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3D IC adoption crucial to the entire TSV roadmap

Posted: 12 Dec 2014 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Yole Developpement? TSV? 3D IC? CMOS image sensor? MEMS?

Through silicon vias (TSV) technology has been implemented in production a few years ago for MEMS and CMOS image sensors (CIS). Yole Developpement has recently released a report detailing the status of the market and a forecast to where it is headed.

"Driven by consumer applications such as smartphones and tablets, this market is expected to continue to grow over the next several years. For high end memories, 2015 will be the turning point for 3D adoption," stated Thibault Buisson, technology & market analyst, advanced packaging at Yole. "Standards have now been established, therefore the industry will be ready to enter in high-volume manufacturing. Wide I/Os and logic-on-logic will follow, most probably around 2016-2017," he added. Emerging applications such as photonics based on interposer are also being developed for future products. However, their market entrance is most likely not going to happen before 2019-2020.

TSV wafer start breakdown by application

Yole forecasted that the adoption of 3D IC technology, due to its many advantages, as well as its ability to enable heterogeneous integration, is being considered for many applications.

According to Yole Developpement, market drivers have not changed over the years, fundamentally. Today, 3D IC is still driven by the need to increase performance and functionality, and to reduce form factor and cost. Adoption of 3D IC technology, due to its many advantages, as well as its ability to enable heterogeneous integration, is being considered for a wide range of applications.

"There is a significant advantage to using 3D IC and that is why this packaging platform is part of all the roadmaps of the key semiconductor players across the entire supply chain," said Rozalia Beica, CTO & business unit director, advanced packaging and semiconductor manufacturing, Yole. Once 3D is adopted it will never be dropped. In the CMOS image sensor application the evolution of TSV has never stopped.

Even though the integration methods used for CMOS image sensors have changed and evolved over the years, TSV continued to be incorporated in the packaging of these devices, increasing functionality and enabling more efficient utilisation of its silicon space. Sony, who claims to be the leader in the CMOS image sensor, by using a full-filled TSV and via last approach to stack the CIS onto a CMOS die, was able to more efficiently utilise (90 per cent) of its die surface area for the pixel array while decreasing the size of the die. This technology, called Exmor, is using a 3D stacked integration approach, and, presently is the latest trend for this type of devices as it enables a smaller die size and faster on-chip processing. The path is open for the heterogeneous integration of devices: MEMS are being integrated onto ASIC dies connected with TSVs (such as mCube, Bosch, with their accelerometer products and others), and 3D stacked devices with integrated passives for medical applications, etc.

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