Browse Definitions:
Definition

3-D chip (3D chip)

A 3-D chip is an integrated circuit ( IC ) containing a three-dimensional array of interconnected devices performing digital, analog, image processing and neural-network functions, either individually or in combination.

See an image of a thinned wafer used to create a 3-D chip

3-D chip technology solves a number of issues that have been challenging chip manufacturers looking for performance increases and reductions in processor size. As chips have grown smaller and more powerful, the wires that connect the increasing numbers of transistor s have necessarily become both thinner and closer together, resulting in increased resistance and overheating. Both can cause signal delays, limiting the clock speed of central processing unit s.

In April 2007, a new version of 3-D chips was announced by a partnership of IBM and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) researchers at the IBM T.J. Watson Research Center, with support from the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency ( DARPA ). These 3-D chips layer one chip upon another using a technique called wafer bonding . While some companies currently package processors by layering one upon another, IBM's technique uses one base layer of silicon with active wafers layered on top. This allows engineers to place a processor on the bottom of the stack and then layer memory or other components across the top, resulting in a thousand-fold decrease in connector length, as chips are no longer organized in a two-dimensional layouts with wires connecting transistors at the periphery of chips. This reduces the distance data has to travel, resulting in much faster processing. Similarly, a hundred-fold increase in connector density dramatically reduces the size of the chip.

IBM 's engineers used a new method of manufacturing called through-silicon vias that allows multiple chip components to be stacked upon one another vertically, creating faster, smaller and lower-power CPU s (central processing units). Through-silicon vias also allow for more efficient heat dissipation up through the stack to cooling systems and, according to IBM, improve power-efficiency in silicon-germanium based products up to 40%, resulting in longer battery life.

IBM expects to begin production of 3-D chips in 2008. "Big Blue" will be applying the technology initially in mobile devices and wireless communications. Memory-on-processor technology will be available for use in servers and supercomputers in 2009. Intel used a similar 3-D chip structure in February 2007 capable of teraflop processing (a trillion calculations per second), effectively performing calculations as quickly as a complete data center while consuming a tiny fraction of the energy. Either of these improvements may allow the extension of Moore's Law well into the 21st century.

This was last updated in March 2011

Continue Reading About 3-D chip (3D chip)

Start the conversation

Send me notifications when other members comment.

By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy

Please create a username to comment.

-ADS BY GOOGLE

File Extensions and File Formats

Powered by:

SearchCompliance

  • PCAOB (Public Company Accounting Oversight Board)

    The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) is a Congressionally-established nonprofit that assesses audits of public ...

  • cyborg anthropologist

    A cyborg anthropologist is an individual who studies the interaction between humans and technology, observing how technology can ...

  • RegTech

    RegTech, or regulatory technology, is a term used to describe technology that is used to help streamline the process of ...

SearchSecurity

  • application whitelisting

    Application whitelisting is the practice of identifying applications that have been deemed safe for execution and restricting all...

  • security

    Security, in information technology (IT), is the defense of digital information and IT assets against internal and external, ...

  • insider threat

    An insider threat is a malicious hacker (also called a cracker or a black hat) who is an employee or officer of a business, ...

SearchHealthIT

  • athenahealth Inc.

    Based in Watertown, Mass., athenahealth Inc. is a leading vendor of cloud-based EHRs for small to medium-sized physician ...

  • Affordable Care Act (ACA or Obamacare)

    The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is legislation passed in 2010 that changed how uninsured Americans enroll in and receive healthcare...

  • HIPAA Privacy Rule

    The Standards for Privacy of Individually Identifiable Health Information, commonly known as the HIPAA Privacy Rule, establishes ...

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • data recovery

    Data recovery restores data that has been lost, accidentally deleted, corrupted or made inaccessible. Learn how data recovery ...

  • disaster recovery plan (DRP)

    A company's disaster recovery policy is enhanced with a documented DR plan that formulates strategies, and outlines preparation ...

  • fault-tolerant

    Systems with integrated fault tolerance are designed to withstand multiple hardware failures to ensure continuous availability.

SearchStorage

  • data deduplication

    Deduplication retains one unique data instance to reduce storage and bandwidth consumed by remote backups, replication and ...

  • byte

    In most computer systems, a byte is a unit of data that is eight binary digits long. Bytes are often used to represent a ...

  • Secure Digital card (SD card)

    SD cards use flash memory to provide nonvolatile storage. They are more rugged than traditional storage media and are used in ...

SearchSolidStateStorage

  • flash file system

    Flash file systems are designed specifically for memory devices. A well-designed flash device and flash file system ensure ...

  • IOPS (input/output operations per second)

    IOPS measures the maximum number of reads and writes to non-contiguous storage. It is not an actual benchmark since vendor ...

  • eMMC (embedded MultiMediaCard)

    An embedded MultiMediaCard (eMMC) is a small storage device made up of NAND flash memory and a simple storage controller.

SearchCloudStorage

  • RESTful API

    A RESTful application program interface breaks down a transaction to create a series of small modules, each of which addresses an...

  • cloud storage infrastructure

    Cloud storage infrastructure is the hardware and software framework that supports the computing requirements of a private or ...

  • Zadara VPSA and ZIOS

    Zadara Storage provides block, file or object storage with varying levels of compute and capacity through its ZIOS and VPSA ...

Close