Author Archives: psinger

Introducing Semiconductor Digest

I’m delighted to introduce Semiconductor Digest, a new business-to-business publication focused on the dynamic semiconductor manufacturing industry. Check out this link to our new Media Kit. If you’re interested in contributing content, please let me know. Our inaugural issue will be in June 2019, and we’ll have July show copies at Semicon West.

I’ll be using my 37 years of publishing experience – 25+ years at Semiconductor International and 11+ years at Solid State Technology – to deliver useful information to a worldwide audience of engineers and executives with a new website (opening soon!), magazine, newsletters and videos.

Joining me on this new journey is Kerry Hoffman, whom I’ve worked with at Solid State Technology for the last 7 years. Together, we have co-founded a Massachusetts based company called Gold Flag Media LLC. Kerry’s role will be that of publisher and I’ll be the Editor-in-Chief. Also on board is a top-notch team of editors, including Shannon Davis, Ed Korczynski, Dave Lammers, Lynnette Reese and Dick James.

Through a mix of news, contributed articles and staff-written articles, Semiconductor Digest is dedicated to providing information about the design, manufacturing, packaging and testing of semiconductors and other types of electronic devices, including MEMs, LEDs, displays, power electronics, optoelectronics/photonics, biomedical devices, solar cells, thin film batteries and flexible electronics. Our focus is on the unique requirements of each of these devices in terms of the design tools, process equipment and materials, and test equipment.

AI needs memory

By Pete Singer, Editor-in-Chief

Artificial intelligence, which is extremely useful for analyzing large amounts of data (think image processing and natural language recognition), is already impacting every aspect of our lives. Products being made today are being redesigned to accommodate some form of intelligence that it can adapt to the preferences of the user. Smart speakers integrating Alexa or Siri are perhaps the best examples in the home and office, but there’s huge value in AI for businesses. “AI is so fundamental to improving what we expect of devices and their ability to interpret our needs and even predict our needs, that’s something that we’re going to see more and more of in the consumer space. And then of course in the industrial environments as well,” notes Colm Lysaght, vice president of corporate strategy at Micron Technology. “Many different industries are working and using machines and algorithms to learn and adapt and do things that were not possible before.”

There are various ways to crunch this data. CPUs work very well for structured floating point data, while GPUs work well for AI applications – but that doesn’t mean people aren’t using traditional CPUs for AI. In fact, AI is being implemented today with a mix of CPUs, GPUs, ASICs and FPGAs. Data crunching also needs a lot of memory and storage.

A new report by Forrester Consulting, commissioned by Micron, takes a look at how companies are implementing AI and the hardware they are using, with a special focus on memory and storage.

Forrester conducted an online survey and three additional interviews with 200 IT and business professionals that manage architecture, systems, or strategy for complex data at large enterprises in the US and China to further explore this topic. Here are their key findings:

  • AI/ML will continue to exist in public and private clouds. Early modeling and training on public data is occurring in public clouds, while production at scale and/or on proprietary data will often be in a private cloud or hybrid cloud to control security and costs.
  • Memory and storage are the most common challenge in building AI/ML training hardware. While the CPU/GPU/custom compute discussion received great attention, memory and storage are turning out to be the most common challenge in real world deployments and will be the next frontier in AI/ML hardware and software innovation.
  • Memory and storage are critical to AI development. Whether focusing on GPU or CPU, storage and memory are critical in today’s training environments and tomorrow’s inference.

“AI is having a very large impact on society and it is fundamentally rooted in our technology. Many different applications, all of which are interpreting data in real time, need fast storage and they need memory,” Lysaght said. “At Micron, we’re transforming the way the world uses information to enrich our lives.“

To get to the next level in performance/Watt, innovations being researched at the AI chip level include:    low precision computing, analog computing and resistive computing. This will require some new innovation in design, manufacturing and test. That’s the focus of The ConFab, to be held May 14-17 at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas (see www.theconfab.com for more information).

The ConFab 2019 Speakers and Prelim Agenda

The ConFab – an exclusive conference and networking event for semiconductor manufacturing and design executives from leading device makers, OEMs, OSATs, fabs, suppliers and fabless/design companies – announces a preliminary list of speakers for the May 14-17 event being held at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.

