August 2, 2012 -- The ConFab, Solid State Technology’s invitation-only event for the semiconductor industry, took place in June, with presenters from top companies and analyst firms. If you couldn’t be there, check out all the coverage from the event -- reports, presentations, video interviews and more -- via the links below.
Presentations and analysis
The ConFab 2012 opened in Las Vegas with a keynote address from John Chen, PhD, VP of technology and foundry operations at Nvidia Corporation.
At The ConFab’s opening session, “The Economic Outlook for the Semiconductor Industry,” capex was a major point of interest. Jackie Sturm of Intel, Dan Hutcheson of VLSIresearch, and Jim Feldhan of Semico all touched on it, with Hutcheson expanding on the idea of capex trends.
The ConFab’s sessions opened with “The Economic Outlook for the Semiconductor Industry,” featuring Jackie Sturm of Intel, Dan Hutcheson of VLSIresearch, and Jim Feldhan of Semico.
Older production facilities face equipment obsolescence; skills obsolescence; scarce availability of parts, software, and support; and equipment capability extension and tool re-use. At the ConFab 2012 Executive Roundtable, representatives from Sematech/ISMI, IDMs, OEMs, equipment dealers, and others.
Speaking at The ConFab 2012, Sanjay Rajguru, director of ISMI, pointed out that more than half the current fab capacity today comes from facilities that are more than ten years old, which is creating a problem with equipment obsolescence.
With many advanced packaging processes taking place on the semiconductor wafer, the traditional supply chain of front-end fab at the foundry and back-end fab at the packaging and test house is falling apart. The ConFab session, “Advanced Packaging and Progress in 3D Integration,” focused heavily on this dynamic.
As packaging has played a larger and larger role in chip performance, form factor, and capabilities, The ConFab has increased its focus on back-end processes. Cue “Advanced Packaging and Progress in 3D Integration,” a session focused on the higher I/O density and other performance benefits of 3D packaging.
At The ConFab 2012, fabless companies and foundries have a common goal: reduce power, increase performance and reduce price (not necessarily in that order).
Day 2 of The ConFab opened in Las Vegas with Ali Sebt, CEO of Renesas Electronics America, delivering “Smart Society, the Sensing Era and Signal Chain.”
Chip scaling will go on for the foreseeable future, enabling new product with more compute power, more memory, faster on-chip communication. That was one of the conclusions put forth by imec’s An Steegen, speaking on technology trends at The ConFab 2012.
Big data and today’s semiconductor industry
Upon arriving at The ConFab’s venue, The Encore at The Wynn, Solid State Technology chief editor Pete Singer had an impromptu discussion about how the semiconductor industry has changed over the years, around smartphones and “big data,” with colleagues. Over 90% of the world’s data has been created in the last two years. What is big data? According to IBM, every day, we create 2.5 quintillion bytes of data.
Tom Jefferson, G450 Consortium, shares an update on 450mm wafers for semiconductor manufacturing. The consortium is adding staff and ramping its silicon supply, and getting ready for equipment selection.
Bill Tobey, president of ACT International Consulting, speaks about the evolution of extreme ultra violet (EUV) lithography at The ConFab 2012.
Ron Huemoeller of Amkor presented in the Advanced Packaging session of Solid State Technology’s The ConFab. He speaks with editor-in-chief Pete Singer.
Bill Ross, ISMI, is moderating a session today at The ConFab 2012 on managing legacy semiconductor fabs and dealing with tool and materials obsolescence at 200mm and smaller. He speaks with Pete Singer about coping with these changes.
Ali Sebt, CEO of Renesas Electronics America, keynoted Day 2 of Solid State Technology’s The ConFab 2012. Here, he discusses the role of inexpensive sensors and microcontrollers in energy savings, in a video interview.
Naoya Hayashi, research fellow for electronic device operations at Dai Nippon Printing, speaks with Solid State Technology chief editor Pete Singer during The ConFab 2012. Hayashi presented “NGL Mask Readiness” in The ConFab’s session on technology trends.
Jim Feldhan of Semico speaks with Solid State Technology editor-in-chief Pete Singer about expectations for the semiconductor industry and solid-state drives.
John Chen of Nvidia gave the opening keynote address of The ConFab 2012, presenting the concept of a “virtual IDM” comprising fabless companies, semiconductor foundries, and packaging houses working seamlessly together.
Dan Hutcheson, VLSI Research Inc. spoke with Solid State Technology editor-in-chief Pete Singer at The ConFab 2012. Hutcheson presented on the cyclical nature of the semiconductor industry.