MonolithIC 3D offers multiple paths to silicon-based Monolithic 3D-ICs using building blocks well-known to the semiconductor industry.
Qualcomm will be using Monolithic 3d for their smartphone chips.
See above Qualcomm view of the scaling of interconnects for the new method
All these paths are patented or patent-pending and utilize a technique called ion-cut or layer transfer, to get mono-crystalline silicon atop copper wiring at less than 400C. Ion-cut is the predominant process used for manufacturing Silicon-on-Insulator (SOI) wafers today, and utilizes wafer-bonding and hydrogen-implant based cleave.
Path 1: Transistor Construction above Copper Interconnects at less than 400C
The first path to monolithic 3D-ICs involves sub-400C transistor construction above copper interconnect layers. Recessed ChAnnel Transistors (RCATs) form a transistor family that can be constructed at <400C with our proposed procedures. RCATs have been used in DRAM manufacturing since the 90nm node. This is suggested for logic applications where Monolithic 3D is desired. Experimental data from DRAM manufacturers indicates that RCATs can have similar drive currents and significantly lower leakage when compared to planar transistors, at the cost of higher gate capacitance.
Path 2: State-of-the-Art Replacement-Gate Transistor Stacking
A second path to monolithic 3D-ICs constructs the stack with any state-of-the-art transistor that uses a replacement-gate process. Innovative alignment schemes, combined with repeating layouts, help obtain sub-50nm, and hence dense, through-silicon electrical connections.
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