Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Making 3-D Chips A Reality: Rensselaer Researchers Pioneer Interconnect Technology That May Take Chips Into 3-D

Date:
September 2, 2003
Source:
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Summary:
Researchers led by Ronald J. Gutmann in the Focus Center-New York at Rensselaer (FC-NY-RPI) are pioneering new interconnect technologies that promise to deliver smaller, faster, inexpensive, microelectronics and circuits that function in three dimensions.

TROY, N.Y. -- Researchers led by Ronald J. Gutmann in the Focus Center-New York at Rensselaer (FC-NY-RPI) are pioneering new interconnect technologies that promise to deliver smaller, faster, inexpensive, microelectronics and circuits that function in three dimensions.

Researchers at Rensselaer's Focus Center-NY for Interconnections for Gigascale Integration believe that a strategy in which several chip wafers are bonded together in 3-D and interconnected provides an effective means to integrate chip technologies, and will dramatically improve performance and function. Working with collaborators from the semiconductor industry and other universities, the Rensselaer team is developing more effective interconnects that will allow information to get where it's going more quickly and make computing ever faster.

Jian-Qiang "James" Lu, a research associate professor of physics and electrical engineering, presented some of their findings in a paper co-authored with International SEMATECH (Austin, Texas) at the International Interconnect Technology Conference (IITC) in June.

"At Rensselaer, we're working with others to develop a very promising approach to building vertically integrated (3D) circuits; going up instead of across", says Lu.

Vertical Bridges to the Next Level An interconnect is essentially a vertical bridge to another level. But it's nearly impossible to keep building such bridges in two dimensions, Lu explains, because bridges span a chip similar to the way the Brooklyn Bridge spans the East River.

"It's a matter of necessity to consolidate space on a chip. Since real estate is dwindling as chip size decreases, the only way to go it seems, is up," says Lu. "If you're in a city, like New York for example, and you want to increase and expand the scale of your business, you need to increase real estate, narrow the streets, and build bridges. But New York City is only so big, so you need to build skyscrapers. It's the same with chips, Rensselaer is attempting to build the information bridges for the chip skyscrapers."

If you want the signal to travel from one side of the chip to the other, there will be a delay because the global circuit wire is so long in 2-D (typically travel is 10,000 microns). One simple solution to interconnectivity is to cut that large chip to several small chips, then stack and connect them vertically. By cutting and stacking interconnects you can slash that global travel distance to 10 microns or less (chip-to-chip).

Damascene Processing

To make and interconnect 3-D chips, Lu explains Rensselaer's process of effectively bonding wafers together face-to-face. After bonding and thinning the top wafer, inter-wafer interconnects are formed using the industry standard "damascene" processing. This process includes drilling a hole using dry etching, filling it with copper (the industry standard material), and polishing away extra copper define the metal lines that will carry signals around the "stacked-chip" product. Gutmann was a leader in developing this damascene process for defining metal lines. This damascene interconnect formation process, combined with wafer alignment, bonding and thinning, can be repeated for the third wafer, says Lu.

"We're developing monolithic wafer-level 3-D integration processes that potentially can achieve all the advantages of system-on-a-chip and system-in-a-package, while lowering cost, enabling the use of small form factors and achieving high performance," Lu said.

Hyper-Integration

Further advancements and benefits of such a system on a 3-D chip are that each layer can be optimized for any given technology, meaning in one 3-D chip you could integrate (hyper-integrate) terahertz technology, mixed signal processing, wireless and optical systems.

"Mixing the systems on a 3-D chip will enable technology for future chips to be low-cost and will also allow nanoelectronic, opto-electronic, and biochemical circuits to be integrated into heterogeneous systems," says Lu. Several RPI faculty members lead design, modeling and applications-oriented efforts that support different aspects of this fairly large effort.

Also, the development cycles of various technologies using 3-D technology can be combined which compresses manufacturing time. Currently the cycles are dependant upon each other on a 2-D chip. With 3-D technology you can pick off-the-shelf technologies and plug them in, manipulating each layer separately and optimizing it to the needs of the user, explains Lu.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. "Making 3-D Chips A Reality: Rensselaer Researchers Pioneer Interconnect Technology That May Take Chips Into 3-D." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 September 2003. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/09/030902073650.htm>.
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. (2003, September 2). Making 3-D Chips A Reality: Rensselaer Researchers Pioneer Interconnect Technology That May Take Chips Into 3-D. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/09/030902073650.htm
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. "Making 3-D Chips A Reality: Rensselaer Researchers Pioneer Interconnect Technology That May Take Chips Into 3-D." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/09/030902073650.htm (accessed April 18, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Friday, April 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Small Reactors Could Be Future of Nuclear Energy

Small Reactors Could Be Future of Nuclear Energy

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) After the Fukushima nuclear disaster, the industry fell under intense scrutiny. Now, small underground nuclear power plants are being considered as the possible future of the nuclear energy. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Horseless Carriage Introduced at NY Auto Show

Horseless Carriage Introduced at NY Auto Show

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) An electric car that proponents hope will replace horse-drawn carriages in New York City has also been revealed at the auto show. (Apr. 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Honda's New ASIMO Robot, More Human-Like Than Ever

Honda's New ASIMO Robot, More Human-Like Than Ever

AFP (Apr. 17, 2014) It walks and runs, even up and down stairs. It can open a bottle and serve a drink, and politely tries to shake hands with a stranger. Meet the latest ASIMO, Honda's humanoid robot. Duration: 00:54 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
German Researchers Crack Samsung's Fingerprint Scanner

German Researchers Crack Samsung's Fingerprint Scanner

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) German researchers have used a fake fingerprint made from glue to bypass the fingerprint security system on Samsung's new Galaxy S5 smartphone. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins