New Industry Creation Hatchery Center, Tohoku University

2021 Edition. In Research Institute of the Year

Led by the research efforts of Mitsumasa Koyanagi, the New Industry Creation Hatchery (NICHe) Center at Tohoku University was the birthplace of 3D Integration technologies. As we learned at ECTC 2020, 3D device stacking development began in Japan in 1975 for memory applications such as DRAM, NAND, MRAM, and others. There were also approaches being developed for stacking resistors, CMOS transistors, and 3D transistors (finFETs). The 1980s brought monolithic approaches using laser annealing, selective epitaxial growth, and wafer bonding. Koyanagi's team was among the first to develop through silicon via (TSV) technologies. Other 3D concepts that got their start at Tohoku University included a 3D stacked multi-core processor with first self-test and self-repair function (2002) and also 3D stacked image sensors (2004-2006). This research laid much of the groundwork for what is now reaching commercialization. Koyanagi himself was co-recipient of the 2020 IEEE Electronics Packaging Award.