Optoelectronics and Telecom Conference Proceedings


Author: Christian VAL
Company: 3D PLUS
Date Published: 11/14/2001   Conference: Optoelectronics and Telecom

Abstract: 3D interconnection started some 10 years ago with three companies. Two of them (American ones) developed a 3D technology meant for Space and Defense; The other one, Thomson-CSF, developed a technology based on smart cards and as a consequence, mainly centered on civil applications.

At the beginning, we still had the wafer ; differentiation comes after. Some manufacturers, such as Irvine Sensors and Cubic Memory/VCI reroute the wafers. Like us, some other companies such as Sharp, design specific wafers to stack memories through staggered wire bonding. In order to do so, large volumes are necessary and this technique is currently used by the Telecom.

With regard to bare dice, i.e. after sawing, some differentiations remain depending on the chip being stacked as it is, or being plastic packaged. Some distinctions can be made between companies which stack identical bare dice : for instance NEC and 3D PLUS, and companies, which stack heterogeneous chips, such as Irvine Sensors and 3D PLUS.

As far as packaged dice are concerned we can mention 2 families: companies which stack standard packages (TSOP and CSP) such as IBM, Hitachi and 3D PLUS and companies which stack custom plastic packages, such as Stak-tek and Samsung.

This analysis shows that stacking of standard components (bare dice or plastic packages) results in a very low cost.

The stacking of components in 3 dimensions started in 1989 with 3 companies : Texas Instruments, Irvine Sensors and Thomson-CSF (3D Plus is a spin-off of Thomson).

The 2 first companies set up a technique essentially meant for Space and Defense applications. Thomson, whose market was much smaller, started with a dual technology, i.e. civil directed, with repercussions in the space and defense fields.

10 years after, it seems that this approach was a good one as it is much more difficult to downgrade a technology conceived for the space field than to upgrade a technology conceived for the civil field.

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