The ConFab 2019 is excited to welcome these distinguished speakers:

  • Jeff Welser, Vice President and Lab Director, IBM Research – Almaden
  • Martin Fink, Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, Western Digital
  • Stephen S. Pawlowski, Vice President, Advanced Computing Solutions, Micron Technology, Inc.
  • Dave Roach, Senior Vice President – Worldwide Manufacturing Operations, Western Digital
  • John Chen, Vice President, Technology and Foundry Operations, Nvidia
  • Sagar Pushpala, Vice President, Business Development – Specialty Technologies, TSMC
  • Steve Teig, Chief Technology Officer, Xperi Corp.
  • Dan Armbrust, CEO and co-founder, Silicon Catalyst
  • Ren Wu, Founder and CEO, Novumind
  • Alissa Fitzgerald, Founder and Managing Member, A.M. Fitzgerald & Associates
  • Len Jelinek, Senior Director, Semiconductor Manufacturing, IHS Markit
  • Weston Twigg, Senior Research Analyst and Principal, Pacific Crest

We’ll start off with our usual “big picture” session, focusing on the hottest areas for semiconductor growth in the coming years: artificial intelligence, quantum computing, automotive, cloud computing, the IoT, 5G, virtual reality/augmented reality (VR/AR), smart cities and healthcare. Speakers will discuss how these and other applications will challenge the semiconductor industry in new and different ways in the near future.

This is especially true in the case of AI, which we’ll explore in the second session, focusing it is ushering in a new era for semiconductor devices that will bring many new opportunities but also many challenges. AI needs innovation in the edge and in the cloud, in generating data on the edge, storing the data, and processing that data to unlock the value.  At the same time Moore’s Law is slowing. AI’s potential market of hundreds of zettabytes and trillions of dollars relies on new semiconductor architectures and compute platforms. Making these AI semiconductor engines will require a wildly innovative range of new materials, equipment, and design methodologies.

The semiconductor industry will continue to drive microprocessors and memory technology forward, although perhaps at a slower pace defined by Moore’s Law. An equally important trend known as “More than Moore (MtM)” devices, where added value to devices is provided by incorporating functionalities that do not necessarily scale according to “Moore’s Law“. These devices include MEMS, silicon photonics and biosensors. We’ll be delving into that in Thursday morning’s session.

I’m particularly excited about Thursday afternoon’s panel discussion “Detect the Undectables, In-line Inspection and Diagnosis for sub-10nm IC Fab Processes.” he end of Moore’s law has brought challenges in advancing IC technologies with economical benefits. The cost of transistors don’t naturally go down with scaling. Meanwhile, the exploration of AI/Deep Learning demands more transistors on a chip and we must find ways to continue the journey that we have all enjoyed for the past 50 years.

There are in fact only few ways to continue reducing die cost with the yield improvement being the most profound way for which we can all contribute and enjoy the benefit. Yield, and to some extent reliability, depends on defect density. Not only defect counts need to come down faster than ever, the tiny-size defects which didn’t matter before are now killing our dice. Detecting and eliminating the defects are one of the most important tasks in our lives.

On Friday, leading analysts and economists will give their perspectives on global market trends.

This is a preliminary agenda – stay tuned for announcements on additional sessions and speakers at 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.  To inquire about attending, contact Sally Bixby, Sr. Events Director at sbixby@extensionmedia.com. I hope you can join us!

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.

Join Us at The ConFab 2018

The ConFab 2018, to be held May 20-23 at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, is a conference and networking event designed to inform and connect leading semiconductor executives from all parts of the supply chain. Now in its 14th year, it is produced by Solid State Technology magazine, the semiconductor industry’s oldest and most respected business publication.

The goal of The ConFab this year is to show how today’s semiconductor manufacturers and their suppliers can they best position themselves to take advantage of the tremendous growth the industry is expecting to see in the near future, propelled by a wide array of new applications, including artificial intelligence, virtual and augmented reality, automotive, 5G, the IoT, cloud computing and healthcare.

Here’s a quick look at the agenda as it stands now.

After a welcome reception on Sunday evening, we’ll kick things off on Monday with a talk by IBM’s Rama Divakaruni on “How A.I. is Driving the New Semiconductor Era.” Although A.I. (and associated deep learning and machine learning) is now in its infancy, it will likely to have a major impact on how semiconductors will be designed and manufactured in the future. A.I. will demand dramatic enhancement in computational performance and efficiency, which in turn will drive fundamental changes in algorithms, systems and chip design.  Devices and materials will also change.

Following Rama’s talk, we’ll hear from John M. Martinis, Google who heads up Google’s Quantum A.I. Lab. The lab is particularly interested in applying quantum computing to artificial intelligence and machine learning.

After the keynote talks, we’ll hear from a number of industry visionaries, including John Hu, Director of Advanced Technology for Nvidia, Dan Armbrust, Founder and Director of Silicon Catalyst, and Tom Sonderman, President of Sky Water Technology Foundry. On Monday afternoon, invited industry experts, such as Bill Von Novak of Qualcomm will drill down into the applications most critical to semiconductor industry growth, including automotive, networking, healthcare and the IoT.

