Is ALLVIA ahead of the pack? While the rest of us wonder when through silicon via (TSV) will be ready for market adoption, a small Sunnyvale-based company, ALLVIA, has been chugging right along for the past five years, manufacturing TSVs for a variety of applications like advanced vertical interconnect, silicon interposers for system-in-package, and MEMS sensors. For the past 3 years, they’ve even been generating revenue through prototype services and volume production runs at its fab facility.
Just today, AllVIA announced it has received the third round of funding to allow expansion of the facility and build more capacity. Here. In the US. During a recession. With a technology that’s still, for the most part, trying to break out of the gate. What could be better news than that?
I first met Sergey Savastiouk, CEO of ALLVIA, at IMAPS 2008 and he talked to me about the company’s history. He said he first licensed the technology and developed equipment for TSV processes in 1996, but it drew no interest. So he set about building a foundry to change all that. He even coined the name — through silicon via.
In 2005, ALLVIA began working with customers — MEMS sensors and packaging people — to integrate vias into products and generate missing data. Since then, Savastiouk says the have been working to develop reliability data, costing and manufacturability parameters, which he says are the keys to transport TSVs from niche to volume production.
“As a technology TSVs are going through a similar life cycle as flip chips,” commented Savastiouk. “Flip chips were first developed in the 1960s by IBM. But it took decades to develop the feasibility, reliability, cost effectiveness and manufacturability to get them into volume production. TSV has passed the feasibility phase, but reliability and manufacturability figures, and most importantly, those applications that are willing to pay for the technology, are still being determined.” Savoustiak also said the timeline could be accelerated if a company such as Intel were to lead the charge.
This latest injection of cash – reportedly $5M – brings the company’s investment total to $25M. Looks like ALLVIA is drawing interest now. – F.v.T.