In a significant stride towards the future of computing, Intel has unveiled one of the industry’s pioneering glass substrates for next-generation advanced packaging. This groundbreaking development, set to be introduced in the latter part of this decade, is poised to revolutionize the semiconductor industry and extend the life of Moore’s Law, the principle that has guided the digital revolution for over half a century.
The introduction of glass substrates is a response to the growing demand for more powerful computing capabilities, particularly in data-centric applications. As the semiconductor industry grapples with the limits of scaling transistors on a silicon package using organic materials, glass substrates emerge as a viable and essential next step. They offer a host of superior mechanical, physical, and optical properties that allow for more transistors to be connected in a package, thereby enabling the assembly of larger chiplet complexes and better scaling.
Intel glass substrates
Compared to current organic substrates, glass offers ultra-low flatness and superior thermal and mechanical stability. These attributes result in a higher interconnect density in a substrate, a critical factor in the creation of high-density, high-performance chip packages. Such packages are particularly beneficial for data-intensive workloads, such as those involved in artificial intelligence (AI) applications.
The advantages of glass substrates extend beyond their mechanical and physical properties. They can tolerate higher temperatures and offer 50% less pattern distortion, which is crucial for maintaining the integrity of the intricate circuits within a chip. Furthermore, their ultra-low flatness improves the depth of focus for lithography, a key process in semiconductor manufacturing. The dimensional stability of glass substrates also ensures an extremely tight layer-to-layer interconnect overlay, a feature that is vital for the reliable performance of advanced chips.
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Intel’s commitment to this innovation is not a recent development. The company has been researching and evaluating the reliability of glass substrates as a replacement for organic substrates for over a decade. This long-term investment in research and development underscores Intel’s dedication to pushing the boundaries of technology and its commitment to sustaining the pace of Moore’s Law.
The company plans to deliver complete glass substrate solutions to the market in the second half of this decade. This timeline aligns with Intel’s ambitious goal of delivering 1 trillion transistors on a package by 2030. The introduction of glass substrates is a critical component of this strategy, as it will allow the industry to continue advancing Moore’s Law beyond 2030.
Initially, glass substrates will be introduced into the market for applications and workloads requiring larger form factor packages and higher speed capabilities. However, as the technology matures and its benefits become more widely recognized, it is likely to find broader applications across the semiconductor industry.
Intel’s unveiling of industry-leading glass substrates marks a significant milestone in the evolution of the semiconductor industry. By enabling the continued scaling of transistors in a package, this innovation promises to advance Moore’s Law and deliver more powerful computing capabilities for data-centric applications. As the industry continues to push the boundaries of technology, the introduction of glass substrates represents a critical step towards the next generation of semiconductors.
Source : Intel
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