All Together Now!

Consolidation is changing the industry.


Consolidation is changing the face of our industry. It is tempting to think that a narrower more consolidated industry is easier to navigate and might require less facilitated coordination and collaboration. However, it turns out the reverse is true.

With fewer, but much bigger companies, the bets become exponentially bigger.  At the same time technical challenges — such as advanced transistor formation, adoption of new critical layer materials, and 3D-IC architectures — are exploding while cost and technology enabling industry transitions, such as next generation lithography and wafer size timing, have recently become far less certain.

Additionally, the drivers for new chip design have become extremely diverse as mobility, consumer electronics, and Internet of Things (IoT) increasingly displace a historically more predictable, sequential, and monolithic PC-centric based silicon driver.  Looking out from 2014, there is a fragmentation of the paths forward as the industry rethinks scaling solutions in the wake of EUV and 450 mm availability changes.

Our industry has always reacted to change and uncertainty the same way — with bursts of innovation that forge new paths.  There has been a tremendous amount of recent innovation in: strain and substrate engineering, FinFET processing, multi-exposure patterning, lithography engines, new materials, and plasma control to name only a few.  Likely, innovation will win the day in the end, but at present there is a real flaring of potential paths and there is a need to converge around the best few approaches and move forward united.

Uncertainty, cost and technology challenges, new silicon drivers, wafer size and lithographic transitions slipping … if ever there was a time to think and move together, now is that time.  SEMI is bringing together innovators and business leaders to understand, collaborate and solve the key common technical and timing issues facing the industry so that the industry can move forward united.

In May, SEMI convened the technical forum Advanced Semiconductor Manufacturing Conference (ASMC) to examine and address highlighted issues and facilitated panel discussions that defined the fragmentation of approaches and potential commonalities for convergent direction.

In the upcoming SEMICON West, SEMI designed a new conference, the Semiconductor Technology Symposium (STS), to present and discuss the key issues (including 450mm, lithography, advanced processing, packaging, and test) in a new conference format with reserved seating and networking lunches). The three-day STS (July 8-10) conference is aligned with the latest inputs from technology roadmaps with sessions that will focus on the significant trends shaping near-term semiconductor technology and market developments:

  • Challenges, Innovations and Drivers in Metrology
  • Mobility and More: M&Ms of Cost Beneficial Advanced Packaging
  • Yield Session: Defectivity and Process Variability at the sub 20nm nodes
  • Packaging  for the Next – Devices and Systems for Big Data and the Cloud
  • Design for Test
  • Getting to 5nm Devices: Evolutionary Scaling to Disruptive Scaling and Beyond
  • Test Vision 2020
  • Readiness of Advanced Lithography Technologies for HVM
  • 450mm Technology Development Update

This year is the second year for the Silicon Innovation Forum (SIF) which connects early-stage companies with investors in a forum where these innovation engine companies can demonstrate and present to the investors. SIF will be held Tuesday, July 8, from 9:15am to 6:00pm. SIF features:

  • “Investor Pitch” Session:  Unique semi-private period for SIF exhibitors and investors only; SIF showcase exhibitors will have the opportunity to present directly to a panel of top investors.
  • General Session: Open to all SEMICON West 2014 attendees. Includes the keynote by Metcalfe on Innovating with Startups; a Strategic Investor Panel; and “Game-Changer Presentations.”
  • Innovation Showcase and Reception: An exclusive networking session for investors and SIF exhibitors; registration is required for qualified investors and partners for a fee.

Many other programs (including Partner programs) and TechXPOTs special topic pavilions are also exciting this year.

Discounted registration is available before the show; register now.

I hope to see you at Semicon West.

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