LONDON – Chip research consortium Sematech has announced that six semiconductor companies have joined its 3-D enablement program based at the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE) of the University at Albany.
The six companies are: Advanced Semiconductor Engineering Inc. (ASE), Altera Corp. Analog Devices Inc. (ADI), LSI Corp. and On Semiconductor Corp. and Qualcomm Inc. They join Globalfoundries, Hewlett Packard, Hynix, IBM, Intel, Samsung, and UMC in a broad initiative preparing for through-silicon via (TSV) enabled 3-D stacked components.
Notable absentees from the list are the world's leading foundry Taiwan Semiconductor manufacturing Co. Ltd. and Toshiba.
The member companies are working together to help define EDA software tools and appropriate test vehicles for 3-D integration.
"Research on 3-D technologies has been ongoing for many years, and the initiative that Sematech has spearheaded is working to find solutions to the challenges faced by lack of standardization. We're pleased to see this partnership expand and grow," said Dan Armbrust, president and CEO of Sematech, in a statement.
Sematech, along with the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) and the Semiconductor Research Corporation (SRC), launched the program in December 2010. The primary focus is on developing technologies and specifications necessary for establishing standards in critical areas such as inspection, metrology, microbumping, bonding and thin wafer, and die handling.
Membership is open to international fabless, fab-lite and IDM companies, semiconductor assembly and test (OSAT) suppliers, and EDA process tool and materials suppliers. The program and its members are also collaborating with companies, consortia, universities, national laboratories, and associations from around the world.
I wonder why TSMC doesn't want to get involved. Could they be doing something on their own, or perhaps, they simply don't support the effort to standardize. In any event, it's good to see the momentum building for 3D, now we just need to keep going on to monolithic 3d - www.monolithic3d.com!
@Peter Clarke: TSMC may not have formally joined Sematech's 3D chip initiatives but they are working on several 3D TSV projects from what I hear.
The 3D EcoSystem is beginning to take shape -there is EDA, Soft/Hard IP, OS and App S/W Drivers, Foundry, OSAT and product owners. The interaction between the ecosystem partners and ownership is still loosely defined and varies if one is using 2.5D approach or a full 3D (TSV-enabled) approach.
There are several organizations involved in the "standardization" efforts besides Sematech -GSA, Si2, Jedec, Semi.org, etc.
How ever, the much needed "standard" in interoperability of EDA tools to enable and realize 3D stacked designs is still lacking. I hope you will cover that in a future article!
Dr. MP Divakar
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