Retired senior vice president of Si2, Sumit DasGupta, imparts his sage view on what the semiconductor, EDA and IP industries should focus on to ensure a vibrant semiconductor industry for 2014.
“As the new year rolls out, there are promises and associated challenges that the semiconductor industry faces that need attention to ensure the vibrancy of the industry, even as the industry struggles to stay on the Moore’s law trajectory.
First in my list is the area of 2.5D and 3D integration, an area of great promise but with significant challenges. Much has been touted about these approaches as ways to deliver “More than Moore” but it appears to this observer to be advancing at a pace that is slower than hoped for. It seems to be just another year away from full production. But now, enough said, 2014 needs to be the year when much greater focus must be applied to get at least 2.5D technology into mass production. This is not a transitory approach to 3D but rather should last longer in its own right as a very viable technology sitting alongside 3D as 2 approaches to semiconductor integration. 3D still has challenges to be addressed but here again, greater focus needs to be applied to ramp up to full production in 2015.
Third, the semiconductor industry (and the EDA industry as well) needs to ensure that it does not get bogged down in just solving the problems of 2014 but has the wisdom and the wherewithal to look at the challenges that are potentially around the corner. So, it has to set aside sufficient resources, in partnership with academia and research institutions, to address some of the technological challenges and opportunities that lie ahead, such as, optical communication/interconnect for high performance computing, the “Internet of things,” safe and secure driver-assistance systems and in the not too distant future, autonomous cars. This additional effort must also include proper emphasis on standards that can enable world-class design flows using IP components that are well-calibrated and expressed, and yet protected to safeguard the interests of the IP owner.”