The future success of the semiconductor industry will depend on how successful it is in implementing 3D IC technology to meet the demands of a 17-year-old consumer named Jeremy, according to Ziptronix CEO Dan Donabedian. In a presentation at the fifth annual 3D Architectures for Semiconductor Integration and Packaging conference in Burlingame, CA, Donabedian described the role his company's revolutionary bonding technology will play in the emerging 3D IC supply chain.

Ziptronix Inc., based in Research Triangle Park, NC, is a leader in IP for innovative 3D integration technology for advanced CMOS ICs, with established patent protection for its ZiBond™ low temperature covalent bonding (US Patent 7,387,944) and DBI® direct bond interconnect (US Patent 6,962,835) technologies.

The Ziptronix CEO described "Jeremy" as the ultimate customer for 3D IC technology. "In order to succeed, the semiconductor industry is going to have to figure out how to supply 'Jeremy' with the chips that make for better cell phones, lighter ultra-mobile PCs, portable multimedia players with pico-projectors, handheld gaming devices, safer automobile sensors, and more sophisticated medical imaging equipment," he explained. "And they will have to implement 3D IC technology to realize the higher density, lower costs and increased functionality, connectivity and reliability that these applications will require."

According to Donabedian's presentation, one of the crucial elements for successful implementation of 3D IC technology is a reliable, economical, low temperature oxide bonding process that will enable true 3D integration of semiconductors. "A high throughput bonding process that achieves true metal-to-metal interconnect without requiring high temperature or compression has long been seen as the 'missing link' in the 3D IC supply chain that is now taking shape in the semiconductor industry," he explained. "Ziptronix technology will be one of the key factors in making 3D IC integration a mainstream semiconductor technology."

Donabedian sees "Jeremy" (and the next generation of electronics consumers) as ready to buy a host of integrated applications that will be enabled by 3D IC technology, including:

• Mobile phones with high resolution digital cameras and increased functionality
• Ultramobile, low power, lightweight PCs
• Interactive handheld gaming devices with projection capabilities
• Embedded pico-projectors in a variety of portable multimedia devices
• Advanced automotive sensors (lane change/collision warning)
• Sophisticated medical imaging systems

The Ziptronix processes can be implemented throughout the present semiconductor supply chain - by the OEMs/IDMs; by fabless and 'fab-lite' companies; by the major foundries; by semiconductor tool manufacturers and EDA vendors; and by the OSAT houses. "Through licensing of this patented technology, Ziptronix anticipates being able to add value to each phase of this emerging 3D IC supply chain," Donabedian explained.