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Running Notes:
  Technology / Semiconductor / Memory, Storage, Processors / Intel, Micron Technology / TSV, SC, Ball

Running Notes.

2 June 2014, Bruce Campbell

I recommend a web search using these or similar keywords:  Intel Ireland Argon "Through Silicon Via".

Although over two years old, the The future of computers: 3D chip stacking article is interesting. It advises "Finally, chip stacking obviously works in synergy with Intel's 3D FinFETs - though curiously there is no sign of TSV on Intel's roadmap, while TSMC is all over it." But Intel is in fact deeply involved, whether revealed on a road map at that time (or now) or not. But is TSMC also deeply involved? I don't know yet...

At the moment I'm just beginning to read the material at Solid State Technology Article, but will read much more a bit later.

On first glance it seems obvious Applied Materials, Inc. is deeply involved in TSV development (AMI Patent, AMI 10K), implying they fully understand the profound implications of practical TSVs. My hope is that continued reading will uncover hints suggesting whether their TSV R&D is primarily in partnership with Intel or Micron, or will be promptly made equally available to any equipment buyers. I suspect the former, but thus far have no evidence to support that guess.

A key question is of course whether Intel or Micron possess compelling TSV IP which will prove difficult for competitors to overcome. Again, I suspect so, but only because Intel and Micron are the only firms which have displayed such a clear commitment to TSV technology. But Samsung is a member of the HMC standards committee - they're obviously not blind to this remarkable technology nor its implications. However, if they're pursuing the technology vigorously, they seem to be doing so in a rather coy manner. The article above notwithstanding, I'm not convinced TSMC is in serious contention. But perhaps I'm simply not an effective sleuth....

If we can discover:

1. Who possesses the best IP?
2. Who's in front in the sprint to implementation?

We'll be in a superb position to invest very effectively.

Regards, Bruce

ADlimh. Always...

Relevant disclosures:   Intensely long Micron common stock and call options. Significantly long Intel calls. Usually modestly long Intel common. Occasionally modestly long ChipMOS common or call options. All are long positions, and none are hedged other than quite modest precious metal common holdings. But I might divest all but my PM holdings if a serious systemic market collapse seems imminent.

These original notes expresses my personal investment views. I have no business relationship with any entity in which I hold investments.

Copyright 2014 H. Bruce Campbell, Creative Commons license: Attribution (BY) + Noncommercial (NC) + No Derivatives (ND)

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