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TSMC, Altera develop pioneering computer chip test vehicle

2012/03/22 22:28:13

Taipei, March 22 (CNA) Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC), the world's largest contract chip-maker, unveiled Thursday the world's first heterogeneous 3D IC test vehicle it jointly developed with U.S. manufacturer Altera.

The Silicon Valley programmable logic solutions maker used TSMC's Chip-on-Wafer-on-Substrate (CoWoS) integration process to develop the pioneering device, according to TSMC.

"Heterogeneous 3D ICs are one of the innovations enabling the industry's move beyond Moore's Law by stacking various technologies within a single device, including analog, logic and memory," TSMC said in an online release.

Moore's Law, proposed by Intel co-founder Gordon Moore in 1965, is the guiding principle for the development of the computer chip industry. It states that the number of transistors on a chip doubles every two years.

"Developing next-generation 3D ICs with Altera is a good example of how the two companies can work together to push semiconductor technology to another level," said Rick Cassidy, president of TSMC North America.

The CoWoS process provides 3D IC semiconductor manufacturers with a thorough solution from the end-front production of wafers to the back-end assembly and testing, the company said.

"Our partnerships with standards bodies, such as IMEC and SEMATECH, and our use of TSMC's leading-edge CoWoS manufacturing and assembly process put us in an excellent position to execute on our strategy of delivering heterogeneous 3D devices to our customers at the right time and with the right set of features," said Bill Hata, senior vice president of worldwide operations and engineering at Altera.

(By Jackson Chang and Kendra Lin)