ECTC 2012
Conference paper

2.5D and 3D technology challenges and test vehicle demonstrations

View publication


Three-dimensional (3D) chip integration with through-silicon-vias (TSV's) can enable system benefits of enhanced performance, power efficiency, and cost reduction leveraging micro-architecture designs such as 2.5D silicon packages and 3D die stacks. 2.5D silicon packages and 3D die stacks structures integrated in modules each have unique technical challenges but each can provide system benefits including lower latency and higher bandwidth compared to traditional packaging solutions. Additional system benefits using 2.5D or 3D integration can include product miniaturization or increased function in the same size product. Leveraging proper design and micro-architecture for a system application, 3D technology can aide chip manufacturability for lower costs, sub-component heterogeneous integration, modular design and sub-component design reuse, which can reduce development expense and decrease time to market. 2.5D and 3D technology can reduce interconnection length between circuits leading to lower power consumption and lower latency as well as increase the number of interconnections which supports increased bandwidth to traditional 2D off chip interconnection. Appropriate design ground rules, clocking, and electrical models should match well defined technology attributes such as TSV's and silicon to silicon interconnection electrical parametrics. In addition a wafer test methodology for known good die (KGD) and high yield assembly integration approach are important to obtain integrated 2.5D and 3D modules. For complex 3D integration, proper consideration for module or integrated die stacked with TSV's and Si to Si interconnection may require redundancy and an integral repair methodology. 2.5D and 3D technology challenges may include an increase in the power delivery and cooling requirements to meet the increased circuit density and power density of these structures. For small, low power applications such as mobile devices, 2.5D and 3D technology can provide substantial benefit through both performance benefit and power savings and lead to longer battery life for the same function. For some high performance and high power applications, the 2.5D approach simplifies heterogeneous die integration without requiring leading to increases power density and heat removal cooling density. Whereas some high performance and high power applications using 3D technology may require extensive planning for power delivery with localized power regulation and specialized cooling approaches to avoid excessive in die stack temperatures while taking advantage of performance gains that these short links between heterogeneous die can provide. 3D die stacks using multi-core processors and wide I/O DRAM, eDRAM, SRAM or cache stacks can provide high bandwidth, performance improvements with lower latency. In addition to the power delivery and thermal challenges of 2.5D and 3D described above, there are 3D fabrication and industry compatibility challenges. Technology challenges include wafer integration and finishing with TSV's, test for known-good-die (KGD), assembly and module integration. Infrastructure compatibility and use of newly evolving industry standards such as Semi-3D standards for wafer handling and JEDEC standards for wide I/O memory to name two examples. Standards for wafer shipping are underway and other 3D compatibility standards are being defined over time. This research paper describes key challenges to enable systems using 2.5D and 3D technology. The paper also highlights progress and results for 2.5D and 3D hardware demonstrations and gives an outlook on future demonstrations. © 2012 IEEE.