[News] Glass Substrates in Advanced Packaging With Intel Leads, TSMC Quietly Innovates

2023-09-22 Semiconductors editor

According to Taiwan’s Business Next, as Moore’s Law gradually reaches its limits, semiconductor manufacturers are transitioning from 2D to 3D chip stacking and packaging to increase transistor counts for improved performance. The final step, “packaging,” has become crucial. In line with this trend, Intel has announced the industry’s first glass-based substrate for advanced packaging, breaking traditional constraints, with mass production expected between 2026 and 2030.

Intel’s glass-based substrate packaging technology has been in development for a decade and was unveiled at the 2023 Innovation Day in Silicon Valley, USA. Intel aims to achieve the goal of accommodating 1 trillion transistors within a single package by 2030 using advanced glass-based packaging.

The rise of the AI wave has driven the demand for accelerated computing, increasing the requirements for chip density. Intel argues that current substrate materials consume more power and are more prone to expansion and warpage compared to glass, which better aligns with future needs. Industry analysts have noted that TSMC also has similar solutions.

According to Intel, Glass substrates can tolerate higher temperatures, offer 50% less pattern distortion, and have ultra-low flatness for improved depth of focus for lithography, and have the dimensional stability needed for extremely tight layer-to-layer interconnect overlay. As a result of these distinctive properties, a 10x increase in interconnect density is possible on glass substrates. Further, improved mechanical properties of glass enable ultra-large form-factor packages with very high assembly yields.

Glass substrates’ tolerance to higher temperatures also offers chip architects flexibility on how to set the design rules for power delivery and signal routing because it gives them the ability to seamlessly integrate optical interconnects, as well as embed inductors and capacitors into the glass at higher temperature processing.

According to a report from China’s Changjiang Securities released in May, the application of glass substrates in advanced packaging has been validated, and glass manufacturer Corning has introduced related products.

On the other hand, in a report by China’s Changjiang Securities released in May, the application of glass substrates in advanced packaging has been validated, with glass manufacturer Corning introducing related products.

(Photo credit: Intel)