If you, like me, have been wondering about when and where it was you last saw an International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors update, wonder no more.

You didn’t miss the update; rather, it just never really came. (See FvT’s piece on Bill Bottoms and “Revamping the ITRS Roadmap” from March 12, 2015 for more.)

From the ITRS itself we are told how “In 2012 it became evident that the ecosystem of the electronic industry had undergone a major change with the proliferation of the Internet, the worldwide spread usage of wireless mobile devices like smart phones and tablets and, most of all, the Internet had evolved from the IoT to the Internet of Everything. … To fully address these changes the process of restructuring the ITRS was initiated in 2012 and completed in 2014. The 17 International Technology Working Groups (ITWGs) were replaced in 2015 by 7 Focus Teams in the new ITRS 2.0.”

DaishouThese “Magnificent Seven” Focus Teams (or maybe they are “七人の侍”-  “Shichinin no Samurai” if you prefer the Kurosawa original over its derivatives) were listed as: “System Integration, Heterogeneous Integration, Heterogeneous Components, Outside System Connectivity, More Moore, Beyond CMOS and Factory Integration.”

It may be, as George Orwell (almost) wrote, that all roadmaps are equal, but some roadmaps are more equal than others; I prefer thinking along Tolkein’s line:

One roadmap to rule them all, one roadmap to find them, One roadmap to bring them all and in the darkness bind them.

In my way of thinking it is the new Heterogeneous Integration Roadmap that now rules, binding the others to it, and it is to this new Heterogeneous Integration Roadmap effort, sponsored by IEEE Components, Packaging and Manufacturing Technology Society (CPMT), SEMI, and the IEEE Electron Devices Society (EDS), that we should be looking to lead us forward as we emerge from the period in semiconductor device fabrication where we were driven, for decades, by one thing only: Moore’s Law Scaling.

SEMICON West TaglineAnd so there we were on Monday 11 July 2016, the day before SEMICON West 2016, meeting at the San Francisco Marriott Marquis under the very able leadership of the initial HIR International Roadmap Committee, who are Bill Chen, Chair (IEEE CPMT Society and ASE Group Fellow); Bill Bottoms (IEEE CPMT Society and Chairman and CEO 3MTS); Tom Salmon (SEMI Vice President, Global Member Services & Standards) and, there in spirit if not in person, Subramanian Iyer (IEEE EDS and Distinguished Chancellor’s Professor, UCLA).

3D InCites / 3D+ will be reporting on HIR in the weeks and months ahead; so far the HIR executive team has been doing a great job getting the good word out about its initial efforts, including at these events and locations (partial list): ConFab Las Vegas, NV USA 06/14; Palo Alto Workshop before SEMICON WEST, 07/10; SEMICON WEST San Francisco, CA USA 07/11; ESTC Grenoble, France  09/13-16; Electronics Packaging Symposium Binghamton, NY USA 10/5-8; ICSJ Kyoto, Japan 11/7-9; and IEDM San Francisco 12/3-7.

I met with Tom Salmon, SEMI, on Thursday 21 July 2016 to learn how the response to the HIR effort has been so far from the semiconductor base; according to Tom, “The reception has been great.”

From Tom’s perspective, “There’s tons of different roadmaps, but that’s always been the case. For Heterogeneous Integration, it’s important that we have a coordinated effort moving forward, one with strong institutional sponsorship, solid governance, and good quality control.”

Input from the face-to-face meetings held to date by the Committee members with the world-at-large is that the world-at-large sees and recognizes the same macrotrends that formed the impetus for establishing the new HIR: namely, that value now in the microelectronics industry is obtained through the successful integration of components themselves, of various kinds, and that performance optimization at the integrated system level becomes the key differentiator.

One other measure of how the new HIR is being received: “Calls,” says Tom, “are coming in from all walks of the industry, asking about ways to participate.”

Readers of this blog with us from the beginning will remember me writing then that “Some technologies take forever to cross the chasm into successful commercialization. Or they never do, and end up together with Wile E. Coyote at the bottom of the canyon. … My take today is that heterogeneous integration is showing signs of a successful chasm leap. Heterogeneous integration is going to be the Roadrunner.”

Two years on, and we are off to the races … Heterogeneous Integration is firmly on the map, we are moving with alacrity and, as Bill Chen says about the scope of vision now being brought to bear on the HIR, “We will not be constrained by the progress level of our technology.”

From Santa Clara, CA, thanks for reading. ~PFW

Yerba Buena Gardensp.s. And from the breaking news department, “The Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) announced the release of the 2015 International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors (ITRS) … The current report marks the final installment of the ITRS.”

Paul Werbaneth

Paul Werbaneth is a long-time Contributing Editor at 3D InCites. Since entering the semiconductor industry…

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