Like every other awards event in the past year, the 2021 3D InCites Awards Program had to make some adjustments for celebrating its winners. We can’t gather in person at the IMAPS Device Packaging Conference to applaud the winners, catch up with colleagues over a great barbeque, watch the 3D InCites Mural comes to life, or take lots of silly photos at the photo booth. But we can use the power of social media to congratulate this year’s winners! And once the winners receive their award statues, we’re asking them to send us a video clip saying a few words, which we’ll post as Video of the week and share with you.
In the meant time, once again some tough choices were being made by our judges, Phil Garrou, Rozalia Beica,* Paul Franzon, and Katherine Derbyshire. Remember, the online ballot counts as one judge, and in cases of a tie, we look to the online votes to break it. That happened more than once this year! Like last year, because of the closeness of the races, we’re also acknowledging the runners-up. So, thank you all for participating!
Announcing the 3D InCites Sustainability Award and SemiSister Award Winners
Before we dive into the technology awards winners, I want to highlight our two new awards nominated and selected by special committees. You can learn more about the selection for these awards in this post announcing the finalists.
The 3D InCites Sustainability Award Winner – ASE Group
Our 3D InCites Sustainability Award Selection Committee — Deborah Knuckey, Managing Director, Sustainability Strategy, Kiterocket; Dean Freeman, Chief Analyst, Freeman Technology and Market Advisors; and Julia Goldstein, Owner, JLFG Communications, Author of Material Value — did their due diligence in applying criteria to the finalists, which included Intel, Lam Research, Tokyo Electron, and ST Microelectronics.
All five finalists for the Sustainability Award are working to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, energy use, water use, and waste to landfill. In many cases, they have surpassed their 2020 goals in these areas. These companies have set even more stringent goals for the coming decade.
The winner, ASE, earned high marks for its commitment to reducing absolute scope 1 GHG emissions and upgrading its water reclamation facilities. The company is also working with its supply chain to address scope 3 emissions. ASE Technology Holding Co. earned a position on the CDP’s A list for both climate change and water security for 2020, the only finalist to achieve the top grade in both categories. It is increasing the recycling of both hazardous and non-hazardous waste and has embarked on cross-industry partnerships to find more reuse opportunities.
The 3D InCites SemiSister Award Winner – Lam Research
Again, Our 3D InCites SemiSister Selection Committee – Margaret Kindling, Sr. Program Manager, Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, SEMI Foundation; Salah Nasri, Executive Managing Partner – International Semiconductor Executive Summits; and Joanne Itow, Managing Director, Semico Research– did their due diligence establishing criteria and weighing the company’s efforts in the areas of diversity, equity, inclusion, access, and leadership. Additionally, do they adhere to the environmental, social, and governance (ESG) criteria that socially conscious investors use in their screening process? Bonus points were given to organizations with a purpose-driven mindset, that is instilled in their employees to support the community.
While all five finalists demonstrated excellence in most of the criteria, the committee felt strongly that Lam Research sets the standard with strong messaging around DEI and ERG. Women are well represented on its board and leadership team. Lam is very transparent about its DEI efforts, and the company has a veteran’s program as part of its hiring/onboarding process.
Congratulations to both these winners for setting such great examples to which our entire industry should aspire.
Winners of the 2021 3D Incite Awards by Category:
Device Manufacturer of the Year: 3D Plus
Runner-Up: Amkor Technology
While Amkor led the pack in the online ballot, 3D Plus was a clear favorite of the judges for its very innovative technology and interesting application. The Mars Perseverance integrates numerous 3D PLUS’s highly reliable components such as volatile and non-volatile memory modules (SRAM, SDRAM, NAND Flash, NOR Flash, and DDR2), latch-up current limiters, Interfaces, and its unique CMOS space-qualified camera head. Embedded in multiple instruments of the rover, 3D PLUS products deliver high reliability, radiation tolerance, and weight-saving thanks to a unique stacking technology that allows for a high level of miniaturization.
Device Technology of the Year: AMD/EPYC Processor
Runner-up: TSMC 3D Fabric
Chiplet architectures are all the rage right now in the heterogeneous integration space, so it’s no surprise that AMD took the win for the Device Technology category with its EPYC chiplet-based server processors, particularly with the current need for high-performance computing solutions. In EPYC, AMD partitioned the design to put the CPU functions that would benefit most from the next node (7nm) while leaving analog and I/O blocks for less advanced technology. AMD calculated an additional 10% of silicon real estate required for the die-to-die communication blocks, redundant logic, and other unnamed add-ons to enable the chiplet design compared to a hypothetical monolithic EPYC chip. The total die cost of the multiple chiplets saved 41% compared to AMD internal estimates for the monolithic processor.
Engineer of the Year: Severine Cheramy
Runner-Up: Ravi V. Mahajan
This one was almost too close to call and came down to two percentage points on the online ballot to break the tie set up by the judges. But based on her years of contribution to the development of 3D integration technologies at CEA-Leti, in my opinion, this award is well deserved! Severine is known worldwide for her work at CEA-Leti, developing processes, most notability wafer bonding processes, that furthered the course of 3D integration. As part of her work at Leti, she presented multiple papers at IMAPS and IEEE events and organized an annual event to promote the work ITR Nanoelec. Recently, Severine left CEA-Leti and will be putting her 3D integration expertise to work at Aledia, an LED start-up based in Escarolle, France. Learn more here.
