SEMICON West 2018 Discusses Innovative Semiconductor Technology

Jul 9, 2018 11:42:14 AM

Kim Estep




If you've attended the SEMICON West conference in years past, you know what to expect – leading-edge technology, prototypes for the tools of tomorrow, and the best that technology and robotics the industry has to offer. We've seen a lot of changes in the past couple of years – significant advances in artificial intelligence, automation, and blockchain technology have significantly affected how we build, utilize, and employ semiconductors.

You might be very familiar with semiconductors – or perhaps not. I'll touch real quick on the basics; if you know your stuff, then feel free to skip ahead.

Technology can only advance as far as it's able to provide energy to operate. Determining how and where devices receive power is critical to technological success. Insulators are substances that do not conduct electricity well; conductors easily move energy among themselves. Copper, for instance, is an excellent conductor of electricity. Glass is not. Semiconductors are a man-made substance that can be either an insulator or a conductor – or one that can be made to do both. This leap forward has radically shifted the face of technology and has created efficiencies in technological innovation. These innovations are changing our world at a dramatic pace.

Semiconductors act as a switch, controlling the amount and frequency of electricity a device has access to. In certain states, they move energy; in others, they don’t. What the internet age has done is make these connections smaller, faster, and more reliable. For 2018, we've moved the theme of Semicon West to Beyond Smart – and we're prepared to show you advances that have done just that.

Throughout the conference, attendees should expect to see how blockchain and artificial intelligence technologies have used semiconductor technology for everything from cell phone connections to automotive technology – even to LED lighting. Advancements in semiconductor technology are affecting every part of our modern life. Come be a part of tomorrow.




1. The Future of Automobility Supply Chain

The automobile industry is experiencing unparalleledchanges, as traditional on-road driving and vehicle operation morphs into self-driving and automatic car travel. Emerging OEMs have presented a new paradigm of electrification of the traditional auto, and incorporated automatic perambulation of an individual vehicle. The supply chain supporting this new mobility paradigm is shifting dramatically. In fact, expect to see global R&D investments grow from 40 percent in 2013 to an estimated 53 percent by 2025.

Who will benefit from the global added value? How are OEMs, Tier 1s, and new technology providers adapting to the movement? Learn more about who can be at the center of the profit chain, and discover how to stay relevant in this rapidly changing industry. The speaker panel will address the evolution of the new vehicle, as well as the technology-stack supply chain, addressing several critical issues.

Automobile industrial companies' call for change is increasing demands on the semiconductor industry. As a whole, how can the semiconductor industry get ahead of a flood of demands? We are interested in turning requirements into long-term benefits that include getting the best ideas and perspectives turned into profitable practices and innovative solutions.




2. How will artificial intelligence transform transportation in cities?

Another factor in changing transportation technology is the way that artificial intelligence will transform cities. The cars of today will become robots that rely on AI to provide smart mobility within cities – and understand the evolution, growth, and changes within. IHS technology anticipates that the number of AI systems in personal vehicles will jump from 7 million in 2015 to over 12 million by 2025. This translates to over $1.5 trillion in connected car data – per year – by 2030.

Expect to see a speaker panel address their current and future plans for AI applications, including those for customers as well as their partners. You'll see demos of the latest products and services that are ushering in the future of transportation. The key technology and resulting market trends from these changes will also be discussed.

3. Information and control (multiple day meetings with various topics)

The semiconductor industry as a whole will be discussed and evaluated throughout the entire event. Included in the agenda are evaluations and discussions about specifications to enhance the manufacturing capability of the semiconductor industry. The committee will arrive at a consensus, with voluntary compliance, aimed at exploring and developing standards pertaining to the interface of manufacturing tools, control computers, and human operators. The purpose is to transfer commands and data used during the manufacturing process.

For those in the development and production areas of semiconductor technology, this committee meeting is not to be missed.




4. Scaling and Smart manufacturing

You may have heard the announcement of a 5nm silicon chip that uses horizontal, gate-all-around transistors. This release from 2017 is one of many indications that the semiconductor industry will continue traditional scaling, but enhance it with 3D architectures as long as it possibly can. Coupled with this scenario is a type of scaling enabled by 3D IC technologies such as die stacking and the stacking of very small geometry wafers.

In addition to the new advances, interconnect scaling will continue to be utilized. In this specific session, attendees can expect to receive an update on the evolution of scaling as well as descriptions of how participants like foundry, IDM, fabless, and application developers are competing for a leadership position in scaling innovation.




5. Blockchain technology and applications

Perhaps the most anticipated topic of this year's conference is blockchain technology and its relationship to semiconductor technology. This rapidly growing technology has disrupted the predicted advances intechnology at the beginning of the 21st century. In fact, blockchain is estimated to be around 10 percent of worldwide GDP by the year 2025. The World Economic Forum has had to rapidly adapt and predict the influence of an unpredictable currency, as well as its effects on technology, trade, and the geopolitical balance.

Blockchain is the backbone of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. The technology is going through a rapid adoption phase in the fintech sector, with the potential to disruptively transform IoT, energy, supply chain, manufacturing, healthcare, government, and more. This session will focus on state-of-the-art blockchain development platforms and emerging industrial applications.




6. The changing face of the workforce

As millennials become the largest demographic in the workforce, especially the tech industry, there's more emphasis on how to attract and retain vital talent. For younger workers, sessions will help you discover opportunities in the industry that will give you growth in your career. Older workers might discover the value of mentoring – a partnership that both the mentor and mentee can benefit from.

Workforce culture is changing, and building a company culture that addresses the needs of Generation Y and Generation Z is critical for any company's long-term success. A fireside chat featuring Larry Smith, President of TEL US Holdings and Kylan Nieh, Senior Product Manager, LinkedIn & Forbes 30 Under 30, will address these topics.

As workplace culture changes, expect to see greater emphasis placed on diversity in the workplace and retaining a diverse talent pool. Research shows that gender diversity benefits a manufacturing organization through improved ability to innovate, higher return on equity, and increased profitability. When employees believe that their organization is committed to inclusion, they report better business performance in terms of their ability to innovate. Organizations can also unleash the full potential of their female workforces by creating a culture where unique strengths thrive.

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