Altera and TSMC develop first heterogeneous 3D IC test vehicle using CoWoSTM process

Altera is the first semiconductor company to develop and complete characterization of a heterogeneous test vehicle using the CoWoS process. This and additional test vehicles will enable Altera to test the capabilities and reliability of 3D ICs quickly and ensure they meet yield and performance targets.

Altera is looking at heterogeneous 3D ICs to develop device derivatives that allow customers to mix and match silicon IP based on their application requirement, integrating various technologies with FPGAs, including CPUs, ASICs, ASSPs, memory and optics. The 3D ICs will enable customers to differentiate their applications by leveraging the flexibility of the FPGA, while maximizing system performance, minimizing system power and reducing form factor and system cost.

 “Our partnerships with standards bodies like IMEC and SEMATECH, and our use of TSMC’s CoWoS manufacturing and assembly process will help us to execute on our strategy of delivering heterogeneous 3D devices to our customers at the right time and with the right set of features,” said Bill Hata, senior vice president of worldwide operations and engineering at Altera. “Implementing heterogeneous 3D capabilities into our devices enables us to continue our path of technology innovation and leadership, and carry us beyond Moore’s Law.”

“Our relationship with Altera dates back nearly two decades, and in that time we have worked closely together to develop the most leading-edge manufacturing processes and semiconductor technologies,” said Rick Cassidy, President of TSMC North America. “Developing next-generation 3D ICs with Altera is a good example of how the two companies can work together to push semiconductor technology to another level.” 

CoWoS is an integrated process technology that attaches device silicon chips to a wafer through a chip on wafer (CoW) bonding process.  The CoW chip is attached to the substrate (CoW-On-Substrate) to form the final component.  By attaching the device silicon to the original thick wafer silicon before it finishes the fabrication process, manufacturing-induced warping is avoided.  TSMC plans to offer CoWoS as a turnkey manufacturing service.


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