Altera has said it will work with Intel's assembly and packaging manufacturing lines to create heterogeneous multi-die systems that combine 14nm FinFET Stratix 10 FPGAs and SoCs with other ICs such as memories, processors and analog components.
It was announced that Intel would make FPGAs for Altera back in February 2013 with the obvious implication that Intel would package the components. However, it comes despite rumors that Altera is considering a move back to TSMC for future product generations because of delays Intel has itself made about rolling out 14nm FinFET production.
The more Intel delays it own use of 14nm FinFET CMOS for processors the closer Altera comes to being a "pipecleaner" for the process and having to help with yield improvement.
The packaging collaboration is described as an extension to the foundry relationship between Altera and Intel, in which Intel is manufacturing Altera’s Stratix 10 FPGAs and SoCs.
Altera said the other die it may bring into the system-in-package approach could include: DRAM, SRAM, ASICs, processors and analog components. The use of 2.5D and 3D interconnection within a single component can have benefits in terms of memory bandwidth, power consumption and heat generation, Altera said. Its use should allow the company to better serve high-end applications in the communications, high-performance computing, broadcast and military segments.
Intel and Altera are currently developing test vehicles aimed at streamlining manufacturing and integration flows for foundry services that include the manufacturing, assembly and testing of heterogeneous multi-die devices.
"Our partnership with Altera to manufacture next-generation FPGAs and SoCs using our 14nm tri-gate process is going exceptionally well," said Sunit Rikhi, vice president and general manager of Intel's custom foundry business unit, in a statement. "Our close collaboration enables us to work together in many areas related to semiconductor manufacturing and packaging. Together, both companies are building off one another’s expertise with the primary focus on building industry-disrupting products."
No information was provided as to how soon such multi-die components would appear in the market.
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