Definition - What does Through-Silicon Via (TSV) mean?
A through-silicon via (TSV) is a type of via (vertical interconnect access) connection used in microchip engineering and manufacturing that completely passes through a silicon die or wafer to allow for stacking of silicon dice. TSV is an important component for creating 3-D packages and 3-D integrated circuits. This type of connection performs better than its alternatives, such as package-on-package, since its density is higher and its connections shorter.
Through-silicon via (TSV) is used in creating 3-D packages that contain more than one integrated circuit (IC) that is vertically stacked in a way that occupies less space while still allowing for greater connectivity. Before TSVs, 3-D packages had the stacked ICs wired at the edges, which increased the length and width and usually required an additional "interposer" layer between the ICs, resulting in a much bigger package. The TSV removes the need for edge wiring and interposers, which results in a smaller and flatter package.
Three-dimensional ICs are vertically stacked chips similar to a 3-D package but act as a single unit, which allows them to pack more functionalities in a relatively small footprint. TSV further enhances this by providing a short high-speed connection between the different layers.