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# Increased Funds Could Catalyze TSMC’s 3D IC Research

February 22, 2021 by Luke James

## The world’s biggest contract chipmaker recently reported its best-ever quarterly financials along with its goals for delving into 3D IC research.

In 2020, TSMC saw its net profit rise significantly due to the massive increase in global demand for smartphones, IoT applications, and high-performance computing devices. This demand has led the company to realize its best-ever quarterly financials and increased optimism in research opportunities.

### 3D IC and SoIC

A 3D IC is made by stacking silicon wafers and interconnecting them on different planes to behave as a single device. This method enables better performance metrics with reduced power consumption and a smaller footprint than two-dimensional circuits.

Improvements for 3D-IC technology may open doors to improvements in SoICs. These SoICs can integrate "chiplets" from different SoC parts and with varying functions into a new chip. TSMC also mentions its innovative bonding scheme that provides shorter and faster connections for those chiplets.

##### A high-level, simple depiction of the differences between a 2D IC, a 3D IC, and TSMC's SoIC. Image used courtesy of TSMC

Thus far, TSMC's research has yielded more advanced, efficient, and flexible ways of using SoCs and creating SoICs. It will be interesting to see where TSMC utilizes its funding to keep the momentum going with 3D IC advancements.