It looks as though the call is finally being heard. Those deeply involved in 3D IC Integration using through silicon vias (TSV) as a method of interconnect have been banging these particular drums and sending up smoke signals to the design and test communities for quite some time now with the same message: WE NEED DESIGN SOLUTIONS and WE NEED METHODS FOR TEST.

During the 3D Panel held last month at IMAPS Device Packaging Symposium, panelists and attendees alike speculated about the why’s and wherefores of the logjam for both; but no one could really come up with a concrete answer. While several smaller EDA vendors were acknowledged for having developed tools for 3D IC design (Javelin Design Automation, MicroMagic, and R3 Logic), the question of when “the big guys” (Mentor and Cadence) would jump on board. The collective assumption is that until TSV is closer to market adoption, there’s no real need for the larger design houses to jump into the ring. Test for TSV is still very much an enigma.

Therefore, it was with delight that I reviewed the agenda for Friday’s workshop at DATE 2009, 3D Integration – Technology, Architecture, Design, Automation and Test. Workshop organizers, Yann Gillou, of ST Ericcson, and Erik Jan Marinissen and Geert Van der Plas, both from IMEC; have assembled a line-up for attendees from the design and test communities designed to educate attendees about the critical need for solutions, and to spark interaction between researchers, practitioners, and others interested in 3D IC Integration.

Session 1, moderated by Lisa McIlrath of R3 Logic, kicks off with a keyote addressby Sitaram Arkalgud, of SEMATECH, titled The Promise of Through-Silicon Vias, followed by invited speaker, Riko Radojcic from Qualcomm, who will outline requirements for the design-for-3D environment. The talk will focus on the design environment and EDA tools necessary for what Qualcomm identifies as the ‘Stage 1’ class of products, consisting of a functionally partitioned two-die stack. He will identify three classes of methodologies and associated EDA technologies.

The rest of the day addresses the gamut of issues surrounding design and test, ranging from power integrity issues and bandwidth optimization, to SOC test architecture, test strategies for 3D IC, and much more. In addition to live presentations and 22 poster sessions, the day will conclude with a panel discussion, The Future of 3D Integration From All Angles, moderated by Peter Ramm, of the Fraunhofer Institute. Panelists include Roger Carpenter, Javelin Design Automation; Krishnendu Chakrabarty, Duke University; Paul Siblerud, Semitool; Nicolas Sillon; CEA-LETI; Pascal Urard, ST Microelectronics; and Geert Van der Plas, IMEC.

They may not have the answers yet, but at least they’re getting the message. It’s a start. — 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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