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Mar 28th, 2012
3D chip mania grows but mass adoption lags
The 2.5D/3D chip era continues to gain momentum, as Altera Corp. this week made a major announcement in the arena. Indeed, the advent of 2.5D/3D chips based on through-silicon vias (TSVs) is considered a “game changer” in the semiconductor market, but mass production for the technology is still a moving target.
At this week’s “The Heat is On 2012” conference in San Jose, Calif., one analyst said 3D TSV chip volumes are at least two years away. Another expert at the event said a “true” 3D chip — which combines processors, memory and other functions — is still a decade away due in part to thermal issues. But a team of IBM Corp. and Swiss researchers will shortly roll out a test chip that could accelerate the shift to “true” 3D devices. The group is devising a 3D stack with a functionality per unit volume that nearly parallels the density of a human brain.
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