Tag Archives: AI

IBM’s Jeff Welser to Keynote The ConFab 2019

AI was a big focus on The ConFab and 2018 and we will continue that theme in 2019 with a keynote talk by IBM’s Jeff Welser.
The ConFab 2019 will return to The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas on May 14-17. In 2018, AI and other leading technologies were discussed by speakers from IBM, Google, Nvidia, HERE Technologies, Silicon Catalyst, TechInsights, Siemens and Qorvo, among many others.

AI, which represents a market opportunity $2 trillion on top of the existing $1.5-2B information technology industry, is a huge game changer for the semiconductor industry. In addition to AI chips from traditional IC companies such as Intel, IBM and Qualcomm, more than 45 start-ups are working to develop new AI chips, with VC investments of more than $1.5B. Tech giants such as Google, Facebook, Microsoft,
Amazon, Baidu and Alibaba are also developing AI chips.

As Vice President and Lab Director at IBM Research – Almaden, Dr. Welser oversees exploratory and applied research. Home of the relational database and the world’s first hard disk drive, Almaden today continues its legacy of advancing data technology and analytics for Cloud and AI systems and software, and is increasingly focused on advanced computing technologies for AI, neuromorphic devices and quantum computing. After joining IBM Research in 1995, Dr. Welser has worked on a broad range of technologies, including novel silicon devices, high performance
CMOS and SOI device design, and next generation system components. He has directed teams in both development
and research as well as running industrial, academic and government consortiums, including the SRI Nanoelectronics
Research Initiative.

Dr. Welser will describe how making AI semiconductor engines will require a wildly innovative range of new materials, equipment, and design methodologies. To get to the next level in performance/Watt, innovations being researched at the AI chip level – at IBM and elsewhere — include:
low precision computing, analog computing and resistive computing.

Additional industry experts adding to The ConFab 2019 Agenda will be announced soon.

About The ConFab
The ConFab, now in its 15th year, is the premier semiconductor manufacturing and design conference and networking event that brings notable industry leaders together to connect and collaborate. For more information, visit www.theconfab.com. To inquire about participating, if you represent an equipment, material or service supplier, contact Kerry Hoffman, Director of Sales at khoffman@extensionmedia.com; contact Sally Bixby at sbixby@extensionmedia.com about attending as a guest.

AI Focus of The ConFab

Artificial Intelligence will be a focus of The ConFab 2018, to be held May 20-23 at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas. We’ll hear from a variety of speakers on why A.I. is so important to the semiconductor industry, not only in terms of the new types of chips that will be required, but how A.I. will bring dramatic improvements to the semiconductor manufacturing process.

“The exciting results of AI have been fueled by the exponential growth in data, the widespread availability of increased compute power, and advances in algorithms,” notes Rama Divakaruni of IBM, our keynote speaker. “Continued progress in AI – now in its infancy – will require major innovation across the computing stack, dramatically affecting logic, memory, storage, and communication.”

Rama will explain how the influence of AI is already apparent at the system-level by trends such as heterogeneous processing with GPUs and accelerators, and memories with very high bandwidth connectivity to the processor. The next stages will involve elements which exploit characteristics that benefit AI workloads, such as reduced precision and in-memory computation. Further in time, analog devices that can combine memory and computation, and thus minimize the latency and energy expenditure of data movement, offer the promise of orders of magnitude power-performance improvements for AI workloads.

John Hu, Director of Advanced Technology, Nvidia Corporation will also address AI in a talk titled “The Era of Deep Learning IC Industry Driven by AI, Autonomous Driving and Virtual Reality.” Hu notes that the “big bang” of AI and autonomous driving has driven the IC industry into a new era of rapid growth and innovation. In his talk, Hu will describe how the next 1000 times of improvement requires a new paradigm shift in the collaboration and co-optimizations across the whole industry; from materials, process technologies, design and chip/system platform. In this era that machine(s) can improve themselves by deep learning, hear how the semiconductor industry also needs to have the capability of deep learning for innovation, to stay ahead in the changing competitive landscape.

“Artificial intelligence has brought human beings to a point in history, for our industry and the world in general, that is more revolutionary than a small, evolutionary step,” says Howard Witham, Vice President of Texas Operations at Qorvo, who will speak on the potential of AI in the semiconductor fab.  Howard will describe how AI provides predictive maintenance, auto defect and wafer map classification, outlier detection, automated recipe setups based on device requirements and upstream data, and dynamic interpolation and guard-banding.

Please join us for these and other insightful talks, including one from Google’s John Martinis on quantum computing. Visit www.theconfab.com for more information.