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

  • pure risk (absolute risk)

    Pure risk, also called absolute risk, is a category of threat that is beyond human control and has only one possible outcome if ...

  • risk assessment

    Risk assessment is the identification of hazards that could negatively impact an organization's ability to conduct business.

  • audit program (audit plan)

    An audit program, also called an audit plan, is an action plan that documents what procedures an auditor will follow to validate ...

SearchSecurity

  • insider threat

    Insider threat is a generic term for a threat to an organization's security or data that comes from within.

  • ransomware

    Ransomware is a subset of malware in which the data on a victim's computer is locked, typically by encryption, and payment is ...

  • hacker

    A hacker is an individual who uses computer, networking or other skills to overcome a technical problem.

SearchHealthIT

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR)

    Business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR) are closely related practices that describe an organization's preparation for ...

  • business continuity plan (BCP)

    A business continuity plan (BCP) is a document that consists of the critical information an organization needs to continue ...

  • call tree

    A call tree -- sometimes referred to as a phone tree -- is a telecommunications chain for notifying specific individuals of an ...

SearchStorage

SearchSolidStateStorage

  • 3D XPoint

    3D XPoint is memory storage technology jointly developed by Intel and Micron Technology Inc.

  • RRAM or ReRAM (resistive RAM)

    RRAM or ReRAM (resistive random access memory) is a form of nonvolatile storage that operates by changing the resistance of a ...

  • JEDEC

    JEDEC is a global industry group that develops open standards for microelectronics.

SearchCloudStorage

  • Google Cloud Storage

    Google Cloud Storage is an enterprise public cloud storage platform that can house large unstructured data sets.

  • 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 ...

Close