SAN JOSE, USA: MonolithIC 3D Inc., the leading innovator in monolithic 3D IC technology, has unveiled a practical technology to bring the industry goal of monolithic 3D closer to reality.
The company has received notice from the US Patent and Trademark Office of allowance to several of its fundamental patents protecting the company's monolithic 3D technology, which enables multilayer stacking with rich vertical connectivity of crystallized semiconductor circuits. The vertical via density enabled by these inventions are tens of thousands of times more dense than that enabled by today's Through-Silicon Via (TSV) approach.
In response to Intel's announcement of its novel transistor technology, which is being called "3D," many industry commentators and analysts have noted the critical distinction between 3D transistors and 3D ICs.
For example, AP technology writer Jordan Robertson noted that, "Intel's advance does not add a complete third dimension to chip-making — that is, the company can't add an entire second layer of transistors to a chip, or start stacking layers into a cube. That remains a distant but hotly pursued goal of the industry, as cubic chips could be much faster than flat ones while consuming less power." (source: AP May 4 posting)"
"3D IC technology — stacking circuit layers into a vertical structure, or 'cube'— could reach production much sooner than many experts have imagined," noted Zvi Or-Bach, MonolithIC 3D's founder and CEO. "Our technology empowers semiconductor manufacturing companies to use their existing fabs to produce monolithic 3D IC's with performance and cost benefits that compete favorably to marching down to a more advanced process node. We believe that our technology will extend Moore's Law for the next decade by scaling vertically using existing fab equipment, thereby allowing many semiconductor companies to resume manufacturing activity at the forefront of device technology."
Lance Glasser, Ph.D., a semiconductor industry executive familiar with MonolithIC 3D technology, commented: "It is exciting to see a small company that has seized the vision of true 3D integrated circuits, with all their attendant advantages, and has worked to develop a comprehensive set of manufacturing methods that could potentially overcome the historical challenges of such systems and allow a practical application of monolithic 3D IC technology in the near term.
"As conventional scaling's cost has driven many semiconductor manufacturing companies to abandon the traditional approach to Moore's Law, it is encouraging to see an alternative that could enable older fabs to become competitive by changing the rules. In the same spirit that Intel has reached into the 3rd dimension to improve the transistor, MonolithIC 3D is reaching into the 3rd dimension to improve all aspects of the IC."