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Stacked memories to be used in Intel standard products

Posted: 25 Feb 2003 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:intel? stacked chip-scale packaging? flash? sram? dram?

Intel Corp. has announced that it is shifting the emphasis in its stacked chip-scale packaging product line from custom parts to standard products. The company plans to offer a wide range of stacked-die modules combining flash with SRAM or DRAM as off-the-shelf products.

Stacked chip-scale packages including flash dice have become a common feature of cellphone handsets, according to Intel product marketing manager Scott Dunagan. He estimated that 90 percent of handsets shipped by NTT Docomo in Japan this year would contain stacked memory devices. Penetration lags that level in Korea, Europe and the U.S., but is gaining in each of those geographic markets, Dunagan said. The demand is driven by the increasing memory requirements handsets with an increasing number of features such as color screens, support for data services, elaborate ring tones, and digital cameras.

The Intel stacking technology uses back-lapped wafers to produce dice as thin as 3 mils. These dice are then stacked, and then interconnected using conventional wirebonding technology on edge-located bonding pads. The entire assembly is then mounted on a phenolic. Later this year, Intel will also mount the assemblies on a tape substrate.

Up to now, stacked memory modules have been primarily a custom business, with each phone vendor having its own requirements for the amount of flash and SRAM included, Dunagan said. Only about 20 percent of the total volume of stacked memories shipped for cellphones was not designed for the specific customer, he said.

"We hope to reverse that ratio, and be doing 80 percent of the business in standard-product stacked memories," he said.

This year Intel intends to sample stacks as complex as five dice in a package 1.2mm-thick. With the introduction of 30mil dice later this year, that thickness will be reduced to 1mm. The stacks currently include the company's wireless flash dice in combination with SRAM or pseudostatic RAM from other suppliers. Later this year, Intel's multilevel StrataFlash dice will be used as well. In 2004, some combinations will offer up to 1Gb of total memory in a stack.

- Ron Wilson

EE Times





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