A virtual IDM concept can unite semiconductor foundries, fabless companies, and packaging houses

June 4, 2012 — The ConFab 2012, Solid State Technology’s invitation-only meeting of the semiconductor industry, opened today in Las Vegas with a keynote address from John Chen, PhD, VP of technology and foundry operations at Nvidia Corporation. Nvidia makes graphics processing units (GPUs) and other semiconductor chips and is listed on the NASDAQ under ticker NVDA.

Chen presented the “virtual IDM” concept in his talk, “The Next Transformation of the Semiconductor Industry.” Integrated device manufacturers (IDMs) take semiconductor chips from design to wafer fab to packaging and final sale. The virtual IDM is a way for semiconductor foundries, fabless companies, and outsource semiconductor assembly and test (OSAT) houses to collaborate to solve the new challenges in technology, manufacturing and business. Instead of 1 company performing chip design, fab, and packaging, the 3 companies (or many more) work in concert to both excel in their area of expertise and seamlessly coordinate with the other elements to act as one.

Chen has experience in IDM, foundry, and fabless companies, with 35 years spent in the semiconductor industry. Prior to his time at NVIDIA, Chen held senior executive positions at FlexICs Inc., TSMC, WaferTech LLC, and Cypress Corporation. He started out with Hughes Research Lab and Xerox Palo Alto Research Center, where he authored more than 100 research papers on CMOS technology, as well as a book published by Prentice Hall.  He was elected an IEEE Fellow in 1992 for “leadership in and contributions to CMOS device and process technology.”

Chen holds a B.S. in E.E. from National Taiwan University, an M.S. in E.E. from University of Maine, a Ph.D. in E.E. from UCLA, and a Master degree from the UCLA Executive Engineering Management Program. He was a Technical Advisor for ITRI, Taiwan, and serves on boards in the industry.

Video interview with Solid State Technology chief editor, Pete Singer


Learn more about The ConFab 2012 at http://www.theconfab.com/index.html.

The next keynote address will take place Tuesday morning, with Ali Sebt, CEO of Renesas Electronics America, presenting “Smart Society, the Sensing Era and Signal Chain.”

The ConFab sessions cover economic outlooks, technology trends, the foundry-fabless relationship, 3D packaging, and tool investments/obsolescence. Click on any of the keywords for a session preview.

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