3D Integration with Through Silicon Via

Wintersemester 2013 / 2014


Background and Problem Statement

The Fraunhofer Institute for Reliability and Microintegration (IZM) is a German research institution specializing in packaging technology and system integration of multifunctional electronics. As a leading body in 3D Integration with Through Silicon Via (TSV), an open knowledge technology, Fraunhofer IZM is looking for new application fi elds, where implementers of sophisticated sensor systems may benefi t from the institute’s extensive know-how during the shifting process from conventional to TSV-manufactured systems.

Project Goal

The aim of this project is defined as finding and evaluating promising application fields for 3D Integration with TSV.


The underlying methodology is a ‘User Community-Based Search Approach to Technological Competence Leveraging’, a four-phase attempt to hurdle the shortcomings of conventional technology transfer practices. In short, this advance is achieved by systematically addressing the creativity inherent in communities of current and potential technology users. These communities are consulted to help identifying the technology’s benefits, finding and evaluating additional fields of application and, finally, developing a feasible business model.


From 39 user interviews conducted during the initial phase of the project, six core benefits of 3D Integration with TSV have been identified. A total number of 58 interviews with users, technology experts and problem holders across eight different countries generated 20 ideas for potential application fields, including: computer tomographs, vehicle dynamics control systems, optical gauges, spectroscopic devices and biosensors.

Upon discussion with the project’s steering board, the fields of “Computed Tomography” and “Inertial Sensors for Vehicle Dynamics Control Systems” have been selected for an in-depth market and competitor analysis.

(1) Computed tomography utilizes computer-processed X-rays to scan the interior of an object. Using TSV-based sensor systems, computer tomographs achieve a higher image resolution, while image noise, X-ray dose and power consumption can be greatly reduced. With an annual production of 16M sensors and a growth rate of about 10 per cent, the CT market is considered highly attractive.

(2) Inertial sensors measure static and dynamic motion inside vehicle dynamics control (VDC) systems. Primarily, TSV technology allows for a significant miniaturization of these systems, addressing the severe lack of space inside vehicles’ control devices. Current annual VDC system production amounts to 40M units with a growth rate of 3-5 per cent. In the long run, VDC system installation rates are expected to rise from today’s 50 to almost 100 percent.

Based on these results, commercialization strategies and business models have been developed for the two application fields. As concerns computed tomography, Fraunhofer IZM may guide producers of CTs and CT sensors through the implementation process of TSV-based equipment. Therefore, the specific market consists of the four main players: General Electric, Philips, Siemens (with AMS as supplier of sensors) and Toshiba. In the case of inertial sensors, Fraunhofer IZM may serve as a know-how provider for manufacturers of VDC systems while collaboratively preparing TSV-based systems for serial production. Entry into this market is to be conducted by directly approaching the three main producers of VDC systems: Bosch, Continental and TRW.

Cooperation Partner 

  • Fraunhofer-Institut für Zuverlässigkeit und Mikrointegration IZM
    Gustav-Meyer-Allee 25
    13355 Berlin

Student team

  • Heinrich Ameseder
    Olivia Eberhard
    Benjamin Hartl
    Markus Presle
    Valentin Priesner
    Niklas Raschhofer