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  • Global Semiconductor Alliance Creates 3D Integrated Circuit (IC) Initiative

    Published on November 4, 2010

    California : GSA, the voice of the global semiconductor industry, today announces its efforts to increase awareness and visibility worldwide for its 3D IC technology and associated educational initiatives.

    The GSA has retained semiconductor industry veteran, Herb Reiter, president of eda 2 asic Consulting and long time GSA leader and advocate to lead the 3D IC initiative. Part of the plan includes the formation of the 3D IC Working Group which will be led by Reiter. This Group includes participants from all major semiconductor companies and the supply chain including EDA, packaging and foundry. Furthermore, the GSA has formed relationships with IMEC, ITRI, SEMI , SEMATECH and Si2 to help direct and participate in this effort.

    This year the GSA has presented papers and gained awareness for 3D IC at multiple global events. At Design Automation and Test in Europe (DATE) 2010 in Dresden, GSA held a meeting that attracted more than 40 European system and IC designers, as well as EDA representatives, to the 3D Tutorial. During DAC, the GSA 3D IC meeting hosted approximately 100 attendees. Other sessions and panels were organized by GSA at SemiCon West and the GSA Emerging Opportunities Expo & Conference. Furthermore, Reiter has contributed articles to the GSA Forum, Future Fab magazine and has been invited to submit a 2.5 versus 3D article to Yole Développement’s November issue of Micronews. Reiter also moderated a 3D panel at LSI’s Accelerating Innovation Conference in early October and will have a poster presentation at IEEE International 3D System Integration Conference (3DIC) in Munich this November.

    The GSA will drive this initiative further when it hosts its second annual Memory Conference on March 31, 2011 in San Jose. The theme for the 2011 conference will be Memory and Logic Integration and the Benefits of 3D IC Technology.

    “GSA understands the semiconductor industry is faced with one of the biggest challenges threatening progress—the rapidly increasing power dissipation of ICs and systems,” said Jodi Shelton, president, GSA. “Our members are increasingly reviewing ‘2D SOC’ roadmaps and are studying how, when and for which applications they must transition to a new paradigm to continue meeting their customers’ demands. This is why the GSA 3D IC Initiative is so intently focused on bringing a strong awareness to the benefits and importance of this technology.”

    To accelerate the development and adoption of high-productivity EDA tools and flows, GSA formed the EDA Interest Group in May 2008 with representatives from EDA vendors, semiconductor firms, foundries, IC design services, research institutes and other industry organizations to analyze long-term market needs. Additionally, it was created to recommend how EDA vendors, in cooperation with customers and partners, can best meet these needs. In early 2009, the group decided to focus its efforts on tools and flows to support the new and rapidly emerging 3D IC technology. As a first step, they developed a brief survey to better understand the industry’s plan for utilizing this technology and requirements for tools and flows.

    “The wireless industry is pushing for 3D IC stacks to meet the power and space constraints in Mobile Internet Devices (MIDs),” Reiter said. “At the same time users of networking, graphics and computing equipment demand 3D ICs to meet the next generations’ bandwidth and performance requirements. A broad range of system and IC designers plan to work efficiently to combine heterogeneous process technologies in a 3D IC stack.”

    The GSA will continue to work jointly with other organizations on a broadly accessible 3D IC ecosystem, agree on standards and identify synergies to drive economies of scale. A number of leading-edge semiconductor vendors have already moved beyond traditional 2D design techniques and utilize key advantages of the third dimension within their corporations. The GSA wants to help accelerate an industry-wide transition to make 3D IC technically suitable, as well as cost-effective, for a wide range of applications and increase ROI for early adopters.

    Part of the 3D IC initiative includes the formation of the 3D IC Working Group. This Group meets bi-monthly. If you would like to participate, contact Kristen Pillans at [email protected]