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3D merges chip production routes

Posted: 20 Jun 2011 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Moore’s Law? MEMS? chip design?

MEMS and Moore
The MEMS industry also has grown considerably with gyroscopes on handheld devices as well as many types of sensors and microphones (see Figure 3). These are all new applications that push the industry in new directions.

The common denominator to all these new applications are relatively small wafers and relaxed design rules. Most of the fabs that are running these products are relatively "old" 6- and 8-inch fabs (TI is the only company with a 300mm analog fab, the company's R Fab in Richardson, Texas). The advantage of these fabs is that they are fully depreciated and the cost of running them is relatively low.

Because of that, there has been resurgence in demand for 200mm wafer fab equipment within the last year, which has caught equipment suppliers by surprise.

So, in summary, we see the advancement in process development with shrinking of the device per Moore's Law on one hand, and a totally different section of the industry that is running on more relaxed design rules with relatively old fabs, on the other hand.

Continuing with Moore's Law is an extremely expensive proposition�especially beyond 22nm�so 3D in a monolithic mode could alleviate some of the problems and will bring some relief to the exorbitant cost of new advanced fabs. With monolithic 3D, one could use older technologies and still get the performance and power benefits of leading-edge nodes.

I think we can start learning from the way the analog fabs are running their business.

MEMS market forecast

- Dr. Israel Beinglass
??Chief Technology Officer, MonolithIC 3D Inc.

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