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IMEC, Synopsys to research on 3D stacked ICs

Posted: 12 Mar 2010     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:3D stacked IC  through-silicon vias  TSV 

Synopsys Inc. and IMEC have formed a collaborative research team to accelerate the development of 3D stacked IC technologies with the use of Synopsys TCAD (Technology Computer-Aided Design) finite-element method tools for characterising and optimising the reliability and electrical performance of through-silicon vias (TSVs).

While considered an emerging technology, 3D stacked IC complements conventional transistor scaling and allows multiple chips to be stacked and integrated into a single package. This technology reduces form factor and power consumption, and increases bandwidth of inter-chip communication by minimising connections through the circuit board with high parasitic capacitance. As with other innovative technologies, 3D stacked IC introduces a number of new issues that can potentially affect its reliability and performance. The collaborative research to address these issues will take place at IMEC, where silicon wafers with test structures will be manufactured and tested, and Synopsys' TCAD tools will be used to model the TSVs in the chip stacks to optimise 3D stacked IC performance and reliability.

"We consider the availability of Synopsys' silicon-proven finite-element method tools to be an integral part of deploying 3D stacked IC technology. This collaboration will speed up the development of through-silicon via technologies and will in turn facilitate the adoption of 3D stacked ICs in the semiconductor industry," said Luc Van den hove, president and CEO of IMEC.

"This collaboration with IMEC affords us the opportunity to validate Synopsys' industry-leading TCAD simulation tools for addressing the emerging 3D stacked IC technology. IMEC is an ideal collaboration partner for this effort given its excellent research facilities, industry focus and expertise," said Howard Ko, general manager and senior VP of the silicon engineering group at Synopsys.

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