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Oct 24th, 2012
Is glass the interposer substrate of the future? : A closer look
At the recent Semicon Taiwan conference and exhibition Peter Bocko, CTO of Corning Glass gave a presentation entitled “Glass: Enabling Next-Generation, Higher Performance Solutions” in the Executive Summit Forum.
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Bocko focusing on where glass has been used by the microelectronics industry in the past and made a case for glass as an emerging candidate to be used as 2.5D interposer substrates. Most of the latter data coming from their involvement with the GaTech PRC consortium looking at glass for large area interposer fabrication.
Glass thickness vs panel size vs current microelectronic application is shown below.

Glass employed for flat panel displays and cover glass

While glass has currently been shown to function as a carrier, the case is made that glass can be the interposer or even possibly replace the PCB. The ability to produce roll to roll or on large panels as the driving motivation.

Glass functions as (a) carrier for wafer thinning and possibly as (b) 2.5D interposer substrate or maybe PCB.

Quoting reports from the GaTech consortium, Bocko indicated that glass interposers show less warp during chip assembly, faster signal propagation and significantly reduced signal loss .  In fact they found a 10x lower signal loss in glass for a 6x longer interconnect. Such a 60x lower leakage improves power efficiency.

Signal delay in Silicon and Glass interposers

Signal loss in glass interposers

Bocko indicates that significant advancements are being made in fabricating and filling TGV (through glass vias) as shown in the figure below. 

 30 um through glass vias

The combination of excellent electrical performance and large panel processing capabilities make glass a strong contender for 2.5D interposer substrates in the future.



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