Internet of things (IoT) will influence all areas from consumer to health care to building and home automation and to observation. IoT enables direct communication between objects via internet. The main functional blocks of IoT devices are sensing, data transmitting, processing and analysis and subsequent actuation. As a result such a system will consist of sensors, actuators, wireless connection, data processing, power management, energy harvesting, memory and software. A total market volume of almost 400 Bio US$ is predicted for 2024 whereof about 12Bio US$ are expected for IoT sensors (Yole2014)). The main challenges are to reduce footprint (e.g. wearables, swarm), reduce costs of system, improve reliability and provide better performance. For example the costs of today's smart sensor systems are in the 100–1000US$ range and for 2024 an ASP in the 1US$ $ level is expected (Yole2014). To enable this, a high level of integration is needed for the next generations of IoT sensors. This will on one hand reduce costs and form factor but also enable multi sensors devices.
More than Moore integration of functions offers the potential to meet both performance and cost targets for mass-market adoption. In addition to SoC (System on Chip) and SiP (System in Package) heterogeneous 3D integrations will be key enablers. 3D integration with the main technology bricks like TSV (Through Silicon Via), RDL (Redistribution Layer), D2W (Die to Wafer) and W2W (Wafer to Wafer) stacking and embedding allows to combine different technologies - different CMOS notes, MEMS, photonics, etc. At the same time expensive single die packaging can be avoided.
The presentation will focus on reviewing 3D integration technologies and their potential for IoT from the perspective of a sensor solution provider.