3-D for wireless communications technology: IBM is using through-silicon via technology to improve power efficiency in silicon-germanium based wireless products up to 40 percent, which leads to longer battery life. The through-silicon via technology replaces the wire bonds that are less efficient at transferring signals off of the chip.
Power Processors explore 3-D for power grid stability: As we increase the number of processor cores on chips, one of the limitations in performance is uniform power delivery to all parts of the chip. This technique puts the power closer to the cores and allows each core to have ample access to that power, increasing processor speed while reducing power consumption up to 20 percent.
Exploring 3-D stacking for Blue Gene supercomputing and memory arrays: The most advanced version of 3-D chip stacking will allow high-performance chips to be stacked on top of each other, for example processor-on-processor or memory-on-processor. IBM is experimenting with this advanced technology by converting the chip that currently powers the fastest computer in the world, the IBM Blue Gene supercomputer, into a prototype 3-D stacked chip. IBM is also using 3-D technology to fundamentally change the way memory communicates with a microprocessor, by significantly enhancing the data flow between microprocessor and memory. This capability could enable a new generation of supercomputers. A prototype SRAM design using 3-D stacking technology is being fabricated in IBM's 300 mm production line using 65 nm- node technology.
3-D chip research at IBMIBM has been researching 3-D stacking technology for more than a decade at the IBM T.J. Watson Research Center and now at its labs around the world. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has supported IBM in the development of tools and techniques for extending chips to the third dimension, with the aim of driving better performance and new applications of chip technologies.