ams to develop dedicated in-house production capacity for analogue 3D ICs

September 03, 2013 // By Paul Buckley
ams AG has invested more than €25m to create dedicated 3D IC production capacity at the company’s wafer fabrication plant near Graz, Austria.

The investment provides for the installation of new 3D IC equipment in clean room space available at the plant; the  additional production capacity comes in response to a surge in demand outlook for ICs fabricated with ams' own 3D IC integration technology, the company says. Its technology enables the design and production of improved IC packages that are smaller and offer better device performance than existing packages.
TSV (Through-Silicon Via) interconnects in 3D ICs can replace the bond wires in conventional single-die devices. For optical semiconductors, clear packaging requirements are eliminated to enable production of chipscale packages that are smaller, cheaper, and less vulnerable to EMI (electro-magnetic interference).
The ams 3D IC process also enables the production of stacked-die devices. Two die produced in different processes (such as a photodiode die and a silicon signal-processing die) are bonded back-to-back to produce a monolithic stacked-die device. This can replace two separate packages, has a far smaller footprint, and features much shorter interconnects, resulting in improved performance and reduced electrical noise.
The new equipment line, which will be fully operational by the end of 2013, will be available for production of 3D ICs for any ams product or full-service foundry customer. Initially the line will produce devices for customers in the medical imaging and mobile phone markets.