My first panelist to speak on last week’s 3D IC panel at the 9th International SoC Conference in Newport Beach was Herb Reiter, generally known as “Mr. 3D.” Herb knows everyone in the industry connected to anything 3D. He’s been actively working with the Global Semiconductor Alliance on 3D assembly since the summer of 2008 and he’s now starting to work with Sematech as well. If there’s ever anything I want to know about the state of 3D assembly in this industry, Herb is the first person I call. In his spare time, Herb runs his own company called eda2asic.
To illustrate the pervasiveness of 3D considerations, Herb projected this summary slide:
As you can see, 3D assembly touches everything from System Realization through SoC Realization and Silicon Realization (implementation and verification). It also touches every manufacturing step from IC fabrication through assembly and packaging. 3D IC assembly has a systemic affect, which is why it takes so much effort to bring commercial 3D assembly online. As Xilinx Corporate VP of FPGA Development and Silicon Technology Liam Madden said a couple of weeks ago at a Xilinx press meeting, any one of a number of vendors can make 3D IC assemblies in the lab but few are ready to build production volumes of 3D assemblies today.
Perhaps the most important message Reiter delivered to the audience at the 9th International SoC Conference was who to call if you’re interested in getting on board: