Tag Archives: itrs

IoT and The ConFab 2015

I’m delighted to announce the keynotes and other key speakers for The ConFab 2015, to be held May 19-22 at The Encore at The Wynn in Las Vegas.

Our first keynote, on Wednesday, will be Ali Sebt, President and CEO of Renesas America, who will provide his insight on monetizing the Internet of Things. He’ll discuss how intelligent and connected platforms will enable new value chains based on a platform play, or an associated ecosystem play.

Our second keynote, on Thursday, will be Paolo Gargini, Chairman of the ITRS. The newly “re-framed” ITRS roadmap process has been extended with studies of key requirements from a system-level perspective that includes heterogeneous integration, new revolutionary devices and new ways of physical and wireless connectivity. Paolo will describe what is known as the ITRS 2.0.

Also slated to speak is Subramani Kengeri, Vice President, Global Design Solutions at GLOBALFOUNDRIES, who will talk about how the design eco-system is a critical enabler for semiconductor growth. Subi says that the rapid evolution of applications in the consumer and mobile space coupled with the emergence of the IoT are driving innovations that push the limits of power, performance, cost, and time-to-volume. At the same time, next generation SoCs are demanding stronger design and technology co-optimization solutions—some of which are optimal in main-stream technologies—to support complex design integration functions.

Lode Lauwers, Vice President Business Development, at imec will continue the IoT theme, focusing on how it is driving technology trends on system scaling and semiconductor manufacturing effectiveness. Lode says to realize the promises of an augmented, connected sustainable world, promised by the IoT, the IC industry faces significant challenges both at a distributed level, with the development of ultralow power sensor and radio technologies, as well as in the cloud, with huge computational requirements to store and process data.

Jim Feldhan, president of Semico, will present the outlook for key components of the IoT market.  Wearables, electronic health care, smart home, cities and cars all promise to be high volume semiconductor markets. What will these markets look like? What are some the enabling technologies necessary to make IoT a reality? Come to The ConFab 2015 and find out! See www.theconfab.com for more info.

Reframing the Roadmap: ITRS 2.0

The International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductor (ITRS) is being reframed to focus more on end applications, such as smartphones and micro-servers. Labeled ITRS 2.0, the new roadmap is a departure from a strong focus maintaining the path defined by Moore’s Law. The original ITRS was published in 1992 at the National Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors; it became the ITRS in 1998.

In an IEEE paper published late last year titled “ITRS 2.0: Toward a Re-Framing of the Semiconductor Technology Roadmap,” the roadmappers explain why it’s time for a change. “As new requirements from applications such as data center, mobility, and context-aware computing emerge, the existing roadmapping methodology is unable to capture the entire evolution of the current semiconductor industry. Today, comprehending how key markets and applications drive the process, design and integration technology roadmap requires new system-level studies along with chip-level studies.”

The ITRS roadmapping committee has already been reorganized to focus on ITRS 2.0. There are now seven groups focused on what ITRS chairman Paolo Gargini calls the seven “building blocks.”

  • System Integration—studies and recommends system architectures to meet the needs of the industry. It prescribes ways of assembling heterogeneous building blocks into coherent systems.
  • Outside System Connectivity—refers to physical and wireless technologies that connect different parts of systems.
  • Heterogeneous Integration—refers to the integration of separately manufactured technologies that in the aggregate provide enhanced functionality.
  • Heterogeneous Components —describes devices that do not necessarily scale according to “Moore’s Law,” and provide additional functionalities, such as power generation and management, or sensing and actuating.
  • Beyond CMOS—describes devices, focused on new physical states, which provide functional scaling substantially beyond CMOS, such as spin-based devices, ferromagnetic logic, and atomic switch.
  • More Moore—refers to the continued shrinking of horizontal and vertical physical feature sizes to reduce cost and improve performance.
  • Factory Integration consists of tools and processes necessary to produce items at affordable cost in high volume.

Gargini, who will be delivering a keynote at address at The ConFab 2015, said he it was clear that the ITRS needed to change in 2010 when tablets were gaining much traction. “By 2012, I outlined to the ITRS groups that we were going to change. 2013 was a hybrid year where we were putting together the building blocks for the new environment. Then in 2014, that’s what we had done exclusively.”


A revised ITRS was not released at the end of 2014, as has historically been the case. Gargini said the groups have been preparing white papers which should be released early this year. We’ll be publishing summaries in Solid State Technology, so stay tuned.

What’s new in the latest ITRS

The newly revamped International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors was released in early April. It’s actually called the 2013 ITRS, which makes it seem already out of date, but that’s the way the numbering has always been.

It’s a big undertaking, with input from the U.S., Europe, Japan, Korea and Taiwan. Through the cooperative efforts of the global chip manufacturers and equipment suppliers, research communities and consortia, the ITRS identifies critical gaps, technical needs, and potential solutions related to semiconductor technology. Some key findings and predictions of the 2013 ITRS include the following:

• The combination of 3D device architecture and low power devices will usher in a new era of scaling identified in short as “3D Power Scaling.” The increase in the number of transistors per unit area will eventually be accomplished by stacking multiple layers of transistors.

• Progress in manipulation of edgeless wrapped materials (e.g., carbon nanotubes, graphene combinations, etc.) offer the promise of ballistic conductors (as shown on this month’s cover), which may emerge in the next decade.

• There will be two additional ways of providing novel opportunities for future semiconductor products. The first consists of extending the functionality of the CMOS platform via heterogeneous integration of new technologies, and the second consists of stimulating invention of devices that support new information-processing paradigms.

The ITRS also covers system level integration, including the integration of multiple technologies in a limited space (e.g., GPS, phone, tablet, mobile phones, etc.).  

Looking at Long Term Devices and Systems (7-15 years horizon, beyond 2020) the 2013 ITRS reports on completely new devices operating on completely new principles and amenable to support completely new architectures. For instance, spin wave device (SWD) is a type of magnetic logic device exploiting collective spin oscillation (spin waves) for information transmission and processing. No surprise, the manufacturing of integrated circuits, driven by dimensional scaling, will reach the few nanometers range well within the 15-year horizon of the 2013 ITRS.

An addition to the 2013 ITRS edition is a new sub-chapter on big data (BD). The fab is continually becoming more data driven and requirements for data volumes, communication speeds, quality, merging, and usability need to be understood and quantified.