Synopsys, Inc unveiled its initiative to accelerate the design of stacked multiple-die silicon systems using 3D-IC integration to meet the requirements of faster and smaller electronic products that consume less power. As part of its 3D-IC initiative, Synopsys is working closely with leading IC design and manufacturing companies to deliver a comprehensive EDA solution, including enhanced versions of its IC implementation and circuit simulation products.
3D-IC technology complements conventional transistor scaling to enable designers to achieve higher levels of integration by allowing multiple die to be stacked vertically, or in a side by side “2.5D” configuration on a silicon interposer. 3D-IC integration uses through silicon via (TSV) technology, an emerging interconnection technology that will replace the traditional wire bonding process in chip/wafer stacking. The use of TSVs can increase inter-die communication bandwidth, reduce form factor and lower power consumption of stacked multi-die systems.
“As 2D scaling becomes impractical, 3D-IC integration becomes the natural evolution of semiconductor technology; it is the convergence of performance, power and functionality,” said Phil Marcoux, managing director at PPM Associates. “Some of the benefits of 3D-IC integration, such as increasing complexity, improved performance, reducing power consumption and decreasing footprints, are proven and readily understood. Other reported benefits, such as improving time to market, lowering risk and lowering cost, still need to be realised before 3D-IC integration becomes a commercially viable alternative to traditional 2D architectures. The availability of Synopsys’ silicon proven EDA and IP solutions is an important contribution to deploying 3D-IC integration technology in the semiconductor industry.”
Synopsys’ 3D-IC initiative begins at the semiconductor device level. Multi-die stacks incorporate different materials, often bonded together, with varying coefficients of thermal expansion (CTE). Any temperature change causes material stress due to thermal mismatch, leading to silicon deformation and affecting transistor performance. Furthermore, TSVs, microbumps and other solder bumps produce a permanent stress in the zone around them. Synopsys’ Sentaurus Interconnect TCAD tool analyses these effects and models the TSVs in the die stacks, enabling performance and reliability optimisation. Semiconductor companies, such as foundries, use modeling results to create design rules specific to 3D-IC integration to ensure manufacturability and reliability.
As part of its 3D-IC initiative, Synopsys is delivering a comprehensive EDA solution to enable design for 3D-IC integration:
DFTMAX™ test automation: design for test for stacked die and TSV
DesignWare® STAR Memory System® IP: integrated memory test, diagnostic and repair solution
IC Compiler: place and route support, including TSV, microbump, silicon interposer redistribution layer (RDL) and signal routing, power mesh creation and interconnect checks
StarRC™ Ultra parasitic extraction: support for TSV, microbump, interposer RDL and signal routing metal
HSPICE® and CustomSim™ circuit simulation: multi-die interconnect analysis
PrimeRail: IR-drop and EM analysis
IC Validator: DRC for microbumps and TSVs, LVS connectivity checking between stacked die
Galaxy Custom Designer® implementation solution: specialised custom edits to silicon interposer RDL, signal routing and power mesh
Sentaurus Interconnect: thermo-mechanical stress analysis to evaluate the impact of TSVs and microbumps used in multi-die stacks
“The emerging 3D-IC integration technologies offer tangible benefits for design teams looking to boost system performance, reduce form factor and lower power consumption,” said Antun Domic, senior vice president and general manager of Synopsys’ Implementation Group. “2.5D- and 3D-IC integration will be key to extending the lifespan of mature process technologies and to enabling the integration of highly heterogeneous process technologies, complementing “Moore’s Law” transistor scaling in many application domains. By allowing engineers to implement stacked multi-die systems more efficiently, Synopsys’ 3D-IC solution can enable companies to quickly deliver innovative and advanced designs to meet the trends for faster, thinner products that use less power.”