There is a saying in real estate; when land get expensive, multi-storied buildings are the alternative solution. We have a similar situation in the chip industry. For the past thirty years, chip designers have considered whether building integrated circuits multiple layers might create cheaper, more powerful chips.
Performance of deep-sub micrometer very large scale integrated (VLSI) circuits is being increasingly dominated by the interconnects due to increasing wire pitch and increasing die size. Additionally, heterogeneous integration of different technologies on one single chip is becoming increasingly desirable, for which planar (2-D) ICs may not be suitable.
The three dimensional (3-D) chip design strategy exploits the vertical dimension to alleviate the interconnect related problems and to facilitate heterogeneous integration of technologies to realize system on a chip (SoC) design. By simply dividing a planar chip into separate blocks, each occupying a separate physical level interconnected by short and vertical interlayer interconnects (VILICs), significant improvement in performance and reduction in wire-limited chip area can be achieved.In the 3-Ddesign architecture, an entire chip is divided into a number of blocks, and each block is placed on a separate layer of Si that are stacked on top of each other.
Motivation For 3-D ICs
The unprecedented growth of the computer and the information technology industry is demanding Very Large Scale Integrated ( VLSI ) circuits with increasing functionality and performance at minimum cost and power dissipation. Continuous scaling of VLSI circuits is reducing gate delays but rapidly increasing interconnect delays. A significant fraction of the total power consumption can be due to the wiring network used for clock distribution, which is usually realized using long global wires.
Furthermore, increasing drive for the integration of disparate signals (digital, analog, RF) and technologies (SOI, SiGe, GaAs, and so on) is introducing various SoC design concepts, for which existing planner (2-D) IC design may not be suitable.
Three-dimensional integration to create multilayer Si ICs is a concept that can significantly improve interconnect performance ,increase transistor packing density, and reduce chip area and power dissipation. Additionally 3D ICs can be very effective large scale on chip integration of different systems.
In 3D design architecture, and entire(2D) chips is divided into a number of blocks is placed on separate layer of Si that are stacked on top of each other. Each Si layer in the 3D structure can have multiple layer of interconnects(VILICs) and common global interconnects.