New technology spurs greater integration, higher performance, and a scalable methodology to enable more than 4 million connections between bonded chips RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C.--Oct. 17, 2005
-- Ziptronix, a leader in innovative integration solutions, today announces the world's first successful Direct Bond Interconnect (DBI) technology that enables a scalable, high-density, electrical interconnect for three-dimensional integrated circuits (3D ICs). DBI replaces inefficient through-die vias used in previous 3D IC integration methods in order to minimize interconnect delays between multiple layers of stacked integrated circuits. DBI enables 3D ICs with lower cost and smaller die size as well as higher performing, power efficient signal paths.
The industry faces significant design and cost barriers as two-dimensional devices migrate to process nodes below 90 nanometers (nm). It is increasingly difficult to scale technology in two-dimensional devices as is evident by the increasing dominance of interconnect delay in limiting System-on-Chip (SoC) bandwidth. Ziptronix' DBI extends scalability to these nodes by alleviating the interconnect delays with scalable 3D routing.
This technology provides the industry's highest density of electrical connections for 3D ICs bonded in die-to-wafer scale methodology. DBI can achieve 4 million electrical connections per square centimeter, a significant increase in the density that can be achieved with through-die vias used in other 3D interconnect schemes. This improvement of vertical interconnects enables new architectural possibilities in 3D System-on-Chip (3D SoC) design and heterogeneous die integration.
"The interconnect density achieved by DBI is significantly better than System In Package technology which achieves interconnect through wire bonds," said Phil Nyborg, President and CEO of Ziptronix. "As opposed to other 3D IC technologies, DBI provides chip designers with a sufficient density of vertical interconnections to enable 3D SoC designs to be fabricated at a significant cost savings compared to today's 2D SoC designs."
DBI is an advancement of the Ziptronix ZiROC(R) direct bond technology that enables covalent, room temperature bonds between silicon oxide surfaces of each chip in the 3D structure. This breakthrough technology utilizes a chemo-mechanical polish to expose metal patterns embedded in the silicon oxide surface of each chip. When the metal connection points of each chip are aligned and bonded using the company's room-temperature bonding technology, the alignment is preserved as opposed to other bonding techniques that apply heat or pressure that can result in misalignment. The oxide bonds create high bond energy between the surfaces which brings the metal contact points close to each other to form effective electrical connections between chips. The low resistance of these electrical connections enables better power efficiency and reduces the overall power consumption of the 3D IC.
Chip builders designing 2D SoCs face substantial cost increases as the die area of their chips expand to incorporate more functionality in the device due to defect densities which limit the yields for these chips. This problem is compounded at process nodes below 90 nm. Building 3D ICs with DBI allows designers to incorporate more functionality on a chip while keeping die sizes small and avoiding defect density issues. DBI is an enabling feature of 3D ICs that will allow the industry to continue to scale along with Moore's Law.
Ziptronix is a leader in DBI technology and its application to 3D ICs. A number of prototype 3D ICs have been built using a combination of die-to-wafer silicon oxide bonding, die thinning and electrical interconnection. The technology is based on production tools, chemicals, and processes already used in the semiconductor supply chain.
Founded in October 2000, Ziptronix is a privately held company spun out from the Research Triangle Institute to commercialize ten years of research and development leading to the fabrication of three-dimensional integrated circuits. Its proven technology is being applied to development projects for major semiconductor manufacturers. Ziptronix has complete in-house fab capabilities for 3D technology development and 3D IC prototyping. Ziptronix corporate headquarters are in Morrisville, North Carolina. More information about Ziptronix is available through the World Wide Web at http://www.ziptronix.com.