For Intel and CEA-Leti the future is 3D

Categorie(s) : Events, Industry, News, Research

Published : 2 February 2021

CEA-Leti and Intel, the world’s largest foundry, signed a contract expanding their partnership into 3D-integrated processors for high-performance computing via a multi-year R&D program in Grenoble.

Intel and CEA-Leti began working together on IoT and very-high-speed wireless communications in 2016. The company recently decided to expand its successful collaboration with CEA-Leti into one of its historic and most strategic markets, high-performance computing.

The race to achieve more compact and powerful HPC processors has spurred foundries around the globe to make sustained R&D investments in advanced technologies. The industry giants are currently working on technologies at the 14 nm and 10 nm nodes; 7 nm and, possibly, 5 nm, are further away. But as the technology gets smaller, each step forward is slower and costlier. 3D integration, which entails vertically stacking chips inside a device, adds even more complexity.

All roads lead to 3D

Intel and the CEA, through its institutes CEA-Leti and CEA-List, have strikingly similar 3D roadmaps. To improve bandwidth and reduce power consumption, both partners have opted to use active interposers to interconnect physical layers like processors, memory, and RF components. Additionally, CEA-Leti has a solid reputation for its 3D integration research. The institute is already working on 3D integration (for other applications) for STMicroelectronics, for example, as well as for several OEMs. Some of this research is part of a CEA-Leti partnership with IRT Nanoelec.

With so much to offer, it is no surprise that CEA-Leti was Intel’s partner of choice for this new R&D program, which kicked off last September but was kept under wraps until the partners announced it publicly in December.


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