Insights From Leading Edge

IFTLE 128: RTI 3D ASIP Part 1; Lester the Lightbulb update

Every year since 2005 the 3DIC season as ended with the Research Triangle Institute-sponsored Architectures for Semiconductor Integration and Packaging Conference (which I coined ASIP several years ago as I became tired of typing out the whole phrase). This conference — with its totally invited agenda — gives us a good chance to look back at what has happened during the year.

This year the preconference symposium (which has turned into course-like updates of the most recent technological advances) consisted of myself, Erik Jan Marinissen covering test, and Minsuk Suh of Hynix looking at the key challenges for wide IO applications.

The keynote session consisted of Xilinx, Micron, Cadence, GlobalFoundries, and Ericsson giving us a look at 2.5/3D progress from their perspectives.
Keynote speakers (l to r): Vinod Kariat (Cadence), Tom Pawlowski (Micron), Carl Engbloom (Ericsson), Dave McCann (GlobalFoundries) and Liam Madden (Xilinx)
Micron chief technologist Tom Pawlowski discussed revolutionary trends in memory technology and the role of 3D. He noted that "node scaling is becoming more difficult bot for logic and memory…we are getting close to the end of the CMOS S curve…the future will be dominated by technologies that offer the lowest energy consumption, i.e. picojules/bit." While there are significant aspect ratio and materials challenges for 3-D NAND (vertical transistor tech not 3D stacking), NAND is in the process of transitioning to "3D in fab" technology since it relaxes lithography requirements
Most practitioners feel that DRAM technology will be replaced. Opinions range from "mid-2015" to "by end of 2019." New technologies that may be used include:

Pawlowski indicates that the Micron HMC 3D stacking technology [see IFTLE 74, "The Micron Memory cube Consortium" and IFTLE 95, "…Further Details on the Micron HMC…"] has in fact rearchitected memory and equalizes signal transit time in the x, y, and z directions.

Micron offered the following memory stacking roadmap:


Longtime RTI 3D ASIP attendee Bob Patti has had a quite eventful year at memory startup Tezzaron. Late this year they announced thepurchase of the old Sematech facility in Austin (which was owned by failing SVTC) and the licensing of the Ziptronix direct bonding technologies ZiBondâ??¢ and DBI®.

The Austin facility will now be known as Novati technology which Patti referred to as "a production-style fab that can also do development." It gives Tezzaron the control of production capacity which is something they have yearned for, for many years.
Concerning the Ziptronix license Patti commented that "no one technology can do it all…this gives us superior performance in die to wafer." 

Patti reiterated several times that he would be an open platform and is working with e-silicon to get this to customers. Promising to become part of the "domestic supply chain" Patti now has a 300mm, ISO 9000, trusted fab which can build in 65 nm CMOS and has 6-7 interposer programs already underway.
Tezzarons Bob Patti meets with (L) Kathy Cook and CEO Dan Donnabedian (Ziptronix) and (R) Matt Macray (RTI organizer) and Arif Rahman (Altera)
Lester the Lightbulb update
An engineer from the northeast who chooses not to reveal his name (political hacks now abound in the DOE and you certainly do not want to be called a non-believer!) sent an e-mail earlier in the month after he stumbled onto the IFTLE Lester articles. Here is his true story.
"…a couple of years ago I decided to put four LED PAR38 luminaires into my kitchen ceiling recessed cans. It took a couple of months for my wife to stop complaining about the harshness, but we eventually settled in and even got used to the half second startup time. Sadly, two of the luminaires failed within 18 months. Sylvania requires the original cash register receipt and UPC symbol, and most of us aren’t in the habit of saving such documentation on light bulbs. I’ve since rekindled my relationship with Lester."
Hmmmmm… methinks there are a lot more stories like this out there in the naked city [1950s US crime show humor].
By the way, several of these Lester articles have been picked up and retweeted and republished in the LED literature. Guess I won’t be invited to give the plenary lecture at any LED conferences, but that’s OK because I’m telling you the truth which is in short supply in some parts of the scientific community which have aligned with the politicos.

In my one-bulb, nonscientific test which we started in Aug 2011 [see IFTLE 63, "BiddingAdieu to Lester Lightbulb" ], recall the CFL burned out in less than a year [see IFTLE 109, "…Lester’s cousin CFL dies prematurely…"] but the LED and Lester are still both burning as of the end of 2012.  Lester has now exceeded his 1000 hr expected lifetime. BRAVO LESTER ! Lester sent along this message from San Quentin where he still remains on death row but is running out of appeals.

"When I replaced the candle many years ago there was a reason for that and I think I bettered mankind. The dudes trying to extinct me now are doing so with lies because they are greedy bureaucrats who are on the take. CFL and LED are not the cheapest solutions for your lighting needs and reduction of the country’s energy consumption would be better done in other ways"

"If you don’t exterminate me I promise to be obedient (just flip the switch and I’ll come running); honest (you’ll never find me trying to bribe you to buy me or lying about my qualifications); thrifty (hey, what else can you buy now a days for a quarter?, not my competitors, that’s for sure!); brave (I’m trying to keep my chin up as those evil lying Washington lobbyists are accusing me of ruining our country); and clean (when I do finally pass away simply put me in the garbage can and I won’t poison your babies if I happen to break on your floor)."

Thanks, Lester, for all you have done for all of us….
For all the latest in 3DIC and Advanced Packaging stay linked to IFTLE…….


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