Now look what I’ve started. After posting Bob Patti’s solution for performing UBM with conformal TSVs, I got a phone call from a 25 year industry veteran who prefers not to be identified, but who disagreed with Bob’s response. He maintains that when forming TSVs in a via-first approach for the purpose of silicon interposers, they must be either completely filled with copper, or lined with copper and filled with either a polymer material or solder, because if you attempt to put a redistribution layer or UBM layer on without filling them, “all the junk” will fill the via. He also noted that in the case of via-last formation for CMOS image sensor applications, there is no need to completely fill the via. I forgot to ask him if the same applies with DRAM memory stacks, which is Tezzaron’s area of specialty, so I’m thinking we may not have heard the last of this discussion.

Although a purely coincidental happenstance, yesterday’s debate turns out to be the ideal lead-in for my next announcement. Beginning July 6, and running through July 24th I will be moderating the BrightSpots 3D IC Forum, hosted by MCA Public Relations in cooperation with SemiNeedle, which will enable industry professionals to participate in an active discussion exploring the key issues surrounding 3D ICs from design to manufacture. The online round-table format offers a platform for continuous dialogue that extends the life of a traditional panel event and features a panel of industry experts ready to discuss critical issues associated with 3D IC technology initiated by questions from the public. To join the online discussion or log on to monitor progress, visit You can also monitor BrightSpots-related activities on Twitter under the hash tag: #MCA3DIC. I’m very excited to be a part of this event, and look forward to covering it on my blog. – F.v.T.

Francoise von Trapp

They call me the “Queen of 3D” because I have been following the course of…

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