Future Horizons’ Forum: sub-20-nm, graphene, IP for SoCs, lifesciences – and, how’s Moore’s Law doing?

Future Horizons’ Forum: sub-20-nm, graphene, IP for SoCs, lifesciences – and, how’s Moore’s Law doing?

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By eeNews Europe

The speaker lineup includes representatives from the highest level of the semiconductor industry, product and application developers, and from research and academia. Topics range from new materials, challenges in design methodologies, new applications domains, and possible changes to the business model. Subjects as diverse as doing business in Russia and Africa, to modelling the human brain will be addressed, in addition to the stock-in-trade subjects of the semiconductor world: how to carry the momentum of the industry onwards throught 20-nm ‘barrier’. The following paragraphs give an idea of the diversity of the programme – the complete speaker list appears below and registration is here 

Liam Britnell, European Manager & Research Scientist Bluestone Global Technology Materials, titles his address; “Beyond Graphene: Heterostructures & Other Two-Dimensional Materials”. For graphene, the transition from the laboratory to factory has hit some challenging obstacles. This talk will review the current state of graphene research, focusing on the techniques which allow large scale production, and moving on to research on more complex structures beyond graphene. The talk will conclude by speculating [on] the fields where graphene may realistically find applications and discuss the role of the National Graphene Institute in commercializing graphene.

Addressing one of the key challenges facing silicon technology, Jean-Rene Lequepeys, VP Silicon Components at CEA-Leti, will present “Advanced Semiconductor Technologies Enabling High-Performance & Energy Efficient Computing”. The key challenge for future high-end computing chips is energy efficiency in addition to traditional challenges such as yield/cost, static power, data transfer …. In 2020, in order to maintain at an acceptable level the overall power consumption of all the computing systems, a gain in term of power efficiency of 1000 will be required. Lequepeys looks to new partnerships between Semiconductor Industry (IDM, Foundry), IP provider, EDA provider , Design house, Systems and Software Industries for a solution.

Looking to a potential growth area in the applications space, Subramanian (Ram) Ramamoorthy, of Edinburgh University will speak on “Human-Aware Intelligent Robots: Challenges & Opportunities.” In recent years, we have witnessed a dramatic shift in the kinds of applications where robots are being deployed….humans and robots [are] working together in teams. This raises the need not just for robust autonomy but also for an interactive sort of intelligence; the talk focuses on interactively intelligent systems and the components that are being developed towards this end: what we find difficult and how this relates to underpinning electronics and computing technologies.

Tony King-Smith, Executive Vice President Marketing at Imagination Technologies, calls his address, “From Crystal Ball To Reality: The Impact Of Silicon IP On SoC Design”. The fundamental technology behind IP enables a broad array of innovative, ground breaking products. But it’s about much more than the design team taking IP and synthesising it and laying it out. In this talk, Tony will explain how IP impacts every aspect of the supply chain, and discuss some of the bigger issues around how to transform a great idea into a truly great product.

Jo De Boeck, Senior VP & CTO at IMEC, is to speak on “Game-Changing Technology Roadmaps For Lifescience”.

Personalized, Preventive, Predictive and Participatory healthcare is on the horizon. Many nano-electronics research groups have entered the quest for more efficient health care in their mission statement. Electronic systems are proposed to assist in ambulatory monitoring of so-called ‘markers’ for wellness and health. New life science tools deliver the prospect of personal diagnostics and therapy in e.g. the cardiac, neurological and oncology field. This talk addresses the exciting trends in ‘PPPP’ health care and relates them to an innovation roadmap in process technology, electronic circuits and system concepts.

Walden C (Wally) Rhines, Chairman & CEO of Mentor Graphics will present “The Big Squeeze

For decades, he says, we’ve known it was coming and now it’s here; Moore’s Law—which is really

just a special case of the “learning curve”—can no longer drive the 30% per year reduction in cost per transistor, beginning with the 20/16/14 nm generation. Either we find innovations beyond just shrinking feature sizes and increasing wafer diameter or we slow our progress down the learning curve, introducing innovative new electronic capabilities at a slower rate than in the past. There are lots of alternatives, including a reduction in profitability of the members of the supply chain, to keep the progress continuing at the same rate as the last fifty years. Dr. Rhines will review the mathematical basis for the dilemma and, with his brand of humour, provide a roadmap of possibilities for the decade ahead.

