July - 2013 - issue > View Point

Getting "More than Moore"

Sagar Pushpala
CEO-TSI Semiconductors
Tuesday, July 2, 2013
Sagar Pushpala
TSI Semiconductors is a specialty foundry offering flexible technology development and the manufacturing solutions for projects ranging from the smallest to very large lot sizes. Founded in 2011, the company is headquartered in Roseville.

Moore's Law – Gordon Moore's prediction that transistor count on integrated circuits would double about every two years – has held up to the 28-nm node as a result of tremendous technical advances and bold investments made by manufacturing behemoths such as Intel, Samsung, TSMC and a few others.

Momentum has slowed down over the years, though, because lack of national support to keep semiconductor manufacturing competitive in the U.S. and significant infrastructure incentives offered in other countries has driven advanced manufacturing to move offshore for the most part.

Over the past 20 years, these converging trends have resulted in the emergence of fabless semiconductor companies and dominance of wafer fab foundries. As process nodes keep migrating to cutting-edge levels, exorbitant investment size, chip and system level integration and creation of new consumer system companies developing their own components– think Apple, Google, Samsung – have led to fewer semiconductor companies emerging and getting funded by venture capitalists.

However, the presence of analog and mixed-signal technologies that enable single function devices, embedded ICs and micro electro mechanical systems (MEMS) has led to a plethora of applications and new markets – like those for the iPhone or Galaxy –that did not exist six years ago. Many chips designed for these products were being produced on larger geometries, and where close interaction of design and process technology was imperative.
Widespread and seemingly chaotic trends are now emerging, where enhanced applications utilizing sensors, accelerometers, gyros, biochips, magnetics and photonics are coming into play. Many integration and manufacturing techniques – System-in-Package (SiP), split manufacturing and variations thereof – are being used. In addition to advanced ICs proliferating products such as tablets, smartphones, medical devices, the "More than Moore" technologies are being exploited as the analog-mixed signal market is re-inventing its future.

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