AMS builds €25m 3D IC line in Austria
Austrian analogue chip firm AMS has invested over €25m to create dedicated 3D IC production capacity at its wafer fab near Graz, citing “soaring demand for stacked-die devices”.
“The 3D IC production line is a substantial investment for a company the size of AMS, and it demonstrates our commitment to the development and deployment of advanced analogue semiconductor fabrication technology,” said CEO Kirk Laney.
AMS has proprietary through-silicon via (TSV) stacking intellectual property.
“TSV interconnects in 3D ICs can replace the bond wires in conventional single-die devices”, it said. “For optical semiconductors, clear packaging requirements are eliminated to enable production of chip-scale packages that are smaller, cheaper, and less vulnerable to EMI.” EMI is electromagnetic interference.
Two die from different processes – for example a photodiode and a silicon signal-processor – can be bonded back-to-back can put in one package to save space and cut connection length.
The line is being installed in spare cleanroom space, and will be available to foundry customer as well as in-house designers.
“Initially the line will produce devices for customers in the medical imaging and mobile phone markets,” said AMS, which employs over 1,300 people globally, was known as Austria Microsystems before it acquired optical sensor company TAOS in 2011.