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Three primary techniques for manufacturing through silicon vias (TSVs), via-first, via-middle, and via-last, have been analyzed and compared to distribute power in a 3-D processor-memory system with nine planes. Due to distinct fabrication techniques, these TSV technologies require significantly different design constraints, as investigated in this paper. A valid design space that satisfies the peak power supply noise while minimizing area overhead is identified for each technology. It is demonstrated that the area overhead of a 3-D power distribution network with via-first TSVs is approximately 9% as compared to less than 2% in via-middle and via-last technologies. Despite this drawback, a via-first based power network is typically overdamped and the issue of resonance is alleviated. A via-last based power network, however, exhibits a relatively low damping factor and the peak noise is highly sensitive to the number of TSVs and decoupling capacitance.
Emerging and Selected Topics in Circuits and Systems, IEEE Journal on (Volume:2 , Issue: 4 )
Date of Publication: Dec. 2012