Insights From Leading Edge

IFTLE 229 Semi Industry Strategy Symp 2015

By Dr. Phil Garrou, Contributing Editor

The SEMI ISS (Industry Strategy Symposium) brings together industry leaders to share their opinions on where our industry is going. The US meeting is held each January in Half Moon Bay, CA.

The new darling of the microelectronics industry is obviously the Internet of Things (IoT). Many of the speakers focused on this topic though there was far more predicting than there was hard data. The thing that we know least about is always promoted as the next savior…correct ?

VLSI Research

Andrea Lati VLSI research showed an interesting slide on their opinion of what went right and what went wrong in 2014.VLSI 1

Capex continues to be concentrated in the big 3 with Intel, Samsung, Global Foundries and TSMC responsible for 72% of capex expenditures.



Assembly and Test capex remains a fraction of IC expenditures:



Assembly equipment sales are not expected to get back to 2010 levels till 2018.




Frank Jones, Vice President, GM of the internet of things group in Intel gave their perspective on IoT.

This is the first time I have seen anyone break out the predicted chip requirements by number of units and price. My presumption has always been that IoT would require super low cost technologies. Make of these projections what you will.

Intel 1



Scott McGregor CEO of Broadcom concurred with the IFTLE oft quoted theme that 28nm may be the sweet spot in terms of scaling lowering the cost per transistor.

Broadcom 1


IFTLE had been quoting the NRE costs of design at the 22nm node as $150MM. We now see that the projection for design at 16nm is up to $350MM making it even less accessible to most electronic device manufacturers.

Broadcom 2


An interesting conclusion that Broadcom has reached is that cost reductions in the future will result from better design engineering rather than better process engineering.


Jim Elliot, VP of Samsung memory, pointed out that while cell phoned has just about saturated the market globally, smartphones are only in the hands of 30% of the world’s population.

Samsung 1


I especially liked their photo of a cargo plane being required to transport a 3.75 Mb IBM disk drive in 1956.

Samsung 2



Mike Corbet, Managing Partner for Linx examined the wafer fab materials (ALD, CMP, CVD, ECD, Litho, PVD, SOD and Process Chemicals) market. The following plot shows that litho materials will dominate logic wafer fab materials cost as we move forward.



For all the latest on 3DIC and advanced packaging, stay linked to IFTLE…


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