First commercial 3-D chip-making capability announced

December 6, 2011

Micron's Hybrid Memory Cube features a stack of individual chips connected by vertical pipelines or “vias.” IBM’s new 3-D manufacturing technology, used to connect the 3D micro structure, will be the foundation for commercial production of the new memory cube. (Credit: Micron Technology, Inc.)

IBM and Micron Technology, Inc. have announced that Micron will begin production of a new memory device built using the first commercial CMOS manufacturing technology to employ through-silicon vias (TSVs).

IBM’s advanced TSV chip-making process enables Micron’s Hybrid Memory Cube (HMC) to achieve speeds 15 times faster than today’s technology.

HMC technology uses advanced TSVs — vertical conduits that electrically connect a stack of individual chips — to combine high-performance logic with Micron’s state-of-the-art DRAM. HMC delivers bandwidth and efficiencies a leap beyond current device capabilities, Micron says.

HMC prototypes, for example, clock in with bandwidth of 128 gigabytes per second (GB/s). By comparison, current state-of-the-art devices deliver 12.8 GB/s. HMC also requires 70 percent less energy to transfer data while offering a small form factor, just 10 percent of the footprint of conventional memory.

HMC will enable a new generation of performance in applications ranging from large-scale networking and high-performance computing, to industrial automation and, eventually, consumer products.