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Date: 02-12-11

3D Semiconductor tech turns chip into cube

Micron is going to begin production of a new memory device built using the first commercial CMOS manufacturing technology to employ through-silicon vias (TSVs) developed by IBM.

These new memory devices called HMC (Hybrid Memory Cube) in the form of cube is made up of stack of individual chips connected by vertical pipelines or "vias," shown above. IBM's new 3-D manufacturing technology, used to connect the 3D microstructure, will be the foundation for commercial production of the new memory cube.

IBM is going to present details of this technology at popular semiconductor design event "IEEE International Electron Devices Meeting" on December 5 in Washington, DC.

IBM said HMC parts will be manufactured at IBM's advanced semiconductor fab in East Fishkill, N.Y., using its 32nm, high-K metal gate process technology.

HMC prototypes are designed to clock in with bandwidth of 128 gigabytes per second (GB/s). By comparison, current state-of-the-art devices deliver 12.8 GB/s. HMC also requires 70 percent less energy to transfer data while offering a small form factor - just 10 percent of the footprint of conventional memory, as disclosed by IBM.

Subu Iyer, IBM Fellow said in the next few years, 3D chip technology will make its way into consumer products, and we can expect to see drastic improvements in battery life and functionality of devices.

Robert Feurle, Vice President of DRAM Marketing for Micron says HMC is a game changer product.

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