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Global Foundries Demonstrates 3D TSV Capabilities on 20 nm Processors

Global Foundries has demonstrated its first functional 20 nm silicon wafers with integrated Through-Silicon Vias (TSVs) and reached a key milestone in the company's plan to enable 3D stacking of chips for next generation mobile and consumer applications.

TSVs are vertical vias etched in a silicon wafer that are filled with a conducting material, enabling communication between vertically stacked integrated circuits. The adoption of three-dimensional (3D) chip stacking is considered to be a viable alternative to traditional technology node scaling at the transistor level.

"Our industry has been talking about the promise of 3D chip stacking for years, but this development is another sign that the promise will soon be a reality," said David McCann, vice president of packaging R&D at GLOBAL FOUNDRIES. "Our next step is to leverage Fab 8's advanced TSV capabilities in conjunction with our OSAT partners to assemble and qualify 3D test vehicles for our open supply chain model, providing customers with the flexibility to choose their preferred back-end supply chain."

To overcome some of the technology's development challenges, Global Foundries has utilized a "via-middle" approach to TSV integration, inserting the TSVs into the silicon after the wafers have completed the Front End of the Line (FEOL) flow and prior to starting the Back End of the Line (BEOL) process. This approach avoids the high temperatures of the FEOL manufacturing process, allowing the use of copper as the TSV fill material. To overcome the challenges associated with the migration of TSV technology from 28 nm to 20 nm, the company has developed a proprietary contact protection scheme that enables the TSVs to be integrated with minimal disruption to the 20 nm LPM platform technology.

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  • slomo4sho
    Now to address the issue of heat dispersion associated with chip stacking.
    Reply
  • roflplatypus
    cool, i hope they have this for AMD's piledriver.
    Reply
  • ikyung
    The silicon era is slowly coming to an end.
    Reply
  • InvalidError
    slomo4shoNow to address the issue of heat dispersion associated with chip stacking.Simple enough: if they stack DRAM/NAND which are rather quite low-power compared to CPUs, they just need to put the CPU on the top-most layer so it can make contact with whatever heatsink/heat-spreader the application has available.
    Reply
  • madjimms
    roflplatypuscool, i hope they have this for AMD's piledriver.
    I thought AMD left Global Foundries...
    Reply
  • InvalidError
    ikyungThe silicon era is slowly coming to an end.There is a good 15-20 years left in it and there are no guarantees that there will be a cost-effective replacement ready before then.
    Reply
  • griptwister
    madjimmsI thought AMD left Global Foundries...The did. Lol, this guy must of been living under a rock or something.
    Reply
  • griptwisterThe did. Lol, this guy must of been living under a rock or something.
    Wait, AMD doesn't use Global Foundries anymore? I know they are separate entities now but i thought they still manufactured AMD's CPU's.
    Reply
  • A Bad Day
    athulajpWait, AMD doesn't use Global Foundries anymore? I know they are separate entities now but i thought they still manufactured AMD's CPU's.
    AMD still does kinda use GF. It's just that the AMD-GF relationship has downgraded to "old couples non-stop bickering".
    Reply
  • dragonsqrrl
    athulajpWait, AMD doesn't use Global Foundries anymore? I know they are separate entities now but i thought they still manufactured AMD's CPU's.They do, I'm not sure what madjimms and griptwister are referring to. Maybe they're thinking of AMD's E series APU's, but I'm not sure how that translates into AMD leaving GF. AMD still relies on GF for a lot of their manufacturing, and will probably continue to for the foreseeable future.
    Reply