NSERC/IBM Canada Industrial Research Chair in Smarter Microelectronic Packaging for performance scaling
The NSERC-IBM Canada Industrial Research Chair in Smarter Microelectronics Packaging for performance scaling, which involves three industrial research professors, focuses on advancing the science and technology of microelectronic packaging. This multidisciplinary area is about connecting and protecting the microchips that allow us to connect to the Internet, bank transactions at ATMs or play video games every day.
As microchip manufacturers are faced with the ever-increasing challenge of satisfying consumers who expect exponential growth in performance, packaging techniques are used to provide innovative, even revolutionary, technical solutions. The Chair's program is particularly interested in a solution of this type, ie three-dimensional (3D) stacking of microchips, an innovative approach where, like a skyscraper, microchips are stacked vertically, which allows them to communicate faster by consuming less energy, and with a reduced footprint. This technology is considered crucial for the future of the electronics market, which will be dominated by energy-hungry applications such as video streaming and data analysis.
In order for 3D packaging to become a reality, the proposed research will focus on a broad range of areas, from innovative and industry-ready processes to the development of breakthrough materials that will make chip casings both more flexible, more robust and more reliable. The Chair's research team will also investigate how these new materials behave at the microscopic level required to work with microchips, while enabling their use in a competitive and automated manufacturing environment. The Chair's research is made possible through the use of state-of-the-art equipment at the laboratories of the Interdisciplinary Institute for Technological Innovation (3IT) and the MiQro Innovation Collaborative Center (C2MI) able to simulate industrial processes.
Building on the existing robust collaboration between IBM Canada and the Université de Sherbrooke in electronic micropackaging, the Chair will establish an unprecedented critical mass of researchers in Canada and pave the way for advances in materials and technologies. methods of interconnecting chips with each other and the outside world. This work will provide a deeper understanding of the electrical, metallurgical, and mechanical problems that occur in advanced packaging processes at a fundamental level (eg, why is there a cracking of electrical connections in new ultraminiaturized configurations) . The work will open new horizons in terms of tools, techniques and manufacturing processes adapted to the needs of high technology, such as ultra-fast and ultra-precise electrical connections, or microscopically controlled material flow. All of these activities will have multi-level benefits, including increased performance of electronic devices (speed, miniaturization, energy consumption) and maximizing the efficiency of Canadian technology companies, which will improve their competitiveness in the international marketplace.