SEMATECH’s 3D Enablement Center (3D EC), the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) and Semiconductor Research Corporation (SRC) have identified the top technical challenges for new killer applications to enable future development of heterogeneous 3D integration beyond mobile wide I/O DRAM. Addressing the common challenges of next generation applications is critical for acceleration of the broad adoption of 3D ICs. The goal of the three organizations is to fully realize 3D integration for semiconductor manufacturing and design.
Research and development of 3D IC technology will be driven by high demand, high volume applications that continue to demonstrate the benefits of 3D integration, including lower power consumption, higher performance, increased functionality, and lower cost.
To prepare for the future 3D integration ICs and systems, SEMATECH’s 3D EC is identifying 3- to 5-year window killer applications and the common technical challenges they pose to smoothly extend 3D technology beyond mobile wide I/O DRAM. Discussions with expert university professors and diverse users have identified heterogeneous computing, memory, imaging, smart sensor systems, communication switches, and power delivery/conditioning as some of the potential future killer applications. In addition, the common technical challenges associated with these applications have been prioritized: lowering the cost of 3D architectures, system/architecture pathfinding, generic heterogeneous multi-die stack testing issues, and thermal management.
SEMATECH’s 3D Enablement Center is a cooperative effort among members of the program, the SIA, and the SRC. The center has focused on enabling industry-wide ecosystem readiness for cost-effective TSV-based 3D stacked IC solutions. The initial set of activities encompassed working with critical standards development organizations to set 3D standards, especially for inspection/metrology and bump metallurgy. The 3D EC recently expanded its efforts to include activities that would address pathfinding electronic design automation (EDA) tools and complex test vehicles.