A new inflection point for Solid State Technology


Pete Singer 

At press time, inflection points have been top of mind, as we get ready for The ConFab. I've been reviewing all the presentations and looking forward to a fantastic event. A recurring theme is that the semiconductor industry is at an inflection point as process complexity and cost increase, consolidation across the supply chain continues, and as the need for greater synergy between design and manufacturing becomes ever more apparent.

At Solid State Technology and The ConFab, we are also at an inflection point. I'm delighted to announce that we are now part of Extension Media LLC. San Francisco-based Extension Media operates more than 50 business-to-business magazines, engineers' guides, email newsletters, web sites and conferences, including Chip Design,,, Embedded Intel?? Solutions, Embedded Intel?? Solutions China,, and the Multicore Developers Conference. Extension Media also co-produces, and in partnership with the Sperling Media Group.

Andy Grove, Intel's co-founder, described a strategic inflection point as "an event that changes the way we think and act." That's certainly true for me, as I look at the expanded reach of our combined forces and the potential for greater synergy between Solid State Technology, Chip Design and Extension Media's other brands.

As far as the rest of the semiconductor industry goes, it's clear that wafer costs are rising at a faster rate, partly due to increased process complexity and the delay in EUV. The cost/transistor is increasing by Moore's Law is slowing. 450mm may help, but the cost model has to be proven.

On the other hand, the requirements of mobile devices on PPAC (power, performance, area and cost/complexity) have become the main driver in the industry. It's quite possible that some consumer-driven disruptive technology is around the corner. Chips embedded in flexible displays? Internet of Things. Bioelectronics in clothing? Those are already happening.

What's the next inflection point? The ConFab 2014 will take place on June 22-24 in Las Vegas at The Encore at the Wynn. Mark it on your calendars, and I'll see you there.

Solid State Technology | Volume 56 | Issue 5 | July 2013