IFTLE 65 Samsung’s 32GB RDIMM DDR3, GLOBALFOUNDRIES Packaging Alliance, Ziptronix Licensing News

By Garrou
Samsung Develops 30nm-class 32GB DDR3 for Next-generation Servers, Using TSV Technology

In December of 2010 IFTLE announced “the Era of 3D IC had arrived“ following the commercial announcement by Samsung that is was beginning the mass production of 8 GB DDR3 memory modules based on the SODIMM form factor [ see IFTLE 27, “The Era of 3D IC has Arrived with Samsung Commercial Announcement”].

Samsung has just announced the development of 32 GB DDR3 memory module (RDIMMs) using their 3D TSV packaging technology and their advanced 30 nm 4 Gb DDR3 chips. The modules can transmit at speeds of up to 1,333 Mbps, a 70 percent gain over preceding quad-rank 32GB RDIMMs (operational speeds of 800Mbps). Further, the 32GB-module consumes 4.5 watts of power per hour, reportedly the lowest power consumption level among memory modules in use in enterprise servers.
Samsung has issued engineering samples of its new modules and is currently collaborating with CPU and controller designers to expand support for 3D TSV server modules.

GLOBALFOUNDRIES and Amkor enter Alliance for Advanced Assembly and Test Solutions
GLOBALFOUNDRIES and Amkor have announced that they have entered into a strategic partnership to develop packaging solutions for advanced silicon nodes. Amkor is thus the founding member of GLOBALFOUNDRIES’ new “Global Alliance for Advanced Assembly Solutions”. GlobalFoundries indicates that they expect to strike similar deals with other companies to create a broader alliance of packaging partners.
As we have detailed many times in IFTLE, the move to advanced technology nodes has caused  packaging and interconnect solutions to become increasingly important. Packaging techniques are leading to improvements in performance and power-efficiency as well as reduced costs. IFTLE readers know that the adoption of 3D IC stacking of ICs is increasingly being viewed as an alternative to traditional technology node scaling at the transistor level. It is also clear that the ability to deliver end-to-end solutions such as 3D IC for customers will require such partnerships between foundries and OSATS to better enable supply chain management.

At their recent “Global Technology Conference” [link] Gregg Bartlett, Sr VP of technology and research and development at GLOBALFOUNDRIES noted that “..the market is beginning to crystallize around certain subsets where system designers want to have that [3D IC]capability in hand,  he continues that “?customers will be demanding 3-D chip stacks late in the 28-nm node or early in the 20-nm node? big graphics and networking chips will demand 3-D chip stacks using interposers?mobile apps processors will want 3-D stacks using through silicon vias”. But, he warned, "?the [3-D IC] supply chain is nearly as complex as the technical solutions".[link]
Indeed previous Globalfoundries roadmaps have shown 3D becoming “enabling” post the 32 nm generation.

Ziptronix signs licensing agreement with Sony
Ziptronix, Inc. has announced a licensing agreement with Sony Corporation for the use of Ziptronix’s patents regarding oxide bonding technology for backside illumination imaging sensors.
Ziptronix has been touting their Zibond? oxide bonding technology for use in backside illumination (BSI) of CMOS image sensors for several years [ see  PFTLE 40, “Backside Illumination (BSI) Architecture next for NextGeneration CMOS Image Sensors]

 A back-illuminated structure minimizes the degradation of sensitivity to optical angle response, while also increasing the amount of light that enters each pixel due to the lack of obstacles such as metal wiring and transistors that have been moved to the reverse of the silicon substrate. Most of the CIS manufacturers have already moved to BIS technology per a recent market study by Yole
Developpment [ see "CMOS Image Sensors Technologies and MArkets - 2010". CMOS BSI sensors BSI sensor technology is being used by Sony and has been announced in video camcorders and digital still camera products by Casio, Nikon, Ricoh, Samsung, JVC and Fujifilm among others. Ziptronix CTO Paul Enquist asserts that their patented ZiBond? technology, “?enables the industry’s lowest distortion for imaging systems utilizing backside illumination because of the oxide-oxide bond, alternate solutions, such as adhesives, fail to meet the industry need for ultra low distortion.


In December 2010 Ziptronix filed a complaint against TSMC and Omnivision in Federal Court alleging infringement of several Ziptronix low temperature oxide bonding patents [see IFTLE 31, " Oxide Bonding Patent Litigation Has Begun"] .
 With Sony taking a license on the Zibond technology can Samsung, Toshiba, Cannon, Panasonic, Aptina, ST Micro or others who practice BSI  be far behind ?
Ziptronix CEO Dan Donabedian predicts “? todays digital cell phone cameras that feature up to 5
Megapixel cameras can advance to 16 megapixels using Ziptronix’s patented technology” and similar impact will be seen in “?digital still cameras, digital video cameras, automotive sensors and projection systems such as pico projectors”.  Chris Sanders, Dir. of Business Development notes that Ziptronx is currently “?actively engaged with multiple companies across the globe for licensing our technology in the bsi image sensor space” 

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