Intel TSMC Samsung announced the formation of an alliance

The world's three largest chipmakers and several other leading technology companies announced Thursday that they will form an alliance to collaborate on next-generation chip packaging and stacking technologies, the final step in semiconductor manufacturing before chips are mounted on printed circuit boards and assembled into electronic devices.

Intel, TSMC and Samsung will work together to create an industry standard for advanced chip packaging technology, the next key battleground for building more powerful electronic devices, according to the Nikkei News.

The rare collaboration between the world's leading chipmakers underscores the importance the industry is now placing on these technologies. The world's top chip developers and technology giants - from AMD, Qualcomm and Arm, to Google Cloud, Meta and Microsoft - will also join the alliance, and the world's largest provider of chip packaging and testing services, Sunrise Technology Holdings Inc. will also join the alliance.

The alliance says it is open to more companies joining it.

Previously, chip packaging was considered less important than chip manufacturing itself, and the technology requirements are not high. But as the world's top chipmakers such as Samsung, Intel and TSMC seek to produce more powerful chips, the field has become a major battleground for them.

So far, semiconductor development has focused on how to compress more transistors onto the chip - generally speaking, more transistors means more computing power. But as the distance between transistors shrinks to just a few nanometers, this approach has become more challenging, leading some to predict the imminent end of Moore's Law, which assumes that the number of transistors on a chip doubles every two years. As a result, how to package and stack microchips with different functions and characteristics together in the most efficient way has become a key area that most chipmakers are keen to break through.

The goal of this new consortium is to create a single-chip packaging standard known as Universal Chiplet Interconnect Express (UCIe) to create a new ecosystem and facilitate collaboration in the area of packaging and stacking technologies. Better combination of different types of chips (or so-called small chips) in a single package can create more powerful systems on chip.

UCIe will provide a complete "die-to-die" interconnection standard that will enable end users to easily mix and match small chip components. This means they will be able to build custom System-on-Chip (SoC) using components from different vendors. An individual chip is called a die before it is packaged.

Google and AMD, which are participating in the alliance, are among the first companies to adopt TSMC's state-of-the-art 3D chip stacking technology.

Apple, which has yet to join the alliance, was the first company to use TSMC's first self-developed chip packaging technologies in 2016, and continues to use them in its latest iPhone processing.

Chinese tech giant Huawei, which has yet to join the alliance, is also working on its own cutting-edge chip stacking and packaging technology, according to the report.

Author: King
Copyright: PCSofter.COM

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