Julien Sylvestre

Julien Sylvestre

Department of Mechanical Engineering
Université de Sherbrooke

Chair title

NSERC/IBM Canada Industrial Research Chair in High-Performance Heterogeneous Integration

Chair program

Industrial Research Chairs program


Associate Chairholder since 2014

Related Chair

Dominique Drouin


Continuing progress in electronics today relies to a great extent on the ability of industrials to tightly integrate different types of devices and integrated circuits, a practice known as “heterogeneous integration packaging.” The main objective of the Chair’s research program, in collaboration with IBM Canada, is to use advanced packaging technologies to support performance scaling in microelectronics. The Chair’s research program stems from a technology development strategy where large, complex chips are interconnected by links with very large data transfer capabilities, in configurations that are more flexible than simple chip stacks. A variety of electrical interconnection schemes will be considered, with optimized materials or geometries (e.g., silicon TSV-less bridge chips replacing large, costly interposers in 2.5D). Increased interconnect bandwidths with lower power requirements also now call for optical links to be coupled more efficiently to modules or to chips, resulting in a need to explore advanced photonics packaging technologies. The Chair’s research will put emphasis on the fabrication of relatively complete prototypes to demonstrate the heterogeneous integration technologies developed within the program. These prototypes will be critical in testing the performance and reliability of new ideas on systems of sufficient complexity to represent real applications. The Chair’s research program will train over 24 highly-qualified students in a world-class research environment and, in doing so will contribute new scientific knowledge in the advancement of microelectronic technologies. The results of the Chair’s research program can then be rapidly transferred to the industry and have a direct impact on the acceleration of high-performance computing and networking.

During the Chair’s previous term as NSERC/IBM Canada Industrial Research Chair in Smarter Microelectronic Packaging for Performance Scaling several important technological innovations were achieved, such as the development of an embedded sensor technology for strains and humidity monitoring, which has led to a more fundamental understanding of the impact of IBM Canada’s assembly processes on the manufactured products. We have also developed a flux-less plasma process for chip joining that does not require a cleaning step, which will be useful and sometimes mandatory for upcoming new technologies (e.g., photonics) with components that cannot be contaminated by fluxes and/or cleaning chemicals. Also, the creation of a computer-aided engineering (CAE) tool has provided IBM Canada with a clear advantage over its competition for the virtual prototyping of new technologies. Furthermore, an improved understanding of thermocompression bonding technologies was achieved, resulting in lower-cost, higher-throughput manufacturing solutions for the industry. Finally, a new flexible interconnection technology was demonstrated and is being considered by IBM Canada for further development with interested new customers.


  • IBM Canada Ltd.

Contact information

Department of Mechanical Engineering
Université de Sherbrooke



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