Francoise von Trapp

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

View Francoise's posts

Today, LinkedIN reminded me that 3D InCites just celebrated its 6th anniversary. I also noticed that Paul Werbaneth’s latest 3D+ post, Japan, Abenomics, IoT, and the MEMS Engineer Forum 2015, was the 1001st post to be published on the site. That’s a lot of talk about 3D integration, from processes to devices to applications, and more recently about what it enables, such as heterogeneous integration and the Internet of Things.

Back when I first started the original blog, Francoise in 3D, in January, 2009, I chose to focus on 3D because it seemed to be a manageable topic that I could grow with. People often ask me, why 3D? I can’t deny it was a strategic move. I had only been working in the semiconductor industry for 4 years at that point, and was still wrapping my non-engineer brain around advanced packaging technologies. In 2009, 3D was just starting its climb up the Gartner hype cycle. It was still relatively new to most people. It was easier to become an “expert” in a technology that was new to all, rather than try to play 20 years of catch-up. Plus, 3D was cool and different.

Over the past six years, 3D InCites has followed 3D integration up that hype cycle to the peak of inflated expectations, down to the trough of disillusionment, and through its long slow climb up the slope of enlightenment to the plateau of productivity. (It’s still unclear whether it’s stuck on the upside of enlightenment and not quite to the plateau. I guess it depends on your definition of “productivity”. )

We’ve talked about the processes as they developed, and about the various “killer applications” that promised to bring 3D ICs to commercialization – applications like image sensors (not really 3D but used 3D TSV processes), 3D DRAM (finally here after a long wait) and Wide I/O memory on logic (also starting to happen in its Wide I/O2 verison with the help of interposers). We’ve followed the “other 3Ds” as well – monolithic 3D ICs, 3D NAND, 3D transistors, 3D systems integration. Most importantly, we’ve personalized this journey by brining the people in this industry to life by participating in conferences, talking to those people in the trenches who have worked so hard to make 3D happen, and we’ve visited the companies who’ve invited us to see first-hand what is involved with bringing 3D to commercialization.

And we’ve grown. We started with one regular blog (Francoisein3D) and occasional guest bloggers (those on From Different Dimensions), and now host two additional regular blogs (Herb Reiter on 3D In Context, and Paul Werbaneth on 3D+) and the 3DbyDesign blog featuring regular and guest bloggers from the design community. We also launched the 3D InCites Knowledge Portal last year for the purposes of publishing technical features. We are in the midst of our third annual 3D InCites Awards program. Looking forward, we see opportunities to expand the conversation into other exciting emerging technologies such as heterogeneous integration, the Internet of Things, and beyond. 3D is really just the beginning.

So thank you to all the LinkedIN well-wishers who congratulated me today on my sixth anniversary at 3D InCites. It’s both flown by and been a lifetime (Chris Burke and Eric Schulte, you’re both right)! I’m looking forward to the next 6 years and 1001 posts. As one guest blogger said to me yesterday, “I can hardly wait to see what I (we) have to say!” ~ F.v.T.