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MEMS, Sensors and IoT Are Focal Points

By Dave Mount

Survey results that will be posted in the March Update to the 20th anniversary 2017 edition of IC Insights’ McClean Report show that eleven (11) companies are forecast to have semiconductor capital expenditure budgets greater than $1.0 billion in 2017, and account for 78% of total worldwide semiconductor spending this year. Bill McClean, of IC Insights, will be delivering a talk at The ConFab, in May, which is certain to include additional insights to this, and other IC Industry forecast data, during his talk. This forecast of only eleven (11) potential customers for the semiconductor supply chain, controlling 78% of the spending, points out very profoundly why The ConFab has expanded the agenda/program to include several other “Small Wafer Technologies”, that very much features the MEMS and Sensors, and IoT markets, that are growing at a high CAGR, and include many new potential customers in the supply chain, that can be served by equipment and materials suppliers that are currently serving the IC industry.

During this year’s sessions we will learn from Dr. Kevin Shaw, CTO/FOUNDER, of Algorithmic Intuition, Inc.; who will be delivering a talk where we will see what MEMS is, how it relates to the semiconductor industry and why it is a critical component for emerging growth. Dr. Shaw will explore examples of new products that are leveraging MEMS and see how old products are being reimagined in a world where sensors are everything. Dr. Alissa Fitzgerald will speak on Next Generation MEMS Manufacturing; where in order to meet the demands of consumer electronics or automotive OEMs, sensors will need to be developed and produced in high volume 200mm wafer facilities. Alissa will share how a generational change in manufacturing is coming, in which high-volume foundries will need to break some of their traditional CMOS process rules or risk missing out on the next wave of growth in MEMS. The ConFab will also feature a Small Wafer Technologies panel session, moderated by Tom Bondur, of Lam Research, which will include panelists from a wide and diverse experience and background in device fabrication, in other solid-state technology manufacturing areas.

New Improvements to The ConFab for 2017

By Dave Mount

We have been very busy making improvements to The ConFab. The new venue at the magnificent Del Coronado Hotel, in San Diego, is proving to be very well accepted, based on the feedback we have been receiving.

The dates (May 14th-17th) of The ConFab have been equally as well received by past Attendees, as well as those that will be attending The ConFab for the first time. It seems that our dates have very little conflict with other conferences and shows, as opposed to the former June time-frame, which is always loaded with competing conferences and trade shows, making The Confab, in May a very desirable event for our attendees.

Regarding the agenda changes and the expansion of the conference an agenda which now will include other closely related semiconductor technologies, such as MEMS and sensors and the Internet of Things (IoT), power devices, LEDs and flexible electronics, we have planned for three-days of topical and highly interesting speakers, talks and panels. These technologies and the related devices will be interesting in their own right, but we will have three different well-known industry analysts providing their insights as to the semiconductor industry, advanced packaging, and the “small-wafer” markets, inclusive of MEMS and sensors, the IoT, power devices, LEDs, etc.

There will be three keynote speakers (one each day) for The Confab 2017. The keynote addresses will cover topics, such as: An overview of the Semiconductor Industry, an Automotive Industry (autonomous vehicles and sensors), and a Manufacturing Challenges keynote.

The hottest topic in the semiconductor industry is packaging. The Confab will dedicate ample time to the topic of Advanced Packaging, with high-level speakers and panels, also featuring an industry analyst for the topic.

The next largest semiconductor-related market is the MEMS and sensors and IoT market. To address this topic I have coined a new phrase…..a “Sub-Keynote” speaker. Our sub-keynote speaker will deliver an excellent overview of this topic. As The ConFab seeks to expand by introducing other “small-wafer” technologies and flexible electronics, we have selected industry respected speakers and panelists to make the introduction and details of these topics. Finally, our manufacturing keynote speaker should prove to be excellent and informative. We look forward to seeing you at The ConFab 2017.

For more details on this exclusive conference and networking event, visit The ConFab 2017 will be held May 14-17 at the iconic Hotel del Coronado in San Diego, CA.

Advanced Packaging to be Highlighted at The ConFab

By Dave Mount

There have been a lot of changes in the semiconductor industry in the last few years. One of these changes has been the shrinking number of IC fabricators, which has been driven by mergers and acquisitions and general attrition. Another is that Moore’s Law has seemingly run out of gas due to delays in the development of EUV lithographic techniques, and the quantum effects manifested in the materials used in the low-nanoscale. Seemingly, the ‘work-around’ used to get past the end of Moore’s Law has been in the chip package.

Packaging has become the hottest topic in semiconductor technology. Presently there is a tremendous body of work being done in both Wafer-level packaging (WLP) and Panel-level packaging (PLP). “Smart” systems are all the rage in advanced packaging where the heterogeneous integration of chips in the same package is increasing becoming commonplace.

Partially being driven by the rapidly developing Internet of Things (IoT) connectivity market, The ConFab will devote a large block of time to advanced packaging. Through talks given by Industry recognized speakers, and interactive panels the important topics of: fan-out/fan-in, wafer-level /panel-level, 2.5D/3D, glass/PCB, and materials/manufacturing technologies will be covered during The ConFab.

By expanding The ConFab to include several of the other related materials and manufacturing technologies, such as MEMS, and others, we will be able to cover much larger areas of interest involving advanced packaging. Since this is such an important topic, we will also include packaging market financial metrics and forecasts. There, of course will be other topical areas covered at The ConFab, but we feel that the Advanced Packaging session alone is reason to sponsor or attend The ConFab.

The ConFab 2017 Expands

The semiconductor industry is rapidly evolving and changing. Consolidations, mergers and acquisitions in the entire supply chain, the end of Moore’s Law (as we knew it), and the success of the foundry model has led us to seek new directions and expansions for The ConFab. Concurrent with our 2017 change in venue from Las Vegas to San Diego, we will be making some changes to The ConFab program. Mainstream semiconductor technology will still be a central focus, but we will be adding speakers, panelists, and VIP attendees from other growing and emerging areas and feature some of the other solid-state device technologies derived from semiconductor manufacturing. This will be from both the device maker and the equipment supplier perspective.

More emphasis will be placed on the MEMS and sensors, power devices, RF and analog mixed-signal, LEDs, thin film batteries, biomedical and other related technologies and markets. The mobile, medical and healthcare, the IoT, automotive, big data, cloud computing, flexible electronics, and virtual reality industries will be of high importance to The ConFab.

With regard to mainstream semiconductor manufacturing, speakers and panels on advanced packaging, including heterogeneous integration, will serve to tie together memory/logic/ASIC semiconductor devices into packages that can include: MEMS, RF, mixed-signal, thin-film battery and other components together, either on wafers or panels. The emerging technologies of silicon photonics and advanced memory, such as phase change and resistive RAM, will become a focus of The ConFab. Our customary speakers on industry forecasts and business directions will still be a part of The ConFab, but will be increased to reflect other markets beyond ICs.

These changes that will be incorporated will allow for the addition of new attendees and VIP’s from the supply chains that serve the other adjacent solid-state technologies and allow for additional private meeting and networking opportunities for current and previous ConFab attendees and sponsors. We will seek to cover as much as possible for every future ConFab, but time is limited. Stay tuned for the program direction for 2017.

David Mount, marketing and business development manager, The ConFab