Semiconductor companies ready for 3-D TSV ICs

Semiconductor foundries, OSATs, and IDMs are ready for 3-D through-silicon-via (TSV) ICs, based on participation in the second annual “European 3D TSV Summit” held January 20 to 22 on the Minatec Campus of CEA Leti in Grenoble, France. What are not ready are applications for the devices, according to Raj Pendse, VP and chief marketing officer of STATS Chip Pac, as reported by Werner Schultz, a consultant, and Yann Guillou of SEMI Europe in an article posted on the SEMI website. Schultz and Guillou see Pendse claim as “…a clear 'call to arms' for system designers to adopt a more forward looking position on using and implementing 3D TSV ICs in their upcoming projects.”

Nevertheless, they report that according to Mark Stromberg of Gartner, TSV will become a required technology for system design beyond the 10-nm node. Further, they quote Eric Mounier of Yole Developpement as saying “3D ICs will come in a great variety of forms and configurations,” with TSV/WLP processing already a reality in camera image sensors. TSV for MEMS is already along on the road to adoption on a large scale, they write, adding that TSVs are an important enabling technology for future photonic systems.

On the road to 3-D is 2.5-D technology commercialization, according to a presentation from Michael Thiele of GlobalFoundries, who commented on his company's TSV line at its GloFo fab in Malta, NY, where a bump-and-test facility is under construction. Another volume bump-and-test facility (for SnAg C4 and Cu pillars) is already in operation in Dresden, Germany, and a 300-mm TSV line for interposer processing is installed in Singapore.

Other experts who weighed in at the summit included Mei Kei Ieong of TSMC Europe, Sesh Ramaswami of Appllied Materials' Silicon Systems Group, Martin Henry of STMicroelectronics, Eric Beyne of imec, Ron Huemoeller of Amkor, Stefan Lutter of Suss MicroTec, Thomas Brunschwiler from IBM Research, and Patrick Leduc of CEA-Leti, who concluded with comments on semiconductor needs in the the zettabyte era—data center traffic will reach four zettabytes this year, he said.

Read the complete article by Schultz and Guillou here.

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