Pete's Posts Blog



The ConFab Preview

The agenda is set for The ConFab, to be held May 14-17, 2017 in San Diego at the iconic Hotel del Coronado. While reviewing the abstracts for just the Monday morning session, it struck me how well our speakers will cover the complex opportunities and challenges facing the semiconductor industry.

In the opening keynote, for example, Hans Stork, Senior Vice President and Chief Technical Officer, ON Semiconductor we will discuss the challenge to realize high signal to noise ratio in small (read inexpensive) and efficient form factors, using examples of image sensors and power conversion in automotive applications. “It seems that at last, after many decades of exponential progress in logic and memory technologies, the “real world” devices of power handling and sensor functions are jointly enabling another wave of electronics progress in autonomously operating and interacting Things,” he said.

Next, Subramani Kengeri, Vice President of CMOS Platforms Business Unit, GLOBALFOUNDRIES, will describe how the rapid growth of applications in the consumer, auto and mobile space coupled with the emergence of the Internet of Things (IoT) is driving the need for differentiated design and technology solutions. “While die-cost scaling is slowing down and power density is emerging as a major challenge, fabless semiconductor companies are hungry for innovation using application optimized technology solutions. Specifically, emerging SoC innovations are driving the need for low-power, performance, cost, and time-to-volume that solves the issues of voltage scaling and integration of “user-experience” functions,” he notes.

Islam Salama, a Director with Intel Corporation responsible for packaging substrate Pathfinding of the high-density interconnect across all Intel products, looks at it from a connectivity perspective. “The pervasive nature of computing drives a need for connecting billions of people and tens of billions of devices/things via cloud computing. Such connectivity effect will generate tremendous amounts of data and would require a revolutionary change in the technology infrastructures being used to transmit, store and analyze data,” he said.

Next-generation electronics will require several new packaging solutions, he adds. Smaller form factors, lower power consumption, flexible designs, increased memory performance, and-more than ever, a closely managed silicon package, co-optimization and architectural innovations. Heterogeneous integration through package with technologies such as system in package (SIP), on package integration (OPI) and fan-out (WLFO and PLFO) are poised to change the packaging industry and play a disruptive role in enabling next generation devices.

Heterogeneous Integration is also the focus of a talk by Bill Bottoms, Chairman and CEO, Third Millennium Test Solutions. Bill will report on the collaboration in the making of the HIR Roadmap to address disruptive changes in the global IT network, the explosive growth coming for IoT sensors and the multi-sensor fusion and data analytics that extract “awareness” from the expanding data.

I’m very much looking forward to these and many other talks this year, and the exciting panel discussions and networking events we have planned.

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