Excitement has been building about the potential benefits of three-dimensional (3D) semiconductor technology. At this early stage, however, it is difficult to discern what is realistic to expect in the near termboth in terms of advantages and problems. Now, the Global Semiconductor Alliance (GSA; www.gsaglobal.org) is offering a report that provides insight on the current state of 3D and two-and-one-half-dimension (2.5D) technology. Dubbed "3D IC Architecture: A Natural Evolution," the report discusses the benefits of these technologies, the need to enhance the semiconductor ecosystem for 2.5D and 3D, barriers to adoption, likely early applications of 3D and 2.5D, and solutions that can help accelerate 3D technology rollout and market acceptance.

In addition to the report, which is sponsored by Macronix International Co., Ltd. and Etron Technology, Inc., the GSA has announced the second edition of the 3D IC Design Tools and Services Tour Guide. The latter compiles input from electronic-design-automation (EDA), R&D, market-research, and services companies. All of the companies featured have committed significant resources to developing 3D and 2.5D technology in order to accelerate its market acceptance.

The report and Tour Guide are available complimentary to GSA members at http://www.gsaglobal.org/publications/3dic/index.asp. All others may purchase them through the GSA Store.