed a hybrid manufacturing approach to TSV, a technology that uses short vertical interconnects to create 3-D chip designs. Sematech has devised a so-called ''via mid'' production approach to TSV.
Sematech has also demonstrated several 3-D devices, including a structure with one micron vias and a 20:1 aspect ratio.
TSV is a radical step up from today's chip-stacking technologies, such as wire-bonding, flip-chip, multichip packaging (MCP) and system-in-package. Experts define a true 3-D package as one that stacks various chips vertically and then connects them by deploying TSVs. The aim is to shorten the interconnections between the chips, reduce die sizes and boost device bandwidths.
IBM, Intel, Samsung and others have talked about 3-D devices. Silicon foundry giant Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd. (TSMC) is pushing hard to develop a TSV-based foundry service. Allvia Inc., which bills itself as the world's first TSV foundry, claims that it is already producing devices based on the technology.
The problems with TSV are cost, power consumption and lack of standards. Hoping to solve some of those issues, Sematech has been exploring 3-D technology since 2005.
In a presentation on Friday, Sematech disclosed plans to set up a ''test bed'' for R&D purposes. The facility, to be located at Albany Nanotech in Albany, will be readied by the end of 2009 or first part of 2010, said Sitaram Arkalgud, director of 3-D at Sematech.
The ''test bed'' will be available for Sematech's members. The chip-making consortium will also open up the ''test bed'' for other companies and the foundries.
Right now, there are two schools of thought to devise the vias, including a competing ''via first'' or ''via last'' approach. It is also unclear if the vias will be produced within an IDM, foundry or packaging house.