While TSV developments continue to attract media attention as the rock star technology of 3D integration, it’s important to remember that it’s not the only game in town. As a member of said media, I must admit that it’s easy to get caught up in all TSV all the time, because it’s been exciting to follow, and there are a lot of elements that need to fall into place for market adoption. Therefore, it’s an easy target. But what about other 3D technologies that are making progress? Any journalist (or blogger) worth his or her salt knows that the best story ideas require a little digging, so here goes. This week I’ll focus on bringing readers up to date on some of these.
Vertical Circuits’ Vertical Interconnect Pillar Technology
Abbreviated to the acronym, VIP (clever, don’t you think?), this technology was developed as an alternative to both wire bond and TSV, overcoming scaling limitations of the former (up to 100 die have reportedly been proven) and design and cost limitations of the latter. VIP is actually the final step in a series of process steps that begins with standard die in wafer form. Die pads are re-routed to the periphery, and the die goes through an insulation process. The wafer is then thinned and die are singulated. Next the die are stacked and laminated together with an adhesive. Finally, conductors are jet dispensed on the edge of the die stack using Asymtek’s high speed, high accuracy jetting technology. The process involves existing equipment, and can be integrated into any existing back-end assembly line. Target applications include memory modules, embedded memory, and system-in-package.
This company and its technology made recent headlines with the announcement of its strategic partnership with DISCO, known for its high volume manufacturing (HVM) backgrind and dicing tools. As VCI’s process relies on wafer thinning and dicing techniques, the partnership allows them to offer an established toolset to the IDMs and packaging companies that license its technology.
Look for presentations from VCI at several upcoming industry events including IMAPS Device Packaging Symposium, ISTC/CSTIC 2009 (part of SEMICON China), 2009 MRS Spring Meeting, and ECTC 2009. – F.v.T.