For the third consecutive year, 3D integration enthusiasts gathered at the Impress Lounge at SEMICON West for the 2015 3D InCites Awards Breakfast, sponsored by Micron, to celebrate innovation in 3D integration and honor those who have contributed significantly to the advancement of innovative processes that enable interposer integration, 3D ICs, monolithic 3D, 3D memory, and 3D heterogeneous integration. There was a lot to celebrate this year, as it’s clearer now than more than ever that 3D devices will take the microelectronics industry to the next level of performance needed to enable our connected world.

This year’s program included a keynote presentation by Scott Jones of AlixPartners, who talked about the positive financial impact 3D will have on the semiconductor manufacturing supply chain. He suggested we think like a fab owner when considering the benefits of implementing 2.5D and 3D processes. A fab view is necessary to understand the downstream impacts of integrating new technologies into the HVM environment, noted Jones. He challenged us to look at how we measure the cost gap to see if the 2.5D/3D community can close that gap. He cited such benefits of 2.5D/3D approaches over continued scaling as a lower exposure to leading edge capacity issues, the ability to segregate scalable parts of a chip vs. non-scalable parts, the equipment utilization impact, and more. For example, Lithography costs are increasing at faster rates due to multi-patterning. 2.5/3D can lower exposure to leading edge lithography requirements. Jones walks us through the cost modeling he did to come to these conclusions in detail, and demonstrated a number of HVM comparison scenarios such as interposer, and wafer-to-wafer heterogeneous integration vs. die to wafer heterogeneous integration.

“When you think of the value of 2.5D/3D TSV, think BIG,” he advised. “For years industry cost trends moved away from 2.5/3D applications and now it’s moving towards it. Be ready to meet it.”

The program also included updates on the Frances B. Hugle Engineering Scholarship, which is now $2500 closer to it’s 100,000 goal, thanks to the generosity of our Breakfast sponsor, Micron, and Silver Sponsors, Mentor Graphics and Yole Développement. We also presented a check to Karen Savala, SEMI, representing a $2500 scholarship that will be awarded to a graduate of SEMI High Tech U. the 2015 scholarship will be awarded to an Arizona student who completed the SEMI High Tech U program, and will be presented in October, during the SEMI High Tech U program graduation being hosted at Impress Labs in Phoenix.

This year, we had 14 nominations across five categories including Design Tools, Devices, Manufacturing Equipment, Inspection and Metrology Tools/Equipment, and Materials. In addition, 3D InCites registered members selected one nominee from the entire field to be awarded the Reader’s Choice Award.

The winners are:

By far, the highlight of this year’s event was the tribute to Bob Patti, as the first ever recipient of the 3D InCites Individual Achievement Award. Bob’ efforts in 3D technologies over the past 15 years have truly paved the way for the rest of us, and his enthusiasm is always inspiring. If you missed the event, you’re in luck, because you can view the tribute slide show right here. Additionally, we will post video highlights of the event itself in the next few weeks.

Thanks to all who participated in making this year’s event such a great success. We’re already looking forward to next year and the 2016 3D InCites Awards. We hope to see even more participation next year as the pace of commercialization continues to accelerate.

Francoise von Trapp

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

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