Research News

Masdar Institute Faculty Publish Book on Next-Generation Microchips

September 21, 2018

Faculty members from the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology have contributed to the scientific advancement of next-generation integrated circuits and documented their contributions in a new book on 3-dimensional (3D) stacked chips.

Masdar Institute’s Dr. Ibrahim Elfadel, Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, is the book’s co-editor, along with Dr. Gerhard Fettweis, the Vodafone Chair at the Dresden University of Technology (TU Dresden). The book, titled “3D Stacked Chips: From Emerging Processes to Heterogeneous Systems”, is published by Springer, one of the leading international science and technology publishers.

Dr. Behjat Al Yousuf, Interim Provost, Masdar Institute, said: “As Masdar Institute commemorates 2016 as the UAE’s Year of Reading, Dr. Elfadel’s recent book publication underscores the significant role our faculty members play in the organization, documentation, and dissemination of cutting-edge knowledge for readers in the UAE and around the world. It also highlights their contributions to expanding the horizons of technological and scientific literacy through their research publications.”

The book, which is composed of 17 chapters, presents a comprehensive review of the research conducted under the framework of the Masdar Institute-TU Dresden Twinlab 3D Stacked Chip Research Center (3DSC), a collaborative research center that, from November 2012 till its closure in October 2015, brought together teams of semiconductor experts from both universities to advance the energy-efficiency and performance of 3D integrated chips. Dr. Elfadel served as the TwinLab 3DSC’s director.

“This book represents an important milestone for the Masdar Institute as it documents the research conducted under one of our earliest sponsored research programs, namely, the Mubadala-funded TwinLab on 3D Stacked Chips in collaboration with the TU Dresden,” said Dr. Elfadel.

The book features forewords from Eva-Maria Stange, the Saxon State Minister for Higher Education, Research and the Arts, and Ibrahim Ajami, Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer at GLOBALFOUNDRIES. 

In recognition of the valuable role the collaborative research played in developing the book and contributing to the advancement of semiconductor technologies, Ajami said: “I very much hope that the path-breaking partnership that has enabled this research will become more bonded and that more contributions of technological relevance will result from it.”

Dr. Fettweis also acknowledged the importance of collaboration to the book’s development, saying: “This book is the culmination of three years of research work at Dresden and Abu Dhabi on a joint theme that is at the cutting-edge of semiconductor technology. This collaboration would not have been possible without the strong support we have received from the Abu Dhabi – Saxony Partnership Committee. We hope that TwinLab 3DSC will serve as a template for future collaborative work across national boundaries on research topics of global significance and local relevance.”

A 3D stacked chip layers two or more integrated circuits – which are made of millions and sometimes billions of inter-connected transistors on a piece of silicon – into a single, vertically-connected circuit. In the same way progress in elevator technology enabled structural and civil engineers to build taller skyscrapers, it is the progress in vertical interconnect technology that is enabling semiconductor process and design engineers to build 3D stacked chips.

The book chapters explain how 3D chip stacks promise to enhance the integration and functionality of electronic systems while reducing their physical footprint.  The book also discloses several innovative stacking methods that could significantly improve chip performance and enable the seamless integration of 3D stacked chips.

Erica Solomon
News and Features Writer
20 July 2016

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