On Tuesday, the talks will focus on manufacturing trends and challenges with mainstream semiconductor manufacturing the focus of the morning session and advanced packaging the focus in the afternoon. George Gomba, VP of technology research at GlobalFoundries, will provide an update on EUV lithography, followed by Koukou Suu, of Ulvac, a leading expert on materials for phase change memories. Howard Witham, Vice President of Texas Operations, Qorvo, will provide some insights in using artificial intelligence and automation in semiconductor manufacturing.

The advanced packaging session on Tuesday afternoon is organized and sponsored by IEEE CPMT, notably Li Li, Distinguished Engineer, Cisco and William Chen, Fellow, ASE. The semiconductor industry is increased relying on advanced packaging to deliver far more integrated, complex and advanced solutions for different market segments.

On Wednesday, we’ll hear from leading analysts, including Len Jelinek, Senior Director, Semiconductor Manufacturing at IHS Markit, and Jim Feldhan, President of Semico, on market trends and the expected business climate moving forward.

You can register and keep up-to-date by visiting www.theconfab.com. For sponsorship inquiries, contact Kerry Hoffman at khoffman@extensionmedia.com.  For those interested in attending as a guest or qualifying as a VIP, contact Sally Bixby at sbixby@extensionmedia.com.

The ConFab 2018 Update

A new wave of growth is sweeping through the semiconductor industry, propelled by a vast array of new applications, including artificial intelligence, virtual and augmented reality, automotive, 5G, the IoT, cloud computing, healthcare and many others. The big question facing today’s semiconductor manufacturers and their suppliers is how can they best position themselves to take advantage of this tremendous growth.

Finding answers to that question is the goal of The ConFab 2018, to be held May 20-23 at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas. Now in its 14th year, The ConFab is a conference and networking event designed to inform and connect leading semiconductor executives from all parts of the supply chain. It is produced by Solid State Technology magazine, the semiconductor industry’s oldest and most respected business publication.

Kicking things off will be IBM’s Rama Divakaruni, who will speak on “How AI is Driving the New Semiconductor Era.” This is hugely important to how semiconductors will be designed and manufactured in the future, because AI — now in its infancy — will demand dramatic enhancement in computational performance and efficiency. Fundamental changes will be required in algorithms, systems and chip design.  Devices and materials will also need to change.

Rama is well position to address these changes: As an IBM Distinguished Engineer, he is responsible for IBM Advanced Process Technology Research (which includes EUV technologies and advanced unit process and Enablement technologies) as well as the main interface between IBM Semiconductor Research and IBM’s Systems Leadership. He is one of IBMs top inventors with over 225+ issued US patents.

We’re also pleased to announce several other speakers at this point. Joining us will be George Gomba, VP of technology research at GlobalFoundries. George has overall responsibility for GlobalFoundries’ semiconductor technology research programs, including global consortia and strategic supplier management (and, like Rama, has a long history at IBM). The focus of George’s talk will be on EUV lithography.

Dan Armbrust, Founder and Director of Silicon Catalyst, the world’s first incubator focused exclusively on semiconductor solutions startups will also be on the dais. A frequent speaker at The ConFab, Dan has a great background, including President and Chief Executive Officer of SEMATECH, IBM VP, 300mm Semiconductor Operations, and Strategic Client Exec for IBM’s Systems and Technology Group.

Another great speaker is Tom Sonderman, President of SkyWater Technology Foundry. Tom also has a great background including GlobalFoundries’ VP of manufacturing technology, and two decases at AMD, where he had global responsibility for development, integration, support and scalability of automation and manufacturing systems in the company’s wafer fabrication and assembly operations. Prior to joining SkyWater, Prior to joining SkyWater, Tom was the group vice president and general manager for Rudolph Technologies’ Integrated Solutions Group. In this position, he created a Smart Manufacturing ecosystem based on big data platforms, predictive analytics and IoT.

We’re so excited about the other speakers we tentatively have lined up, our plans for several thought-provoking panels and much more, so stay tuned. You register and keep up-to-date by visiting www.theconfab.com. For sponsorship inquiries, contact Kerry Hoffman at khoffman@extensionmedia.com.  For those interested in attending as a guest or qualifying as a VIP, contact Sally Bixby at sbixby@extensionmedia.com.

