ams AG has invested over €25m to create dedicated 3D IC production capacity at its wafer fabrication plant near Graz, Austria. The investment provides for the installation of new 3D IC equipment in clean room space available at the plant, situated at the company’s headquarters.
The additional production capacity comes in response to a surge in demand outlook for ICs fabricated with 3D IC integration technology developed by ams. The patented technology enables the design and production of radically improved IC packages that are smaller and offer better device performance than existing packages.
For instance, the TSV (Through-Silicon Via) interconnects in 3D ICs from ams can replace the bond wires in conventional single-die devices. For optical semiconductors, clear packaging requirements are eliminated to enable production of chipscale packages that are smaller, cheaper, and less vul-nerable to EMI (electro-magnetic interference).
The ams 3D IC process also enables the production of stacked-die devices. Two die produced in different processes (such as a photodiode die and a silicon signal-processing die) are bonded back-to-back to produce a monolithic stacked-die device. This can replace two separate packages, has a far smaller footprint, and features much shorter interconnects, resulting in improved performance and reduced electrical noise.
The new equipment line, which will be fully operational by the end of 2013, will be available for pro-duction of 3D ICs for any ams product or full-service foundry customer. Initially the line will produce devices for customers in the medical imaging and mobile phone markets.
Kirk Laney, CEO of ams, commented: “The new 3D IC production line is a substantial investment for a company the size of ams, and it demonstrates once again our commitment to the development and deployment of advanced analog semiconductor fabrication technology. Our customers highly value our ability to implement innovative fabrication techniques, and to offer production capacity with the ultra-high quality that they require.”