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IME, Tezzaron develop "2.5D" interposer tech

Posted: 07 Dec 2011 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:3D-IC? 2.5D? interposer? TSV? TSI?

The A*STAR Institute of Microelectronics (IME) and Tezzaron Semiconductor are collaborating to develop Through-Silicon Interposer (TSI) technology. The organizations aim to refine the design and manufacture of silicon interposers and work to standardize the process, flows, and process design kits (PDKs). Early production devices in development are based on IME's TSI technology and use 3D-ICs from Tezzaron. Fabrication is planned in IME's 300mm R&D fab.

IME and Tezzaron have collaborated before: in 2001 IME provided its copper line technologies to Tezzaron for their wafer stacking endeavors. IME has undertaken research in 3D IC technology including Through-Silicon Vias (TSVs), cooling, interconnects and interposers, while Tezzaron has focused on designing and building wafer-stacked 3D-ICs in its FaStack process. The new research collaboration builds on the strengths of both organizations.

2.5D versus 3D ICs

In 3D-ICs, designers arrange their circuitry across several layers of silicon that are manufactured separately and stacked in a single chip. The design effort, however, is considerable. Interposers allow designers to integrate existing chips side-by-side on an interconnecting surface. This is generally called "2.5D".
According to IME, while the design is not fully optimized for stacking, active silicon interposers offer advantages over full 3D: they can accommodate very large circuits that would overwhelm today's 3D capabilities, their larger surface area dissipates heat more readily, and existing chips can be rapidly assimilated into the design.

IME is planning to launch a TSI Consortium in early 2012 to facilitate greater cooperation between foundry, outsourced semiconductor assembly and test providers (OSATs), equipment vendors and supply chain partners to expedite the integration of the supply chain. The consortium will optimize TSI technology through functional demonstration of 2.5D systems for cost- and performance-driven applications. The TSI technology from the collaboration will be the foundation for the consortium.

"This is a strategic partnership aimed at accelerating the full adoption of 2.5D/3D-IC," said Dim-Lee Kwong, executive director of IME. "In the near future, we plan to develop TSI technology for MEMS and silicon photonics to extend the benefits of 3D-IC technology to a wider range of applications."

"Silicon interposer technology is more than a bridge technology; it is a vital component for heterogeneous system integration. Advanced silicon interposers will be an extremely valuable addition to our 3D-IC offerings," says Robert Patti, CTO of Tezzaron. "This critical collaboration with a leading research institute will allow the technology to reach a broader market quickly and cost effectively."

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