Equipment Supplier of the Year: Evatec AG
For perhaps the first time, we had unanimous consensus across the judges and the online vote: Evatec’s Clusterline 600 Panel Processing tool swept this category! This speaks to the relevance to the technology as it meets a clear industry need.
The Clusterline 600 is the next generation of the company’s large area cluster tool for single panel processing that is volume production-proven by major IDMs and OSATs with panel sizes up to 550mm. The latest version now offers the capability for substrate sizes up to 650mm. It integrates degas, etch, and deposition capabilities for advanced packaging applications including fan-out panel level processing (FOPLP) and advanced IC-substrate manufacturing. Learn more here.
Herb Reiter Design Tool Provider of the Year: Deca
Previously known simply as the “Design Tool Provider” of the Year Award, this year we christened it the Herb Reiter Design Tool Provider of the Year Award in honor of our EDA Evangelist, Herb Reiter, who retired at the end of 2020. We already miss his regular commentary and contributions! Deca Technologies and Ansys were head-to-head with the judges, but the online ballot put them in the lead. One judge commented that Deca’s concept should be successful and will lead to growth for the company.
In 2020, Deca Technologies introduced Design During Manufacturing (DDM) capabilities to support its licensees and partners in implementing Adaptive Patterning™ (AP). AP Live, a cloud-based solution that eliminates the need for dedicated on-site hardware and software, allows customers to gain early access to AP and experience its power for improving yield, scaling technologies, reducing cost, and enhancing performance. To effectively implement AP Live, Deca created a complete ecosystem comprising three components including AP Studio, AP Connect, and AP Engine. Learn more here.
Material Supplier of the Year: Plan Optik
Runner Up- AT&S
Again, this one was a showdown between the judges and the online ballot, but Plan Optik is the victor, with its unique offering in the glass substrate market that is starting to take off. Plan Optik supplies glass materials in sectors such as consumer electronics, automotive, aerospace, chemistry, and pharmaceuticals. Plan Optik’s high-quality wafers are used as essential components for numerous applications in MEMS and sensor technology. The wafers made of glass, glass-silicon compounds, or quartz materials are available in sizes up to 300 mm diameter with application-specific structuring and complex material combinations. To serve the high demand for glass wafers with fixed specifications more quickly, Plan Optik has founded the brand Wafer Universe to provide off-the-shelf products. Therefore, every customer can be served with glass wafers in response to its needs – simple and fast.
Process of the Year: Veeco
Runner-up: Mosaic Microsystems
The judges liked Veeco’s interesting two-pronged approach to wet wafer processing, and its timely use in 5G applications. For a technology that was far ahead of its time, WaferStorm proved critical in 2020 because it vastly improved upon conventional processes. By doing so, it helped make 5G a reality during a deeply unprecedented era.
WaferStorm’s wet processing approach uses immersion, followed by a high-pressure spray that’s tough on the photoresist. It uses 5x less chemistry than conventional processes while doubling throughput over single wafer approaches. Its unique processing application for metal liftoff and photoresist strip applications offer a cost-effective alternative to etch processes that can damage underlying substrates.
Research Institute of the Year: imec
Runner-up: Taiwan Semiconductor Research Institute
This one was almost a clean sweep, as imec has recently made headlines with efforts to improve bump density and close the interconnect gap between through-silicon-vias (TSVs) and microbumps. In imec’s view, there are three key technology elements for 3D integration:
- Through-silicon-via (TSV)
- Die-to-die, die-to-wafer stacking and interconnect
- Wafer-to-wafer bonding and interconnect technology
Imec’s TSV scaling research is promising. However, vias in commercial products have remained static. The problem is the “interconnect gap.” The micro bump has not caught up to the point where the TSV can be fully utilized. More aggressive bump scaling is necessary. Teams at imec are working on improving bump density and have achieved bump pitches down to 7µm with thermocompression bonding.
Start-up of the Year: MZ Technologies
Runner Up – Mosaic Microsystems
What do MZ Technologies, and Mosaic Microsystems have in common? The CEOs and founders of both companies are women! However, the similarities stop there as Mosaic Microsystems is a New York-based process and materials company working on thin glass substrates, and MZ Technologies is an Italian EDA company. MZ Technologies especially caught our judges’ eye for its innovative and much-needed design tool that considers multiple components to enable 3D co-packaging of chips and chiplets down to the PCB level. Genio supports the design of 2D, 2.5D, and 3D multi-component systems and operates across multiple levels including die, chiplet, silicon interposer, package, and PCB. There are three different versions specifically for 2D, 2.5D, and 3D design.
Lifetime Achievement Award – Gordon Moore
While Gordon Moore was nominated for Engineer of the Year, the judges felt that while he deserved recognition for suggesting that It may prove to be more economical to build large systems out of smaller functions that are separately packaged and interconnected, there are many engineers today that deserve recognition for making that observation a reality. So they decided to honor him with the first-ever, 3D InCites Lifetime Achievement Award.
Congratulations to all the winners of the 2021 3D InCites Awards! We look forward to creating and sharing the Award Ceremony Video to commemorate this year’s event.