Memory // Events

Scaling Up for 3D Challenges

By Rob Sturgill - 2014-12-22

At Micron, we’re always excited by the rise of a new 3D semiconductor architecture. So much so that on December 11, I gave an overview and outlook of 3D memory solutions to a full house at the 11th annual 3D Architectures for Semiconductor Integration and Packing (3D ASIP) event—during San Francisco’s strongest winter storm in five years! Not even this mega storm could stop us from discussing the challenges that are slowing Moore’s law.

The 3D ASIP conference is regarded as the leading industry event for 3D integration and packaging. Sessions ran throughout the conference presenting a broad, yet thorough, perspective on the technology market’s opportunities and challenges offered by building 3D devices and systems. My talk focused on what we can do as an industry to bring 3D memory into the mainstream.

As other speakers noted in the conference: We’re currently faced with a paradigm shift in regards to 3D semiconductors. We’re no longer in an age where we can rely on providing single ubiquitous commodity memory for the applications our customers are building today. Markets are demanding increasingly specialized solutions that integrate into more complex designs. As a result, it’s becoming harder for any single supplier or integrator to develop the necessary expertise to build efficient systems. Furthermore, power is becoming a dominant constraint on new systems and their underlying components.

In my talk, I discussed how partnerships are key to successfully navigating near-term technology challenges. Through partnerships, we can work together—even among our competitors—to meet the evolving needs of increasingly complex applications. Through organizations like the Hybrid Memory Cube Consortium (HMCC),  Micron has already worked across specialties with competitors, partners, and ecosystem developers to finalize specialization and create economies of scale for new designs. Our Knights Landing collaboration with Intel is just another example of this kind of joint effort.

It’s an exciting time for those of us working on 3D semiconductors. The technology is already here, but through partnerships, we’ll be able to make these new advances economical and more available. What’s my added advice for the industry? Worry less about beating your competition and more about the most effective ways to address potential customers’ challenges.

Thanks to the organizers of the 3D ASIP for providing a great venue for us ecosystem vendors to discuss how to confront today’s challenges. Come rain or shine, we look forward to meeting again next year!

Rob Sturgill