The Tezzblog

3D Semiconductors Poised for Revolution

Singapore – 23 December 2004

Tezzaron® Semiconductor announced that its 3D technology is ready to launch the semiconductor industry into a new era. “Migration from 2D to 3D is inevitable,” says Dr. Subhash Gupta, Managing Director. His confidence is based on the success of Tezzaron’s first six prototype designs, which demonstrated excellent performance and marked superiority over comparable 2D products.

Tezzaron’s patented FaStack™ process stacks whole semiconductor wafers and creates a very high density of vertical inter-wafer connections. The vertical connections are shorter than 2D horizontal traces by a factor of 100 to 1000, so FaStack™ devices draw only 1/3 the current and consume 1/10 the power of their 2D counterparts, generating far less heat. “This guarantees an unbeatable value in cost-performance-per-watt,” says Dr. Gupta. He expects cellular phones and other hand-held devices to experience an “unprecedented boom” by taking advantage of the size, speed, cost, and power advantages of 3D.

Three-dimensional flexibility allows designers to divide their circuitry into layers and take advantage of the short vertical interconnects. This flexibility of design enables 3D sensors with 100% array efficiency (vs. 40-50% in 2D), 3D memory devices with 2 ns latency (vs. 25-40 ns in 2D), and 3D processors that operate three to ten times faster than their 2D counterparts.

Another design advantage arises by partitioning circuitry according to process requirements. For example, placing analog and digital circuitry on separate layers can avoid process compromises and increase the quality of the circuits. This heterogeneous process integration will finally enable the compound memory long desired in portable devices: Flash and RAM in a single chip. Time-to-market can also be reduced, as designers re-use the circuitry on one layer while modifying another layer for a different application. Dr. Gupta envisions “an avalanche of affordable design houses with fast turn-around times, catering to customized applications for end users.”

Tezzaron’s wafer stacking can also accommodate differing substrates, integrating (for example) Si and SiGe in a single 3D device. This heterogeneous integration of substrates would be very good news for Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and other RF devices; Dr. Gupta predicts “explosive growth” in these markets.

3D semiconductors may be the only way to keep Moore’s Law alive. The continuing scalability of 2D devices is increasingly doubtful; each process shrink requires a massive layout of capital and the gains in performance are becoming significantly compromised. By employing the third dimension, the semiconductor industry can continue to increase the capabilities of its products while reducing their size and cost.

Tezzaron Semiconductor is a privately held corporation with offices in Singapore and the USA. Tezzaron’s FaStack™ 3D process was developed by its Singapore process team. Prototype chips were fabricated under a Joint Development program with MagnaChip Semiconductor, formerly a non-memory division of Hynix, in Korea. Financial assistance from EDB and technical collaboration with A*STAR Institute of Microelectronics (IME), Singapore, were pivotal to the success of this endeavor.

IME, with its expertise in wafer-to-wafer bonding and its advanced wafer processing facilities, had supported the development of this 3D technology during its initial phase. Bonding of multiple wafers to create 3D stack devices require a near-perfect bonding across the entire surface of the eight-inch wafer at each layer. Air gaps caused by surface contamination or the unevenness of wafers could result in defects. It is also important to ensure that the high temperature and pressure at which the wafers are subject to do not damage the circuitry. The technical support from IME has been crucial in the successful development of this 3D technology.

For more information, please contact:

Mr Teo Keng Hwa
Institute of Microelectronics
Tel: (65) 6770 5417

Dr. Subhash Gupta or Mr. Robert Patti
Tezzaron Semiconductor
Tel: (65) 9628 2880 or (1) 630 561 6813
Email: or

About Tezzaron® Semiconductor Corp.

Tezzaron Semiconductor Corp. is a fabless company specializing in cutting-edge technologies and high-end niche products. Its flagship technologies are 3D wafer stacking (FaStack™) and ultra-fast memories (3T-iRAM™). Tezzaron maintains its headquarters and design engineering facility in Naperville, Illinois, and a process engineering facility in Singapore. For more about Tezzaron, visit .

About the Institute of Microelectronics (IME)

The Institute of Microelectronics (IME) is a member of the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR). Positioned to bridge the R&D between academia and industry, IME’s mission is to increase value-add to the electronics industry in Singapore by engaging in relevant R&D in strategic fields of microelectronics; supporting and partnering the electronics industry; and developing skilled R&D personnel. Its key research areas are in integrated circuits and systems; semiconductor process technologies and microsystems, modules and components. For more information about IME, please visit:

Copyright © 2004-2009 Tezzaron® Semiconductor. All rights reserved. Revised: July 08, 2013