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Enabling the 2.5D Integration
Keywords: 2.5D, Si Interposer, CoWoS
3D IC is the key driving force to system-level integration, miniaturization, optimal power management, increased data bandwidth, and eventually reduced system cost. Meanwhile, the challenges are from all fronts. The design methodology, integration technology, manufacturing process and new industrial ecosystem are all the area of focuses in today's semiconductor industry. This paper will discuss all these fronts based Altera's 3D integration development effort. 2.5D incorporates silicon interposer and TSV (Through-Si-Via) stacking. It offers silicon level interconnect density, low inductive path and wide IO application. It's power delivery system (PDN) could be the bottleneck for the system to perform at the bandwidth and speed it is designed for. Co-considering IC-Interposer-Package-PCB, trade off study and compensation mechanism development is needed in such complex system level integration. Mean while, the 2.5D stacking configuration offers different form factor, interconnect path, and thermal management options than monolithic packages, which could help to reduce system level power and thermal management pressure. There are many different 2.5D integration manufacturing flows currently under development. The major challenges are in the area of manufacturing process window and yield, thin wafer handling, testability and overall cost of the integration process. Among many process options, they can be categorized into two major manufacturing flow options: Attaching interposer to substrate first, which can be called CoCoS (Chip on Chip on Substrate); or attaching device silicon to interposer first, which is also called CoWoS (Chip on Wafer on Substrate). This paper will discuss design consideration, manufacturability analysis, FPGA and silicon interposer interaction, and thermal management to enable the 2.5D integration. System level characterization and correlation with simulations are performed. The challenge of new supply-customer model and industrial ecosystem development associated with 2.5D integration will also be discussed.
John Y. Xie, Ph.D., Sr. Manager
Altera Corp.
San Jose, CA

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