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Archive for March, 2013

The Learning Imperative

Thursday, March 21st, 2013

By Tom Morrow
An often under-appreciated component of Moore’s Law has been the massive learning and education effort required to sustain continuous improvement at the incredible rate predicted by Gordon Moore nearly 50 years ago. The industry regularly calculates the contribution of lithography-based scaling, wafer size increases, and yield improvements necessary to keep pace with aggressive cost reduction schedules, but not enough attention is paid to the enormous contribution of human capital — fueled by training and education in new technologies new practices and new processes — necessary to implement next-generation production requirements.

The SEMI Advanced Semiconductor Manufacturing Conference (ASMC 2013) has addressed this need for more than 20 years. This year ASMC will be held May 13-16 in Saratoga Springs, New York. The event features more than 85 presentations, including peer-reviewed manuscripts, workshops and tutorials covering critical process technologies and fab productivity strategies. To make this event the most valuable and informative of its kind, ASMC is coordinated and managed by an industry-committee consisting of 45 engineering and science leaders from the “Who’s Who” of semiconductor technology companies. This year’s ASMC 2013 conference co-chairs are Russell Dover, Brion (an ASML Company) and Stefan Radloff, Intel Corporation.

ASMC 2013 technical sessions include:

• Advanced Patterning/Design for Manufacturing
• Factory Optimization
• 3D/TSV Technology
• Interactive Poster Session
• Yield Enhancement
• Advanced Metrology
• Defect Inspection
• Advanced Equipment Processes and Materials
• E-Beam Inspection
• Advanced Process Control

This year’s event also features several panel discussions, keynote speeches and other forums to share knowledge on new and “best practice” semiconductor manufacturing issues and concepts. This year ASMC features workshops and tutorials on Computational Lithography by Intel Corporation, 3D-ICs by GLOBALFOUNDRIES, 450mm wafer processing moderated by G450C, and sub-10nm manufacturing.

Conference keynotes include:

• “Fab Material Next Generation Challenges: Affordability & Quality” — Tim Hendry, vice president, director of Fab Materials Operation, Intel Corporation
• “IC Market Trends and Forecast” — Bill McClean, president, IC Insights

ASMC also holds an interactive poster session and reception to enable researchers, suppliers, and manufactures to meet and discuss the newest concepts and solutions in nano-manufacturing, productivity and yield. During this session, participants can engage authors in in-depth discussion of a wide range of issues.

ASMC 2013 is presented by SEMI with technical sponsors: Institute of Electrical & Electronics Engineers (IEEE), IEEE Electron Devices Society (EDS), and IEEE Components, Packaging and Manufacturing Technology Society (CPMT). Corporate sponsors include: Applied Materials, ASML, ATMI, ChemTrace, CNW Courier Network, DAS, Edwards, KLA-Tencor, GLOBALFOUNDRIES, Marcy NanoCenter at SUNYIT, MSP, NY Loves Nanotech, and Valqua.

Registration for ASMC 2013 is available at For more information, contact Margaret Kindling at

—Tom Morrow is the chief marketing officer at SEMI

SEMICON West: Accelerating R&D

Monday, March 11th, 2013

By Karen Savala
Earlier this month, SEMI announced the addition of the Silicon Innovation Forum (SIF) to SEMICON West to help accelerate the innovation pipeline for advanced semiconductor technology. This exciting program was developed in collaboration with leading strategic investment groups in our industry, including Applied Ventures, Dow Chemical Company, Intel Capital, Micron Ventures, TEL Venture Capital, and Samsung Ventures. SIF is designed to bridge funding gaps for new and early-stage companies by providing a platform to showcase new ideas to potential partners and investors. Qualifying companies can participate through presentations at the SIF Conference, through table-top displays during a reception, and through one-on-one meetings with qualified investors. The SIF Conference will be free to all SEMICON West attendees, but the Innovation Showcase and Reception for one-on-one presentation and meeting opportunities will be restricted to qualified partnership and investor groups.

The SIF is just one of the many activities and forums devoted to R&D and the innovation pipeline at SEMICON West. The need for breakthrough ideas has never been greater, but R&D budgets, venture capital and private funding sources for advanced semiconductor technology development have significantly declined over the past decade. To help accelerate R&D in the industry — and to encourage innovation from new sources — SEMI is planning a number of new programs to serve the R&D community and the industry’s innovation cycle.

“A Conversation on the Future of Semiconductor Technology” will be an executive panel discussion with leaders from the industry’s top R&D consortia. The conversation will feature Dan Armbrust, president and CEO of SEMATECH, Luc Van den hove, CEO of imec and Laurent Malier, CEO from CEA-Leti, discussing the status of current consortia programs, the top technical challenges facing the coming nodes, and the radical changes unfolding in industry R&D as we speak.

The TechXPOT programs at SEMICON West will also address critical R&D issues facing the industry, including nonplanar transistor processing challenges, lithography, 450mm wafer processing, and 3D stacked ICs. New this year will be programs on silicon photonics, transparent conductors, nano-defect inspection, and productivity innovations for existing lines and fabs. Contributors and organizers to the International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors will also discuss the latest ITRS edition.

In the over twenty years I have been in the industry, I have never seen so many critical and concurrent R&D barriers facing the industry. At the same time, the process of R&D and innovation — through universities, consortia, start-ups, industry leaders, and innovative smaller companies — has never been in such a state of flux. No place else on earth will host more international technical innovators, visionary leaders, and bright minds of the next generation than SEMICON West.

Attendee registration is now open. If you know of any new and early-stage companies with innovative ideas, encourage them to participate in the Silicon Innovation Forum.

—Karen Savala is president of SEMI Americas

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