Tuesday, May 02, 2017

TechInsights Publishes Sony 3-layer Stacked 960fps Sensor Analysis

TechInsights publishes reverse engineering report of Sony IMX400 3-layer stacked image sensor with integrated DRAM, extracted from Xperia XZs phone. According to Sony ISSCC 2017 paper, the pixel array is in the top die, the DRAM array and row drivers are in the middle die, and the remaining blocks are in the bottom ISP die:

"Given that the DRAM die also has the CIS row drivers on it, then it must have been designed as a custom part, and is not one of the TSV-enabled (TSV = through-silicon via) commodity DRAMs that we have seen in recent years. Sony’s cross-section also shows that the center die has a thick back oxide and landing pad for TSVs coming down from the CIS above.

We can also see (if the scale bar is accurate), that the CIS and DRAM die substrates have been thinned down to ~2.6 µm, normal for a back-illuminated CIS (BI-CIS), but that’s the thinnest DRAM we have ever seen. Our own image (above) confirms that the CIS and DRAM silicon are of the same order in thickness, and the landing pads are also visible.

It seems likely that the CIS/ISP connection could use the DRAM landing pad layer as an interconnect, to avoid the challenge of drilling through two dies after the full stack was formed.

Thanks to RF for the info!

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