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Three-dimensional integrated circuits -- Design and construction


The assembly of integrated circuits in three dimensions (3D) provides a possible solution to address the ever-increasing demands of modern day electronic devices. It has been suggested that by using the third dimension, devices with high density, defect tolerance, short interconnects and small overall form factors could be created. However, apart from pseudo 3D architecture, such as monolithic integration, die, or wafer stacking, the creation of paradigms to integrate electronic low-complexity cellular building blocks in architecture that has tile space in all three dimensions has remained elusive. Here, we present software and hardware foundations for a truly 3D cellular computational devices that could be realized in practice. The computing architecture relies on the scalable, self-configurable and defect-tolerant cell matrix. The hardware is based on a scalable and manufacturable approach for 3D assembly using folded polyhedral electronic blocks (E-blocks). We created monomers, dimers and 2 x 2 x 2 assemblies of polyhedral E-blocks and verified the computational capabilities by implementing simple logic functions. We further show that 63.2% more compact 3D circuits can be obtained with our design automation tools compared to a 2D architecture. Our results provide a proof-of-concept for a scalable and manufacture-ready process for constructing massive-scale 3D computational devices.


© 2016 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) license (

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