Industry Directions Highlighted at Taiwan CEO Forum
TSMC Perspective on EUV, Transistor Design, 450mm
Leaders from Mentor Graphics, Imec, TSMC and Applied Materials provided shared perspectives on the current state of the semiconductor industry and provided insights into technology and business trends at the SEMICON Taiwan CEO Forum, held on September 7, 2011. Later that evening, 500 industry leaders from around the world gathered to honor Dr. Morris Chang, chairman and CEO of TSMC, for receiving the Akira Inoue Award for outstanding achievement in environment, health and safety (see article on right).
Achieving Sustainable Differentiation
Dr. Walden C. Rhines, CEO and chairman of Mentor Graphics, began the CEO Forum presenting data and examples that underscore the importance of differentiation in sustaining long-term competitive advantage. In his presentation, “Creating Measurable Value through Differentiation,” Rhines argued that gross profit margin is the best measure of product differentiation and that it was increasingly derived from infrastructure and ecosystem investments. Using Apple, TI calculators, x86 platforms, and Smart Phones as examples, Rhines illustrated how managing infrastructure and ecosystem advantages helped dissuade customers from moving to competitor products.
In semiconductors, infrastructure and ecosystem increasingly is synonymous with advanced software design. Showcasing the GPM from various segments of the industry, as well as insights into Apple’s current chip strategy, Rhines showed how software content was directly correlated with gross profit margin (Figure 1). Foundry differentiation is directly related to investment into infrastructure and ecosystem, including capital investments and proprietary IP libraries.
Figure 1- Semiconductor Gross Margin, 2009-2010 weighted average
(Figure 1: Rhines, SEMICON Taiwan 2011)
Imec president and CEO, Luc Van den hove, focused his presentation on emerging technologies, markets, applications and next generation semiconductors. “Technology is becoming another sense,” said Van den hove. “Multi-function smart phones are feature multiple senses…see, hear, touch, and in the future, smell.” Future phones will be “context aware,” requiring more sensors, more processor power, more data mining, and more memory.
Van den hove discussed many of the emerging technologies that may enable next-generation markets such as plastic electronics, holographic displays, and body area networks. Semiconductors technology is moving toward high-mobility materials, including III V materials and graphene. New structures will include FinFETS, ultra-thin body SOI, and possibly tunnel FETS.
Van den hove also discussed the recent announcement the consortium and their 3D integration partners have applied 3D integration of a commercial DRAM chip on top of a logic IC for next-generation low-power mobile applications.
Van den hove concluded by saying that today EUV lithography remains the industry’s most critical issue: “During the next two years we must demonstrate production worthiness of EUV.”
Dr. S.Y. Chiang, R&D senior VP from TSMC, discussed the foundry giant’s key challenges and opportunities in the immediate years, and expressed confidence in CMOS scaling’s ability to reach 7-8 nm based on current technology. In lithography, he is confident that Moore’s will not be compromised by current uncertainties in EUV, stating “The projected end of optical lithography has been predicted ten times since .5 micron technology all the way to 14nm.”
TSMC will push immersion technology to 20nm and will utilize EUV plus e-beam to 14 nm. Chiang acknowledged that current EUV throughput of 5 wafers her hour must reach 100 wph in the coming years to reach throughput requirements.
In transistor migration, after HKMG, TSMC will move to a multi-gate FinFET structure down to 7 nm, said Chiang. FinFET structures may migrate to nanowire transistors or P-channel FinFETS on SiGe. TSMC is also looking at graphene structures as a future alternative.
In interconnect, Chiang gave an overview of the past achievements in Al and Cu and the current engineered Low K structures. The future paradigm shift will occur as interconnects migrate from IC scaling to system scaling.
On 450mm wafers, Chiang said, unless next generation technology can achieve 100 wafers per hour, then 450 is essential to deliver the cost goals important for customer migration. “450 can save manpower resources and land,” said Chiang, specifically citing a 450mm wafer fab’s ability to reduce the need for seven fabs and 7,000 people.
SEMI Global Update
Dr. Morris Chang Recognized for EHS Leadership
During the Leadership Gala dinner at SEMICON Taiwan, SEMI awarded Dr. Morris Chang, chairman and CEO of TSMC, the Akira Inoue Award for outstanding achievement in environment, health and safety (EHS) in the semiconductor industry.
L-R: Tetsuro Higashi (Chairman, Tokyo Electron); Vincent C. Siew (VP, Republic of China); Morris Chang (chairman and CEO, TSMC); Stanley Myers (president and CEO, SEMI)
“We are pleased to present the Akira Inoue Award to Dr. Morris Chang for his environmental vision and actions," said Stanley T. Myers, president and CEO of SEMI. “EHS is an increasingly critical consideration in semiconductor manufacturing and we are proud to promote excellence by recognizing those that demonstrate influential leadership and industry achievement.”
"I believe that a corporation's social responsibility is to be a positive force in society, and EHS is an important part of this responsibility," said TSMC Chairman and CEO Dr. Morris Chang. "TSMC proudly carries out its duty to protect the environment, cherish natural resources, and care for the health and safety of employees and other partners. We are happy that our efforts have won the recognition of the Akira Inoue Award. We will be steadfast in our commitment to the environment, sustainability, and the working environment of our employees and partners. TSMC hopes to serve as a benchmark for companies around the world, create value for all its stakeholders, and help society build a better future."
The Akira Inoue Award is named after the late Akira Inoue, past president of Tokyo Electron Limited and a strong advocate of the environment, health and safety. Inoue also served on the SEMI Board of Directors. The award recognizes individuals in industry and academia who have made significant contributions to this area by exercising leadership or demonstrating innovation in the development of processes, products or materials that reduce EHS impacts.
Past recipients of the Akira Inoue Award include Pasquale Pistorio, former CEO of STMicroelectronics; Craig Barrett, former CEO of Intel Corporation; Farhang Shadman, director of the Engineering and Research Center for Environmentally Benign Semiconductor Manufacturing at the University of Arizona; Saburo Kusama, president of Epson Corp.; Isao Uchigasaki, chairman of the board of Hitachi Chemical Company; Gerald Ermentrout, vice president and general manager of the Electronics Division of Air Products; Chang-Gyu Hwang, president and CEO of the Semiconductor Business of Samsung Electronics; Richard K. Templeton, president and CEO of Texas Instruments Incorporated; Atsutoshi Nishida, president and CEO of Toshiba Corporation; and Jong-Kap Kim, chairman and CEO of Hynix.