Artificial Intelligence (AI) is driving the development of 3D TSV and heterogeneous integration technologies. With its new 3D TSV & 2.5D business update report, Yole Développement (Yole), part of Yole Group of Companies investigates the advanced packaging industry and takes a closer look at the AI impact on this market. “3D integration is clearly offering today unequaled performances suiting exactly the pressing needs of AI applications,” comments Emilie Jolivet, Technology & Market Analyst at Yole.

Initially developed for niche markets including MEMS devices and memories for data centers, 3D integration is entering a new era. The world population increase, the exploding smartphones market, the development of new functionalities such as voice/image recognition… all these parameters directly contribute to the development of AI and deep learning solutions, all based on 3D integration technologies. AI is not a concept anymore but a reality that is skyrocketing the development of disruptive advanced packaging technologies.

This year, the “More than Moore” market research and strategy consulting company is moving a step forward on the applications side. Its advanced packaging and semiconductor manufacturing team investigate the industry evolution, taking into account promising sectors such as deep learning, the end-users’ needs and required specifications for final systems. Yole’s analysts combine their advanced packaging expertise and their knowledge of the different industries to perform up-to-date and innovative reports. The 3D TSV & 2.5D business update report is a good example, with a strong focus on the high-performance sector.

Why do we need 3D TSV solutions, especially in high-performance applications?

According to Yole, benefits are numerous and are part of the major issues initially identified by the industrial companies. Bandwidth, latency, and power consumption are the key words of these innovations… Emilie Jolivet from Yole details some below:

  • When two chips or more are integrated on an interposer, distance between logic and memory is shortened which enables lower latency and lower power consumption.
  • DRAM, based on a 3D TSV solution, is offering an unequaled bandwidth performance because of the ability of TSV solution to connect several layers of the device.
  • Artificial intelligence and specifically deep learning mostly intensively using memory and computing also need 3D TSV approaches. Both applications are driving the demand of interposer and 3D memory cubes.

AI and deep learning, both parts of the high-performance applications segment, might be the most impressive applications. However, data center networking, augmented reality/virtual reality, AR/VR, and autonomous driving is not so far behind. Industrial companies progressively penetrate these market segments by developing dedicated approaches:

  • Both 3D IC leaders, TSMC and Globalfoundries are involved in the development of new solutions focused on 3D system-on-chip (SoC).
  • Samsung introduced its interposer solutions in 2017
  • SPIL is developing its own  2.5D solutions
  • STMicroelectronics is working on 3D interconnections and interposers for various applications including silicon photonics, data centers….
  • From their side, investors are part of the playground. Therefore, they all re-align their strategy to have product portfolio for serving AI/deep learning needs.
  • Data centers, cloud computing, AI, autonomous driving are becoming keywords for venture capitalists.
  • In addition, companies like Intel, Nvidia are completely re-thinking their growth strategy: “Major IC companies which missed the smartphone business clearly don’t want to miss the AI revolution”, comments Emilie Jolivet from Yole.

Yole’s analysts are convinced of the added value of 3D integration technologies. AI and deep learning are new applications to consider, but not only AR/VR will be  part of the 3D integration future. And the latest announcement from AMD regarding its new Radeon Pro Vega™ graphic card dedicated to Apple’s new iMac Pro is another step towards the computing applications.

A detailed description of the 3D TSV and 2.5D Business Update – Market and Technology Trends 2017 is available on, advanced packaging reports section.


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