3D silicon technology has been under development since 1980, primarily aimed at on-focal- plane signal processing to solve a variety of military sensor systems problems. The thrust has been to bring more and more parallel analog and digital processing into the closest possible proximity to the detector array. At this time on-focal-plane functionality includes preamplification, spatial and temporal matched filtering, nonuniformity correction, neural networks, analog-digital conversion, digital logic, and digital memory. Historically, a custom- built specialty technology constrained by cost in its applicability, 3D silicon has undergone a dual-use conversion to include high-volume, low-cost commercial computer electronics. 3D silicon is on the way to becoming the lowest-cost-per-gate technology available and, because of this, sensor system design and performance will be revolutionized.