Alex Butler, Senior Research Director at Microsoft Research, turns to human/machine interfaces, asking, “Touch: Do They Think It’s All Over?” Touch It’s a solved problem isn’t it? The ubiquity of phones, tablets with touch sensing technologies would almost suggest so… So is this new world of user interfaces really just about “Touch, Type and Swipe”? The increasing importance of new hardware in fundamental user interface innovation suggests otherwise. To give an idea of what might be lurking round the corner Butler will present highlights of Touch and Beyond Touch research within Microsoft Research and give some further thoughts on some of the likely implications and requirements implied by these directions – for both Touch and Beyond Touch.

These examples cover barely one-third of the overall programme.

The event begins on Wednesday afternoon (2nd October) and concludes on the Friday afternoon; the intervening 48 hours is filled with a mix of industry analysis and forecasting, and a series of presentations from senior industry figures on all aspects of the challenges – and opportunities – facing the industry today. Throughout the event, the programme includes numerous opportunities for delegates to network and renew acquaintances.

Future Horizons’ founder Malcolm Penn paints a picture of an industry, as he puts it, “brazenly” about to enter the era of sub-20-nm silicon manufacture, at the same time as the entire chip sector faces the combination of a global economic recession, together with “mega-shifts” in its own domain; the move away from a PC-dominated business to one dependent on smart portable devices being the main, but far from the only, example.

The Forum asks the question, therefore; “Entering The Sub-20nm Era … ‘Business As Usual’ OR ‘It’s Different This Time’?”: breaks that down into challenges for Technologies, Manufacturing, Market Structure & Applications: and looks in detail at each of these areas. Providing key insights is a cast of CEOs and CTOs drawn from leading companies across the industry, each delivering a focussed presentation and providing their own perspective on the task that lies ahead. The “almost-final” list of speakers appears below; at the time of writing, Future Horizons’ Malcolm Penn anticipates adding several more speeches from some of the very biggest names in the business.

Inaugurated in 1991, Future Horizons’ International Electronics Forum is an annual executive-level networking event held in co-operation with the host country’s government – in this case, Eire. With a restricted attendance level of around 120 senior international executives, delegates span the full spectrum of the industry, mainly C-level (CEO, COO, CTO) executives from microelectronics companies, semiconductor equipment and materials firms, electronics equipment and systems manufacturers, start-up and research establishments, government and industry officials and finance and investment organisations.

Details of registration and fees are at

– in alphabetical order of company name, confirmed speakers – with their area of activity, and subjects they will address – at IEF2013 are;

Dr. John Chen, VP Technology & Foundry Management, nVidea ( USA ): Advanced Graphics

Dr. Liam Britnell, CEO, Bluestone Global Tech: Graphene

Jacques Noels, Founder & Member Of The Board, Crocus: Magnetic Memory

Prof. Ram Ramamoorthy, Edinburgh University: Robotics

Jack Harding, President & CEO, eSilicon Corporation: ASIC Design Support Services

Ajit Manocha, CEO, GlobalFoundries: Foundry Services

Prof. Karlheinz Meier, Experimental Physics, Heidelberg University: Human Brain Project

Tony King-Smith, VP Marketing, Imagination Technologies: SOC & Video IP

Prof. Jo De Boeck, Senior VP & CTO, IMEC: Medical Applications

Dr. Drew Nelson, President & CEO, IQE Silicon Compounds: 3-5 Opportunities

Dr. Wally Rhines, Chairman & CEO, Mentor Graphics: EDA

Alex Butler, Research Director, Microsoft Research: Advanced User Interfaces

Andrey Golushko, General Director of Marketing, Mikron: Russia

Mike LeGoff, CEO, Plessey Semiconductors: Sensors

Yee-Chaung See, Senior Director R&D, TSMC: Foundry Services

Wayne Dai, Chairman, VeriSilicon: ASIC Design Support Services

Andile Ngcaba, CEO, Convergence Partners: Market Opportunities In Africa

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