The ConFab 2018 will be held May 20-23

The ConFab 2018, to be held May 20-23 in Las Vegas, will take a close look at the new applications driving the semiconductor industry, the technology that will be required at the device and process level to meet new demands, and – perhaps most importantly – the kind of strategic collaboration that will be required. It is this combination of business, technology and social interactions that make The ConFab so unique and so valuable. Here are six key trends that will each have a huge impact in the near future:

  • The semiconductor industry is on the cusp of a new era of growth, driven by a diverse array of applications. Much of the growth will come from the need for better connectivity and more intelligent data analysis.
  • In the Internet of Things (IoT), data is captured by sensors and transferred via the appropriate networks, stored in data centers and analyzed. This creates demand for high performance computing, including artificial intelligence and “deep learning.” New computational methods are emerging, such as neuromorphic methods that mimic how the brain works.
  • Faster communication with higher bandwidth will be required. 5G wireless communication is coming, as is improved WiFi, near-field communication, Bluetooth and satellite communication.
  • Huge opportunities exist in automotive electronics, as autonomous driving moves closer to reality.
  • Virtual reality will be combined with artificial intelligence to create a truly immersive experience that mankind has never experienced.
  • Semiconductors will play an increasingly important role in the healthcare industry, as diagnostic tools and patient monitoring.

To meet the demands of these diverse applications, much innovation will be required on the technology side. Huge efforts are also needed to reduce the overall cost. Since the beginning, the economics of semiconductor manufacturing has been a focal point of The ConFab. In 2018, we will be including insights into the emerging and rapidly growing new markets and what semiconductor device manufacturers need to know to successfully tap into those markets.

New technology needed in manufacturing will be another focal point of The ConFab. EUV is finally entering volume production, ushering in a new era of patterning for the 7 and 5nm generations. Many new materials are being considered, transistors are evolving from FinFETs to gate-all-around nanowires, on chip communication with silicon photonics will soon emerge, and advanced packaging/heterogeneous integration is ever more critical.

There is a strong need for strategic collaboration across the entire supply chain. Empowering that collaboration is a high priority goal for The ConFab 2018. We do that through private, pre-arranged meetings among interested parties.  The ConFab also includes well-attended evening receptions plus breakfasts, lunches and refreshment breaks. These offer exceptional networking opportunities for people to meet in a relaxed environment.

In 2018, we expect heightened interest and involvement as we explore how businesses, people and technology must all work together to meet the world’s insatiable demand for new electronics.

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.

The New Driver for Semiconductor Tech

Over the past 40 years, the electronics industry has gone through three distinct stage or “waves” of evolution. Last year, in a Solid State Technology webcast presentation, Intel’s Islam Salama described the waves and how the latest wave is driving the semiconductor industry in new and very different ways. Dr. Salama is responsible for packaging substrate pathfinding of high density interconnects across all Intel products. His team focuses on packaging substrate architectures, process and materials technology building blocks, intellectual property management, and manufacturing ecosystem development.

The first wave occurred in the 1990s, driven mainly by personal computers and enterprise servers. The 2000s saw the very wide adoption of smartphones and cellular phones. “This really provided a very solid platform for industry growth, Salama said.

But today, a major shift is under way. “Starting in 2010, we started to see a generational shift in the IT architecture. This shift is really reshaping every aspect of our economy and industry, and defining the opportunities that are available for growing the industry moving forward,” he said. This shift – you guessed it – is driven smart devices, cloud computing and the IoT.

“As we experience pervasive computing behavior, we demand consistency and seamless interface among all our devices as we use them throughout the day,” Salama said. “It becomes a cycle. The more pervasive computing becomes, the more demand there is on the cloud and the data center.  In the process, you create new application and you try to come up with new devices that keep up with the applications, and the cycle feeds on itself.”

The IoT will bring an explosion of data.

The IoT will bring an explosion of data.

Big and small data being generated by the IoT and smartphones is seen as the next big disrupter. In Wave 2 (the 2000s), PCs generated 90 MB/day and smartphones 30MB/day. In Wave 3, the numbers jump dramatically. A connected car, for example, will generate 4TB of data/day, a connected plane, 40TB/Day and a connected factory 1 PB/Day (petabyte (PB) is 1015 bytes of data).

“Such an explosion of data, driven by our behavior as consumers and the emergence of new applications, will really challenge the infrastructure of the entire network as we know it today,” Salama said.

For example, all the sophisticated data analytics that are performed today at the data center need to be pushed downstream. This is particularly true for applications that will become very sensitive to data latency, for example, such as autonomous driving or connected hospitals.

“This is really shaping the future to be concentric around big data, and this is the main reason why data is being viewed today in the industry as the next disruptor and the engine for driving the semiconductor and the information and computing technology moving forward,” Salama said.