Xilinx and University of Florida honored with SEMI Award for advancements in interposers and CMOS fab process

SEMI today announced that two teams — from the University of Florida and Xilinx — are recipients of the 2013 SEMI Award for North America. The development team at Xilinx was recognized for their commercialization of the silicon interposer and the University of Florida team was recognized for developing a cornerstone of the modern era of computational modeling of CMOS fabrication process with the Florida Object-Oriented Process Simulator, FLOOPS.  Liam Madden  accepted the award on behalf of the Xilinx team, and Mark Law and Kevin Jones (University of Florida) accepted their awards during a banquet at the 2014 SEMI Industry Strategy Symposium (ISS) yesterday in Half Moon Bay, Calif.

The University of Florida team of Mark Law and Kevin Jones developed a cornerstone of the modern era of computational modeling of CMOS fabrication process with the Florida Object-Oriented Process Simulator (FLOOPS) which was introduced in 1990. FLOOPS has developed into a widely used, flexible code for multi-dimensional modeling for advanced IC fabrication processes.  The proliferation of the use of FLOOPS as a vital component of process development activities enabled the continued advances in CMOS transistor performance throughout the last decade. The 3D nature of FLOOPS proved especially valuable as CMOS transistor design shifted from planar to multi-gate forms.

Law directed the FLOOPS code development and Jones led an extensive process characterization program, providing a detailed understanding of the relevant dopant-defect interactions needed to validate the specific models used in the FLOOPS code. The robust flexibility of FLOOPS serves as a valuable operational model for other efforts as IC development becomes increasingly dependent on efficient and accurate computational modeling capabilities in all areas of IC device fabrication and operation.  There are now over 200 registered users of the FLOOPS code, including many SEMI member companies. In addition, the team works with graduates who enrich the global talent pool of many SEMI member companies.

The team at Xilinx — Trevor Bauer, Liam Madden, Kumar Nagarajan, Suresh Ramalingam, Steve Trimberger, and Steve Young — is recognized for commercialization of the silicon interposer which provides more than two orders of magnitude increase in die-to-die bandwidth per watt. This achievement effectively addressed both challenges of decreasing power and increasing bandwidth for advanced digital ICs. It also decreased latency to only 20 percent for standard input/output connections. Initially announced in 2011 and first shipped in 2012, the incorporation of a silicon interposer, also called 2.5D technology, delivers performance and power requirements dramatically improved compared to standard packaging.

 

When Xilinx used a silicon interposer in their packaging of advanced FPGA, it represented a major innovation in assembly and packaging technology and provides a learning curve for the many of the technologies that will be needed for high-volume production of 3D-stacked die. The product was realized by dividing their advanced FPGA into four die using 28nm technology and mounting the die side by side using microbumps on a silicon interposer. These die are connected to each other using a 65nm generation redistribution layer on the interposer and, in-turn, to the package substrate using through silicon vias (TSV) in the silicon interposer. The elements of redistribution layers on silicon, TSVs, and microbumps were already available but never combined to provide this high bandwidth, low power packaging solution.

“SEMI is proud to honor both Xilinx and the University of Florida with a SEMI Award.  In addition to developing a key component of CMOS fabrication process with FLOOPS, the University of Florida has contributed valuable time and effort into workforce development for SEMI member companies for many years,” said Karen Savala, president, SEMI Americas.  “Xilinx’s contribution is not only the design of the FPGA packaging using four die, but working with leaders in the foundry, assembly and packaging industries to develop a supply chain enabling volume production.”

“The FLOOPS technology enabled movement of some process development from the factory to the computer decreasing time and cost to implement new device designs,” said Bill Bottoms, chairman of the SEMI Award Advisory Committee. “The commercialization of the TSV based silicon interposer for high performance digital circuits and establishing the supply chain will also substantially accelerate the commercialization of full 3D integration.”

The SEMI Award was established in 1979 to recognize outstanding technical achievement and meritorious contribution in the areas of Semiconductor Materials, Wafer Fabrication, Assembly and Packaging, Process Control, Test and Inspection, Robotics and Automation, Quality Enhancement, and Process Integration.

The award is the highest honor conferred by SEMI. It is open to individuals or teams from industry or academia whose specific accomplishments have broad commercial impact and widespread technical significance for the entire semiconductor industry. Nominations are accepted from individuals of North American-based member companies of SEMI. For a list of past award recipients, visit www.semi.org/en/About/Awards/AwardNorthAmerica/P037176.

On January 13, SEMI also recognized two individuals — Rick Wallace, CEO and president of KLA-Tencor, and L.T. Guttadauro, executive director of the Fab Owners Association — who have  provided outstanding support to the SEMI Foundation  through donations, vision and volunteer efforts.  The SEMI Foundation was created in 2001 to support education in the area of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). A key program of the SEMI Foundation is High Tech U (HTU), a hands-on STEM career exploration program that is industry driven and supported through the generosity of SEMI member companies worldwide. For more information, visit www.semi.org/en/About/SEMIFoundation.

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