3D Integration for the Internet of Things
The IoT market covers a wide variety of applications, but it is expected that the focus will be on low cost, minimal power consumption, and highly flexible design techniques that allow for a short time-to-market.
3D integration has the potential to allow multiple MEMS, memory, sensor, communication and processing technologies to be fabricated in the most effective technology/process, reused/selected for a particular application, and brought together into a small package. It is typically performed using through-silicon-vias (TSVs); however, the high costs and low yields of manufacturing processes incorporating TSVs remain a barrier to adoption of 3D-ICs in the IoT market.
This research project aims to address this challenge by exploring the use of contactless 3D integration techniques, notably using inductive coupling links (ICLs), to communicate between vertically stacked dies. The project will focus on low-power ICL design with the aim of fabricating a proof-of-concept prototype system.
“This work makes two primary contributions that will foster future work in academia and industry. Firstly, it demonstrates a cost-effective way of building SoCs where the peripheral bus spans multiple dies. This has interesting applications where dies built in disparate process technologies can be designed into a SoC just by stacking one on top of another. Secondly, the project has achieved impressive metrics, demonstrating the smallest link-area (achieving 7.8x area reduction compared to SoTA!) whilst achieving simultaneous power and data transfer.”
Shidhartha Das – Senior Principal Research Engineer