Technology - Reconfigurable RF/Digital Hybrid 3D Interconnect

Reconfigurable RF/Digital Hybrid 3D Interconnect

A novel interconnect technology that enables system designers to take better advantage of increased IC power while satisfying energy consumption and space limitations.


As the semiconductor industry develops technologies on the nano-scale, interconnect latency is increasing. This places serious limitations on designs, as  the input/output interconnect rate cannot keep up with (and take full advantage of) the increasing computing power. In addition, the proliferation of devices on a chip has dramatically increased the demands on intra-core and inter-core interconnect performance. These advanced devices also come with significant energy consumption requirements. Another important consideration is space, as miniaturization forces computing power to be fit into ever-decreasing areas. As a result, engineers need robust interconnect structures that can satisfy performance, power, and area requirements.

Technology Overview:

This technology is a 3D interconnect that includes an array of vertical interconnect vias. These provide a signal path between a first core element of a 3D IC and a second element stacked above the first. A circuit selectively routes a signal from the first element to the second. The selecting and connecting by the routing circuit is performed in real time on an as-needed basis. RF and digital signals can be sent over the same TSVs (through silicon vias) by using dynamically reconfigurable TSV schemes. The TSV structure that the signal passes through can be optimized for the particular signal being passed. And since these schemes are dynamically reconfigurable, they can optimize 3D IC performance for a range of application and performance needs.


•    Enhanced performance. The technology provides a signal circuit that meets the high demands of advanced circuit design.
•    Versatile. The technology can be incorporated into a wide variety of IC designs and applications.
•    Smaller footprint.
•    Reduced energy consumption. 


The primary application for this technology is the design and fabrication of advanced IC components. The applications and markets in which these ICs could potentially be used are many and varied, and include:
•    Consumer electronics
•    Scientific instruments
•    Medical technologies
•    Aerospace
•    Communications

Intellectual Property Summary:

This technology is protected by U.S. Patent # 8,916,910, “Reconfigurable RF/digital hybrid 3D interconnect.”

Stage of Development:

TRL 7 – System prototype demonstration in operational environment

Licensing Status:

This technology has not been licensed.

Licensing Potential:

This technology would be of significant interest to all manufacturers of advanced, nano-scale IC components.

Patent Information: