The “Magic” Behind the IoT

The “Magic” Behind the IoT

By Kai Fai Ng, president, Southeast Asia, SEMI

Recently, I read with great interest an article on the projections for the Internet of Things (IoT). According to leading analysts and industry leaders, there are roughly 10 billion units connected to the web today and that number will increase fivefold by 2020. Fivefold!  In addition, according to Gartner Research, the IoT market value is expected to generate 300 billion (USD) in 2020 and 1.9 trillion in global economic value-add through sales into diverse end markets. The numbers are mind boggling, but what does this mean to our industry?

If I may quote Rick Wallace, president and CEO of KLA-Tencor during his keynote address at this year’s SEMI Industry Strategy Symposium event, the microelectronics industry performs the “magic behind the gadget.” The reference speaks to how SEMI members enable IoT’s future through new paradigms in advanced manufacturing processes and microelectronics design, test, and packaging such as 3D-IC and TSV.  As IoT user requirements push technological boundaries, the microelectronics industry should consider how each successive advance increases the complexity of our world in terms of:

  • Device Architectures/ Materials:  FDSOI, FinFETs, new memory, nanowires, and III-V materials
  • Lithography/EUV:  Cost, Multi-pattern immersion, EUV source power, and tool availability
  • Packaging:  3D Packaging/TSV, high performance I/O and optics, heterogeneous integration, lower power, and thermal issues

What does this translation looks like to our industry where we essentially enable and play a major role in the ubiquitous adoption of IoT (if the prediction is right)? Imagine simply getting out of bed in the morning can trigger your music to begin playing and your coffee maker to brew coffee. Checking real-time newsfeed in the shower mirror. Closing the door on your way to work can arm your security system and make sure all the lights and TV’s are off in the house. Hopping into your car without actually “driving” to work.  And returning home at night can turn on the lights, unlock the door and turn to your favorite TV channel right as you walk in the door.

Those 10 billion devices I mentioned earlier are built upon the magic of our industry.  Those innovations start here, with us.  I invite you to visit this year’s SEMICON Singapore show and discover how advanced semiconductor processes, design, test and packaging as well as system integration will enable the IoT to transform our lives now and in the near future.  I recommend these sessions that focus on IoT and Mobility:

I look forward to seeing you at SEMICON Singapore 2014, Marina Bay Sands, 23 to 25 April.

March 6, 2014