Global Semiconductor Alliance pushes 3D chip

The Global Semiconductor Alliance is spending huge wodges of cash to promote 3D silicon and MEMS.

The GSA says  it wants to accelerate adoption of the technology said to be a potential game changer.

Apparently the cunning plan is to form industry working groups to educate and possibly set standards around supply chain issues for 3D and MEMS.

The 3D silicon initiative aims to accelerate adoption of through silicon vias (TSVs) to link stacked silicon die.

Big companies such as IBM, Intel and Samsung have built their own eco-systems for 3D silicon and are ready to increase production as soon as the technology is cost effective.

However the 3D initiative aims to get the rest of the industry excited about the technology.

In a statement, the GSA said that the biggest challenge was convincing management of the opportunity and the need to spend the R&D cash.

It could take two or three years of work to enable TSVs, but the capability may prove a viable alternative to the costly shift to 22 and 16nm process nodes for some companies, the group said.

Digital cameras are already using through silicon vias to link CMOS imagers, DSPs and memories. But they use vias spaced 20-50 microns apart.

Before the technology can get into the mainstream, it needs to support two-micron via spacing.

CSR, GlobalFoundries, STMicroelectronics and TSMC have all indicated that they are ready to back the the MEMS initiative.