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ITRI, Applied Materials push 3D IC dev't

Posted: 19 Oct 2009 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:3D IC? CMOS? through-silicon vias? mobile communications?

The Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) of Taiwan and Applied Materials Inc. are partnering to accelerate the development and commercialization of 3D IC stacking technology. To enable this effort, a full line of processing systems from Applied Materials has been selected by ITRI for its 3D laboratory in Hsinchu, Taiwan. The systems will be used for fabricating through-silicon vias (TSVs), a key technique for making compact, energy-efficient, high performance CMOS image sensors and stacked memory and memory/logic chips for mobile communications devices.

Applied and ITRI intend to work together as members of the Stacked-System and Application Consortium (Ad-STAC). Formed in 2008, Ad-STAC aims to improve 3D IC technology by bringing together academic institutions and leading semiconductor companies to share research, leverage government resources and establish standards. Using Applied's Etch, PVD, CMP and PECVD systems, Applied and ITRI will focus on the integration of via first, via last and via reveal TSV process flows, enabling Ad-STAC's member companies to more rapidly bring their advanced 3D chip designs to market, greatly reducing development time and initial investment.

"Joining forces with a leading research institution such as ITRI is a very effective way to advance 3D technology and successfully integrate it into the manufacturing community," said Randhir Thakur, senior VP and general manager of Applied's silicon systems group. "ITRI's selection of Applied's entire TSV suite is a testament to our integrated 3D packaging technology, a capability that is unparalleled in the industry. By performing customers' early stage development on a proven toolset, the transition to volume manufacturing can be made as fast and transparent as possible."

"We are pleased to be collaborating with Applied Materials in advancing 3D IC technology. ITRI believes that 3D ICs will be a significant part of semiconductor development during the next ten years. We plan to drive 3D IC integration and set up a pilot line in our 3D IC lab," said Sheng-fu Horng, deputy general director of the electronics and optoelectronics research laboratories at ITRI. "ITRI provides an open environment for new pilot technologies. We have therefore selected the latest TSV equipment from Applied Materials so that we can offer companies from different fields, as well as research institutes, a unique environment to develop and test new technologies and products."

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