For DRAM, it has been announced that the high-bandwidth memory (HBM) product, HBM4, will be introduced in 2025 utilizing hybrid bonding. Additionally, all DRAM vendors are actively pursuing 3D DRAM development using hybrid bonding. Samsung has disclosed an alternative for DRAM using 4F2 Cell and Hybrid Bonding, which will be presented at this year's IEDM and may be introduced to the market soon.
Early use of hybrid bonding in logic products took place in 2023 with AMD's 3D Cache technology. In 2024, Intel is scheduled to release its A20 process using Back Side Power Delivery (BSPD), also called PowerVia, which also uses bonding and extreme thinning technology. Extreme thinning overcomes one of the handicaps of 3D technologies, through-silicon vias (TSVs), using nano-TSVs, which are essentially simple via processes. As major foundries embrace extreme thinning, it is expected that many new applications of 3D heterogeneous integration using hybrid bonding will emerge soon after.
AI computing could become the next-generation technology driver in 2024. As previously reported, China may win in AI computing by using hybrid bonding to enable DRAM over processor to bridge the "memory wall" through an an approach called near memory computing. While the current actors are not the first-tier vendors, this is expected to change due to the insatiable appetite for computing power by Large Language Model (LLM) vendors. According to OpenAI's calculations, the amount of computing used in global AI training has grown exponentially since 2012, doubling every 3.43 months on average. Currently, the amount of computing has expanded 300,000 times, far exceeding the growth rate of computing power. One indication of this emerging trend is the press release issued this week by UMC, titled "UMC Launches W2W 3D IC Project with Partners, Targeting Growth in Edge AI."
Hybrid bonding is becoming a key technology driving the next generation of semiconductor devices. 2024 is likely to be the pivotal point for hybrid bonding adoption across all major semiconductor segments, including logic, DRAM, and NAND. Additionally, hybrid bonding is expected to play a major role in the development of next-generation AI computing solutions.