This paper presents an electrical-thermal-reliability co-design technique for TSV-based 3D-ICs. Although TSV-based 3D-IC shows significant electrical performance improvement compared to traditional 2D circuit, researchers have reported strong electromigration (EM) in TSVs, which is induced by the thermal mechanical stress and the local temperature hotspot. We argue that rather than addressing 3D-IC’s EM issue after the IC designing phase, the designer should be aware of the circuit’s thermal and EM properties during the IC designing phase. For example, one should be aware that the TSVs establish vertical heat conduction path thus changing the chip’s thermal profile and also produce significant thermal mechanical stress to the nearby TSVs, which deteriorates other TSV’s EM reliability. Therefore, the number and location of TSVs play a crucial role in deciding 3D-IC’s electrical performance, changing its thermal profile, and affecting its EM-reliability. We investigate the TSV placement problem, in order to improve 3D-IC’s electrical performance and enhance its thermal-mechanical reliability. We derive and validate simple but accurate thermal and EM models for 3D-IC, which replace the current employed time-consuming finite-element-method (FEM) based simulation. Based on these models, we propose a systematic optimization flow to solve this TSV placement problem. Results show that compared to conventional performance-centered technique, our design methodology achieves 3.24x longer EM-lifetime, with only 1% performance degradation.

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