Researchers develop new 3D integration technology for faster and more efficient computing

Researchers from Tokyo Tech have developed a groundbreaking technology called “BBCube 3D” for the three-dimensional integration of processing units and memory. This innovative stacked architecture surpasses current memory technologies in terms of data bandwidth and energy efficiency, offering the potential for faster and more efficient computing.

In the digital age, the demand for higher data bandwidths between processing units (PUs) and memory chips continues to grow. Applications such as artificial intelligence, molecular simulations, climate prediction, and genetic analysis require extensive bandwidth. However, increasing data bandwidth poses challenges as it typically involves adding more wires or increasing data rates.

The Tokyo Tech team, led by Prof. Takayuki Ohba, has addressed these challenges with BBCube 3D. The technology enables connections between PUs and dynamic random-access memory (DRAM) in three dimensions, rather than two. This is achieved through a stacked structure where PU dies sit atop multiple layers of DRAM, interconnected via through-silicon vias (TSVs).

The compact architecture of BBCube 3D, along with the use of TSVs instead of longer wires, reduces parasitic capacitance and resistance, resulting in improved electrical performance. Additionally, the researchers implemented a strategy involving four-phase shielded input/outputs (IOs) to enhance noise resistance and device operation.

Comparing the speed of BBCube 3D to state-of-the-art memory technologies like DDR5 and HBM2E, the researchers found that BBCube 3D has the potential to achieve a bandwidth of 1.6 terabytes per second. This is 30 times higher than DDR5 and four times higher than HBM2E.

BBCube 3D also addresses the issue of bit access energy. Its low thermal resistance and impedance alleviate thermal management and power supply challenges associated with 3D integration. As a result, BBCube 3D can achieve remarkable bandwidth with a significantly lower bit access energy compared to DDR5 and HBM2E.

The development of BBCube 3D marks a significant milestone in the field of computing, paving the way for faster and more efficient systems. By overcoming the limitations of traditional two-dimensional integration, this technology opens up new possibilities for a wide range of bandwidth-intensive applications in various fields.

Source: Tokyo Institute of Technology

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