Hello,

We noticed you're browsing in private or incognito mode.

To continue reading this article, please exit incognito mode or log in.

Not an Insider? Subscribe now for unlimited access to online articles.

Zippy Chips

In the semiconductor world, one of the biggest performance bottlenecks is the link between separate chips on a circuit board. The more circuitry you can stuff onto a single chip, the faster it will perform and the less power it will draw-a key consideration in today’s tiny consumer electronics. Large, complex chips, however, have a high failure rate during production, and the main alternative-bonding smaller chips together-requires high temperatures, which lead to defects after cooling. Now Ziptronix, a commercial spinoff of the Research Triangle Institute, has hit upon a better way. The Research Triangle Park, NC-based company has succeeded in pressing together two wafers (the thin sheets of semiconductor material on which computer chips are grown and etched) at room temperature, bonding the chips on one to the surface of the other. Cutting away the donor wafer leaves its chips embedded on the host. Connect the resulting circuits and you have twice the transistors on one chip. The process can be repeated as many times, and with as many different semiconductors (gallium arsenide, indium phosphide), as required. Products built using the technology could be on the market by early 2002.

Want more award-winning journalism? Subscribe and become an Insider.
  • Insider Plus {! insider.prices.plus !}* Best Value

    {! insider.display.menuOptionsLabel !}

    Everything included in Insider Basic, plus the digital magazine, extensive archive, ad-free web experience, and discounts to partner offerings and MIT Technology Review events.

    See details+

    Print + Digital Magazine (6 bi-monthly issues)

    Unlimited online access including all articles, multimedia, and more

    The Download newsletter with top tech stories delivered daily to your inbox

    Technology Review PDF magazine archive, including articles, images, and covers dating back to 1899

    10% Discount to MIT Technology Review events and MIT Press

    Ad-free website experience

  • Insider Basic {! insider.prices.basic !}*

    {! insider.display.menuOptionsLabel !}

    Six issues of our award winning print magazine, unlimited online access plus The Download with the top tech stories delivered daily to your inbox.

    See details+

    Print Magazine (6 bi-monthly issues)

    Unlimited online access including all articles, multimedia, and more

    The Download newsletter with top tech stories delivered daily to your inbox

  • Insider Online Only {! insider.prices.online !}*

    {! insider.display.menuOptionsLabel !}

    Unlimited online access including articles and video, plus The Download with the top tech stories delivered daily to your inbox.

    See details+

    Unlimited online access including all articles, multimedia, and more

    The Download newsletter with top tech stories delivered daily to your inbox

/3
You've read of three free articles this month. for unlimited online access. You've read of three free articles this month. for unlimited online access. This is your last free article this month. for unlimited online access. You've read all your free articles this month. for unlimited online access. You've read of three free articles this month. for more, or for unlimited online access. for two more free articles, or for unlimited online access.