IBM Building 3D Chips Like Sandcastles

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Did you know that datacenters In the United States already consume two percent of the electricity available with consumption doubling every five years? At this rate of growth, a supercomputer in the year 2050 will require the entire production of the US energy grid.

To address this challenge, IBM scientists are researching vertically stacked chips, also known as 3D chip stacks. Under investigation are innovative manufacturing solutions using a natural phenomenon that children around the world appreciate every summer while building sand sculptures — capillary bridging in wet sand.

One main challenges for 3D chip stacks is to keep the transistors at temperatures below 80 degrees Celsius, while also considering the multiple chips dissipating heat to a shared heat sink at the backside of the stack,” said IBM Scientist Thomas Brunschwiler. “Hence, a low thermal resistance under-fill material is required in the space between the chips formed by the electrical connections. Improvements with traditional capillary under-fills have only resulted in moderate thermal performance.”

According to Brunschwiler, this research could eventually lead to the development of supercomputers the size of a sugar cube. Read the Full Story.