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Nov 13th, 2013
 
Apple, Samsung, Foundries key to 3D ICs
 
Key players for 3D IC technology.
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The semiconductor industry is in a standoff over the next big thing -- 3D chip stacks. Someone needs to blink before the technology will be viable for creating the next generation of high-performance, low-power systems.

It might be Globalfoundries undercutting rival TSMC on foundry prices for a 2.5D process -- if it can deliver it. It might be Samsung trying to widen its edge on Apple in smartphone and tablets. Or perhaps Nvidia will take a big hit on margins (maybe even a loss) to grab a big chunk of GPU marketshare and mindshare from rival Advanced Micro Devices.

That was the picture from a panel discussion where a member of the audience made a shocking disclosure the Apple A7 SoC in the iPhone 5s is "a poor man's 3D IC."

Xilinx talked about how it is already shipping 2.5D stacks where die are laid side-by-side on a silicon interposer. So far it has discussed products using multiple FPGAs or an FPGA and serdes on a chip.

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