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Three-dimensional (3D) silicon integration of active devices with through-silicon vias (TSVs), thinned silicon, and silicon-to-silicon fine-pitch interconnections offers many product benefits. Advantages of these emerging 3D silicon integration technologies can include the following: power efficiency, performance enhancements, significant product miniaturization, cost reduction, and modular design for improved time to market. IBM research activities are aimed at providing design rules, structures, and processes that make 3D technology manufacturable for chips used in actual products on the basis of data from test-vehicle (i.e., prototype) design, fabrication, and characterization demonstrations. Three-dimensional integration can be applied to a wide range of interconnection densities (<10/cm2 to 108/cm2), requiring new architectures for product optimization and multiple options for fabrication. Demonstration test structures, which are designed, fabricated, and characterized, are used to generate experimental data, establish models and design guidelines, and help define processes for future product consideration. This paper 1) reviews technology integration from a historical perspective, 2) describes industry-wide progress in 3D technology with examples of TSV and silicon-silicon interconnection advancement over the last 10 years, 3) highlights 3D technology from IBM, including demonstration test vehicles used to develop ground rules, collect data, and evaluate reliability, and 4) provides examples of 3D emerging industry product applications that could create marketable systems.
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