A major stumbling block to the adoption of multi-die systems that engineers will continue to struggle with in 2024 is the complexity of vertical integration. Where HPC data centers have the wherewithal to manage stacking, other industries do not. Not being vertically integrated and relying on the ecosystem, as is the case in automotive, makes multi-die design a challenge as it increases the number of requirements for smooth functioning.
When it comes to 3D stacking, the main challenges include thermal analysis, power distribution planning, cooling systems, and manufacturing requirements. Complex as it is, 3D represents the future, and the ecosystem must evolve to enable it. As stacking becomes more widespread, UCIe — already the preferred interface for 2.5D — will advance accordingly in the coming year and beyond. Complexity can be further simplified by two key factors: a common language and clear rules. Commonly accepted terms for the components of a 2.5D or 3D design bring uniformity to the proceedings and make it easier to construct a system with multiple partners.
Rules, and a standard means of describing them, are essential for multi-die system innovation to succeed. Just as vehicles on a freeway must obey the signs, rules will continue to govern the application of silicon, whatever form it may take. Features such as standardized testing and reference flows will make all aspects of the stacking process, including manufacturing, more straightforward.