AMD fabrication spin-off GlobalFoundries has announced plans to provide facilities for the creation of stacked semiconductors using through-silicon via (TSV) technology starting with its 20nm process node.
The TSV fabrication service will be made available at the company's Fab 8 plant in Saratoga County, New York with volume production expected to be available in the third quarter of this year.
Through-silicon via technology allows chips to be stacked vertically as well as horizontally, with verticals holes etched in each silicon layer and filled with copper providing connectivity for the layered semiconductors to talk to the host system beneath - almost exactly the same as the vias in a multi-layer printed circuit board connect tracks on the various layers.
The hope for chip-stacking technology is that it will provide the ability for companies to pack even more hardware into increasingly smaller areas, without the issues normally associated with ever-shrinking process sizes.
'To help address these challenges on new silicon nodes, we are engaging early with partners to jointly develop packaging solutions that will enable the next wave of innovation in the industry,
' claimed chief technology officer Gregg Bartlett at the announcement. 'Our approach is broad and collaborative, giving customers maximum choice and flexibility, while delivering cost savings, faster time-to-volume, and a reduction in the technical risk associated with developing new technologies.
'With the installation of TSV capabilities for 20nm technology in Fab 8, we are adding an important capability that will be supplemented by our joint development and manufacturing partnerships with companies across the semiconductor ecosystem, from design to assembly and test.
Although GlobalFoundries is going 3D with TSV technology at the 20nm process node, the company remains quiet on FinFET production - similar to the tri-gate transistors offered on Intel's recently-launched Ivy Bridge chips. Previously, the Common Platform industry group - of which GlobalFoundries is a member - has indicated that FinFET won't be available until the 14nm node goes live