Pushing Memory Harder


In an optimized system, no component is waiting for another component while there is useful work to be done. Unfortunately, this is not the case with the processor/memory interface. Put simply, memory cannot keep up. Accessing memory is slow, and it can consume a significant fraction of the power budget. And the general consensus is this problem is not going away anytime soon, despite effort... » read more

The Race To Next-Gen 2.5D/3D Packages


Several companies are racing each other to develop a new class of 2.5D and 3D packages based on various next-generation interconnect technologies. Intel, TSMC and others are exploring or developing future packages based on one emerging interconnect scheme, called copper-to-copper hybrid bonding. This technology provides a way to stack advanced dies using copper connections at the chip level,... » read more

3D Power Delivery


Getting power into and around a chip is becoming a lot more difficult due to increasing power density, but 2.5D and 3D integration are pushing those problems to whole new levels. The problems may even be worse with new packaging approaches, such as chiplets, because they constrain how problems can be analyzed and solved. Add to that list issues around new fabrication technologies and an emph... » read more

DRAM Tradeoffs: Speed Vs. Energy


Semiconductor Engineering sat down to talk about new DRAM options and considerations with Frank Ferro, senior director of product management at Rambus; Marc Greenberg, group director for product marketing at Cadence; Graham Allan, senior product marketing manager for DDR PHYs at Synopsys; and Tien Shiah, senior manager for memory marketing at Samsung Electronics. What follows are excerpts of th... » read more

What’s Next In Advanced Packaging


Packaging houses are readying the next wave of advanced IC packages, hoping to gain a bigger foothold in the race to develop next-generation chip designs. At a recent event, ASE, Leti/STMicroelectronics, TSMC and others described some of their new and advanced IC packaging technologies, which involve various product categories, such as 2.5D, 3D and fan-out. Some new packaging technologies ar... » read more

Partitioning In 3D


The best way to improve transistor density isn't necessarily to cram more of them onto a single die. Moore’s Law in its original form stated that device density doubles about every two years while cost remains constant. It relied on the observation that the cost of a processed silicon wafer remained constant regardless of the number of devices printed on it, which in turn depended on litho... » read more

3D NAND Race Faces Huge Tech And Cost Challenges


Amid the ongoing memory downturn, 3D NAND suppliers continue to race each other to the next technology generations with several challenges and a possible shakeout ahead. Micron, Samsung, SK Hynix and the Toshiba-Western Digital duo are developing 3D NAND products at the next nodes on the roadmap, but the status of two others, Intel and China’s Yangtze Memory Technologies Co. (YMTC), is les... » read more

Power Budgets At 3nm And Beyond


There is high confidence that digital logic will continue to shrink at least to 3nm, and possibly down to 1.5nm. Each of those will require significant changes in how design teams approach power. This is somewhat evolutionary for most chipmakers. Five years ago there were fewer than a handful of power experts in most large organizations. Today, everyone deals with power in one way or another... » read more

2.5D, 3D Power Integrity


Chris Ortiz, principal applications engineer at ANSYS, zeroes in on some common issues that are showing up in 2.5D and 3D packaging, which were not obvious in the initial implementations of these packaging technologies. This includes everything from how to build a power delivery network to minimize the coupling between chips to dealing with variability and power integrity and placement of diffe... » read more

Lithography Challenges For Fan-out


Higher density fan-out packages are moving toward more complex structures with finer routing layers, all of which requires more capable lithography equipment and other tools. The latest high-density fan-out packages are migrating toward the 1µm line/space barrier and beyond, which is considered a milestone in the industry. At these critical dimensions (CDs), fan-outs will provide better per... » read more

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