Print 40 comment(s) - last by david99.. on Apr 16 at 11:17 AM

Samsung Semiconductor becomes the first company to announced 3D memory packaging

Samsung just announced a new method to pack more memory into small spaces -- three-dimensional chip packaging.  The technique works by adding "through silicon" interconnects on the memory module and then daisy chaining multiple modules through the interconnects.  Samsung has dubbed this new technology "wafer-level stack process" or WSP.

Existing semiconductor packaging relies on wire bonding to a printed circuit board (PCB).  The wire bonding requires space between the interconnects to eliminate interference, but ultimately becomes the limiting factor when attempting to create high density memory. "Through silicon" interconnects are essentially laser cut holes between the memory dice.  The holes are later filled-in with a conductive material creating a vertical interconnect.

Samsung researchers managed to stack eight 2Gb NAND chips onto one package.  The result is a 16Gb NAND chip that is just over half a milimeter in height.  The same technology will also be used for DRAM later this year and multimedia controllers.  Cell phone, PDA and high density server components are all the likely candidates for this new process.  Samsung's newest NAND hard drive, announced a few weeks ago, would only be eight millimeters high if the WSP package allowed for all 256 modules to stack on the same packaging. 

However, 3D packaging isn't the best route for chip assembly.  On relatively slow NAND modules, the thermal envelope is not a huge factor.  High speed DRAM, on the other hand, has much higher operating temperatures and will not likely adopt Samsung's WSP or other 3D packaging in the near future.

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RE: Price Reduction?
By akugami on 4/13/2006 1:02:20 PM , Rating: 2
Not so much cost as it is to reduce physical size needed to package more RAM. For instance, at the current physical specs of a iPod Nano and with traditional methods of packaging flash RAM, it'd be pretty much impossible to make a 16GB iPod Nano.

And guys, this is a blog styled tech site. It's not meant to be free of errors but meant to convey news fast. Does this mean that there will be a higher level of errors? Of course. I still think that they should at least better proof read their articles but online articles are not like traditional print with a dedicated editor that proof reads material.

RE: Price Reduction?
By bhigh on 4/13/2006 1:51:17 PM , Rating: 2
And guys, this is a blog styled tech site. It's not meant to be free of errors but meant to convey news fast.

A simple spell check would take care of many of the errors.

RE: Price Reduction?
By dunno99 on 4/13/2006 2:58:00 PM , Rating: 3
"Wafter" is a word, and so is "dice." So, no, a spell check wouldn't have solved the two problems pointed out by the other posts. What you need is a context-sensitive semantics check. And when you come up with such an algorithm to do just that, I have a Turing award to give you as well as a proposal for world domination.

RE: Price Reduction?
By Knish on 4/13/2006 7:59:12 PM , Rating: 3
"dice" was actually used correctly.

RE: Price Reduction?
By Samus on 4/13/06, Rating: 0
back on subject
By vtohthree on 4/13/2006 11:48:49 PM , Rating: 2
This is exciting! Samsung is really pushing the Solid State Hard drive into a reality, I can't wait to have a massive solid state CF card. And yes, I would need that much storage on my pda, use it to carry data and mp3's. Or when they start showing up in energy efficient laptops.

RE: back on subject
By shadowzz on 4/14/2006 12:12:15 AM , Rating: 2
I theory, if heat isnt an issue you could fit like several hundred gigabytes into the size of an existing flash drive. Now they just need to make it cost $100

RE: back on subject
By highlandsun on 4/14/2006 1:11:44 AM , Rating: 2
Yep, if you can stack these without sacrificing any speed, then sign me up for a solid state 2.5" laptop drive.

RE: Price Reduction?
By PrinceGaz on 4/14/2006 5:12:10 AM , Rating: 2
No it wasn't.

RE: Price Reduction?
By Eskimo on 4/14/2006 11:26:55 AM , Rating: 2

Yes it was used correctly. Don't take such a narrow minded approach to the word dice, it's not always 6 sided cubes. Maybe you should listen to those of us who actually work in the industry.
For your reference:

"There is a single light of science, and to brighten it anywhere is to brighten it everywhere." -- Isaac Asimov
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