SEMICON West 3D (and more) Mash-up

Now that I’ve finished (finally) writing and posting all 3D InCites original content, I thought I’d take a look around and see what some of my blogger/journalist colleagues had to say about SEMICON West 2012 and do that curation thing I keep talking about.

SEMCON West Eye Candy
On the video front, kudos to ChipEstimate TV, who managed to add some flash and pizazz to what can be (let’s face it) rather dry topics. If you haven’t seen them yet, they’re definitely worth a look. Especially cool was Applied Materials’ demo in the interconnect booth.(And of course Karen Lightman, MEMS Industry Group, stole the show with her MEMS update.)

I see I wasn’t the only one to get some great shots from the exhibitor floor,  here’s EE Times slideshow. (Great photos guys, but you should try embedding the whole show in one page for easier viewing!) Karen Lightman also posted a sweet collection of photos from the TechXpots, Extreme Electronic stage, and the MIG annual party at Lulu’s (Wish I could have been there for more than 10 minutes.)

In her SEMICON West blog posted here, Karen muses whether or not the love is gone between the semiconductor industry and the MEMS industry, due to the transition to 450mm wafers. From the 3D perspective, I think not. In the back-end at least, there’s still lots of synergy between MEMS and 3D packaging. Indeed, 3D has a lot to thank MEMS for, as the industry paved the way for TSV manufacturing.

Elsewhere in 3D
I caught two posts in My Semicon Daily worthy of mention authored by Debra Vogler  of Instant Insights. Vogler conducted some interviews at the Impress Lounge (where my hat also hung for the week), with industry executives who talked freely on their views of the wafer transition to 450mm, with a few nods to 3D technologies. Bob Holland of ASM America noted “there is great interest in how the industry will transition to 22/20nm technology nodes and what type of 3D technologies will be used.”  In response to Shekar Borkar’s keynote, Simon McElrea, of Invensas, commented that while enormous investment is going into in the front-end to prepare for 450mm, the back-end (assembly side) is being neglected. Vogler also quotes him as saying “3D ICs won’t happen without the business model and the model requires the co-location of IBM, GlobalFoundries, Amkor, etc.,” observed McElrea.  (Interesting comment – and since IBM and GlobalFoundries are practically neighbors in upstate New York, all that’s needed is an Amkor facility) .Catch Vogler’s full post here.  

Also in her post titled, A Giant Leap? A Revolutionary Path? How all Roads Lead to 3D?, Vogler weaves a great tale of the relationship between 3D transistors, 3D Nand, and 3D ICs. In it, Steve Longoria, Soitec talks about a path to 3D transistors using fully-depleted SOI wafers (FD-2D). Once the industry is ready to implement 3DICs at 14nm, he says FD-3D comes into play. She also spoke to Mark Thirsk, at Linx Consulting, who talked about the important role 3D TSVs will play in both DRAM and 3D NAND.  Also worth a full read.  (There’s also a great roadmap from SOITEC.)

General SEMI Coverage
If you recall, due to a flight delay, I missed the SEMI Press Conference and SEMI/Gartner Market Update.  Luckily, David Lammers, SemiMD, was onsite and added his eloquent turn-of-phrase to  coverage of both events in his post,  A July Chill, Again.  SST’s Michael Fury also wrote a comprehensive review of the day’s events here. 

I also somehow missed Ivo Boslon’s  keynote (don’t know how that slipped by me!) but see that EE Times captured the essence of the talk in his post, Xilinx CTO: Focus on What Matters to CustomersIn it, he points out how novel it is for a fabless company like Xilinx to “actively engage with the semiconductor supply chain to learn about new technologies and implementations.” This is precisely how Xilinx made the decision to get into the 3D IC business, and did so ahead of the curve. Another nod to the fabless companies for helping the 3D cause!

All in all, some good stuff out there. Enjoy!