Three Dimensional Integration Technology: A Microarchitectural Outlook

Three-dimensional integrated circuits offer unique advantages compared to the planar counterparts: such as improved interconnect delay, enhanced performance and packaging density. Yet, 3D technology presents key challenges ranging from fabrication complexity to thermal issues that need to be addressed for performance and viability of vertically integrated microprocessor architectures. In this paper, we discuss the basics of 3D technology from microprocessor architecture design point of view. We present the main techniques in the 3D fabrication as well as key issues and challenges. One of our goals is to highlight the characteristics that require further attention from higher-level design stages. 3D technology research has rapidly expanded in the past few years and became a very active research area. We provide brief overviews of recent studies and tools from both academic and commercial domains. We also discuss the possible future directions for architecture-level 3D research.

By: Eren Kursun

Published in: RC24147 in 2007


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