SAN FRANCISCO—Materials provider 3M Co. will work with IBM Corp. to develop adhesives to enable stacking of dozens of chips under the terms of an agreement expected to be announced this week, according to a Wall Street Journal report.
According to the report, IBM envisions stacking 100 or more chips together, including high-performance microprocessors0, to build chips that could be 1,000 times faster than today's leading-edge chips.
The Wall Street Journal report notes that die stacking of multiple chips in one package—mostly memories—is commonplace in the semiconductor industry, but also notes that stacking of microprocessors is considered problematic because of the large amount of heat these chips generate. According to the report, the adhesives that 3M will develop will safely conduct heat away from the chips.
A number of companies are currently developing new technologies for building three-dimensional chips, including through using through-silicon vias. But IBM's vision for the potential of chip stacking, as described in the report, appears to be on a much more grand scale than currently known efforts.
You guys might want to take a look at this EETimes article from three years ago, before taking this announcement.
Indeed, another example of how duct tape remains the ultimate engineering tool. Comments about the need for more information to understand this are certainly understandable. The nitty gritty details remain sketchy at this point. Presumably we will find out at least a little bit more once IBM and 3M make the announcement (which the WSJ report indicates will happen this week).
Certainly, from server blade experience, we need to flow air or other fluid in between chip planes because stagnant medium will warm up which is inadequate for heat sinking. So I had thought they were heading in some microfluidic direction.
David Patterson, known for his pioneering research that led to RAID, clusters and more, is part of a team at UC Berkeley that recently made its RISC-V processor architecture an open source hardware offering. We talk with Patterson and one of his colleagues behind the effort about the opportunities they see, what new kinds of designs they hope to enable and what it means for today’s commercial processor giants such as Intel, ARM and Imagination Technologies.