US Semiconductor Decadal Plan – Key Business Trends and Drivers

The Semiconductor Research Corporation has released their decadal plan for the US Semiconductor industry, calling for $3.4 bn additional funding per year. Executive members from various industry leading companies, such as AMD, Intel, NXP, Qualcomm, TI, IBM and many more form the “Decadal Plan Executive Committee”. Read the full Report here.

The U.S. semiconductor industry leads the world in innovation, based in large part on aggressive research and development (R&D) spending. The industry invests nearly one-fi fth of its annual revenue in R&D each year, second only to the pharmaceuticals sector. In addition, Federal funding of semiconductor R&D serves as the catalyst for private R&D spending. Together, private and Federal semiconductor R&D investments have sustained the pace of innovation in the U.S., enabling it to become the global leader in the semiconductor industry.

Those R&D investments have nurtured the development of innovative and commercially viable products, and as a direct result, have led to a signifi cant contribution to the U.S. economy and jobs. The current hardware-software (HW-SW) paradigm in information and communication technologies (ICT) has made computing ubiquitous through sustained innovation in software and algorithms, systems architecture, circuits, devices, materials, and semiconductor process technologies among others. However, ICT is facing unprecedented technological challenges for maintaining its growth rate levels into the next decade. These challenges arise largely from approaching various fundamental limitations in semiconductor technology that taper the otherwise necessary generational improvements in the energy-efficiency with which information is processed, communicated, stored, sensed and actuated on.

Long term sustainable ICT growth will rely on breakthroughs in semiconductor technology capabilities that enable holistic solutions to tackle information processing effi ciency. Disruptive breakthroughs are needed in the areas of software, systems, architectures, circuits, device structure and the related processes and materials that require timely and well-coordinated multidisciplinary research eff orts.

Semiconductor Decadal Plan Research Priorities

  1. Informing and supporting the strategic visions of semiconductor companies and government agencies
  2. Guiding a (r)evolution of cooperative academic, industry and government research programs
  3. Placing ‘a stake in the ground’ to challenge the best and brightest researchers, university faculty and students

5 Trends and Drivers for the Semiconductor Future

  1. Fundamental breakthroughs in analog hardware are required to generate smarter world-machine interfaces that can sense, perceive and reason
  2. The growth of memory demands will outstrip global silicon supply presenting opportunities for radically new memory and storage solutions
  3. Always available communication requires new research directions that address the imbalance of communication capacity vs. data generation rates
  4. Breakthroughs in hardware research are needed to address emerging security challenges in highly interconnected systems and Artificial Intelligence
  5. Ever rising energy demands for computing vs. global energy production is creating new risk, and new computing paradigms offer opportunities with dramatically improved energy efficiency

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