Custom 3D and 2.5D Packaging
Custom 3D packaging is a revolutionary way to get “More than Moore” out of semiconductors, connecting different silicon die together in the same package without needing to combine everything into one monolithic piece of silicon. eSilicon is a leader in this field and can help with all aspects of your 2.5D or 3D-IC project.
3D-IC is of interest to the majority of the industry, especially to companies whose volumes (or the certainty of achieving them) make it tough to justify a high NRE — typically several million dollars in a leading-edge technology node. 3D chips also offer the opportunity to combine heterogeneous technologies — for example, using 28nm for a standard microprocessor-based subsystem (which can be re-used in multiple designs), while using a more mature 65nm process with a much lower NRE for the customized portion of the logic, and 130nm for a mixed-signal function.
There are different needs and reasons for the interest in 3D in different application areas. For example, the mobile space is driven mostly by the potential benefits of reduced power and space. The communications infrastructure and networking space, however, is driven by yield improvement and the ability to insert more memory than would be possible using monolithic devices. Increasingly, companies in this space are also interested in the lower-power benefits. Mobile devices need thin architectures and have very thin package requirements. On the other hand, larger networking devices require thicker 3D-ICs or interposers in order to handle the flatness needed for larger die and side-by-side architectures of the devices.
Although full 3D-IC is forecasted to be ready in 2013, the so-called 2.5D approach using silicon interposers has been ready for prototyping since late 2010. A 2.5D-based product uses a piece of passive silicon called an interposer to act like a miniature PCB, onto which other chips are placed (Figure 3). As the interposer consists solely of passive silicon, it is matched in thermal expansion and hence reduces the mechanical stress on the active pieces of silicon. This is expected to have beneficial long-term reliability effects for the active circuitry. eSilicon’s approach uses a standardized form of interposer and builds “Tiles” of active silicon on top.
eSilicon 3D-IC Concept
The Tiles that form the basis of the 2.5D approach can include functions such as:
- Microprocessor sub-systems
- High-performance PHY functions
- High-performance analog functions such as analog-to-digital converters (ADCs) and digital-to-analog converters (DACs)
eSilicon 2.5D Concept
eSilicon is connected to all levels of the semiconductor manufacturing supply chain: fabs, test and assembly companies, EDA companies and design houses. If you are interested in doing your first 2.5D or 3D project, we can help you make the right decisions. eSilicon will manage the entire supply chain using the fabs and assembly and test houses that are ready for 2.5D and 3D-ICs. eSilicon is already active in 2.5D and expects to be an early adopter of production-ready 3D technology.