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High Frequency Signal Propagation in Through Silicon Vias
Keywords: 3D IC Technology, Through Silicon Vias, Electrican Modelling and Characterization
The 3D IC integration technology and silicon interposers rely on through silicon vias (TSVs) for vertical interconnections. Hence, the medium carrying high frequency signals is lossy silicon (Si). Wave propagation through vertical interconnects in Si media has not been necessary before, except for the Metal-Insulator-Semiconductor (MIS) planar microstriplines on RFICs. Hence, fundamental understanding of wave propagation through TSVs is lacking for successful implementation of 3D IC integration technology as well as for the development of Si interposers at RF/microwave frequencies. The focus of this research is characterization and modeling of TSVs and Si to explore high speed signal propagation through the lossy Si medium. Previously, there were various opinions on the physical interpretations of the extracted RLC parameters of TSVs. The TSV capacitance, for example, is sometimes considered to be predominantly a sidewall capacitance, whereas in other works it is deemed more appropriate that the electric field lines should terminate on a ground plane below the TSV. Indeed, the capacitance changes as a function of frequency because of the slow-wave mode. To understand better the physical significance of the TSV, we will establish a framework for wave propagation through TSVs based on dielectric quasi-TEM, skin effect, and slow-wave modes similar to MIS micro-strip lines. For validation of the existence of these modes, full wave simulation results will be compared with simpler two dimensional transmission line simulators. The following topics will be discussed in the full paper: 1. Verification of the wave propagation modes in TSVs. 2. Development of equivalent circuit models for TSVs. 3. Comparative study of different TSV configurations. 4. Investigation of the slow wave mode in TSVs for miniaturized RF components such as delay lines, couplers, and filters.
Srinidhi Raghavan Narasimhan, Student
San Diego State University
San Diego, CA

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