In Singapore, the A*STAR Institute of Microelectronics (IME) and 3D wafer-stacking firm Tezzaron Semiconductor will jointly develop and exploit through-silicon interposer (TSI) technology.
Interposers are analogous to PCBs, allow designers to integrate existing chips side-by-side on an interconnecting surface, but offering a significant performance advantage over PCBs.
This so-called 2.5D technology is an alternative to true 3D integration where custom-designed chips are stacked directly on one another.
“The two organisations will improve and refine the design and manufacture of silicon interposers and work to standardise the process, flows, and process design kits,” said IME. “Initial early production devices are already in development, based on IME’s TSI technology and incorporating 3D-ICs from Tezzaron. Fabrication will be completed in IME’s state-of-the-art 300mm R&D Fab.”
IME has researched aspects of 3D IC technology including through-silicon vias, cooling, interconnects and interposers.
The resulting TSI technology will form the foundation for an entity called the TSI Consortium, driven by IME and to be launched in early 2012.
“To build momentum in customer adoption and technology, IME will launch a TSI Consortium in early 2012, to facilitate greater cooperation between foundry, outsourced semiconductor assembly and test providers, equipment vendors and supply chain partners to expedite the integration of the supply chain,” said Professor Dim-Lee Kwong, 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.”