SEMI Awards honor process and technology integration achievements

SEMI announced the recipients of the 2017 SEMI Awards for the Americas today. The awards honor: a team from Micron Technology (Micron) for the development of the hybrid memory cube and their leadership in co-founding the Hybrid Memory Cube Consortium, and Bryan Black from Advanced Micro Devices for integration of the “Fiji” 3D-IC graphics processor product. The awards were presented at SEMICON West 2017 today.

SEMI Awards recognize technology developments that have had a major impact on our industry and the world.  The 2017 award recipients share the distinction of having pioneered processes and integration breakthroughs that enabled the first high-volume production of 3D memory and the integration of 3D memory into the first high-volume production of 3D Systems-in-Package (SiP) products.

Use of the third dimension in 3D memory devices provides density and performance that are beyond the range of traditional 2D scaling.  Although efforts to use the third dimension have been ongoing for decades, the use of through-silicon-vias (TSVs) was critical to creating the technology foundation on which current devices are based. The work of Warren Farnworth and Salman Akram at Micron was essential to enabling the development of the “hybrid memory cube.” By 2011, Micron had developed the technology to the point where its technical potential was clear, but Scott Graham recognized that it would be a “niche product” ─ unless a community of device manufacturers, developers, and adopters followed a common interface specification. Micron made a bold move, teaming up with a major competitor (Samsung), to co-found the Hybrid Memory Cube Consortium. The Consortium now has 100+ members working to innovate and expand the capabilities of the next generation of memory-based solutions. For developing the Hybrid Memory Cube technology and their leadership in the establishment of the Hybrid Memory Cube Consortium, SEMI is proud to present Warren Farnworth, Salman Akram, and Scott Graham of Micron with the 2017 SEMI Award. Tom Eby, VP of Micron’s Compute and Networking Business Unit, accepted the award for Micron.

Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) also recognized the importance of collaboration in 3D SiP devices. A decade ago, AMD realized that advanced graphics processing would require major innovation in multi-die integration and increases in processor-memory bandwidth. To meet this challenge, AMD began a 10-year development process with its memory partner, SK-Hynix, and the system integrator, ASE. Their process drove advances in multi-die memory stacking and software standards as well as addressing the crucial challenges of thermal management and “intelligent reliability” for components operating at the edge of their design envelope. In 2015, AMD introduced the “Fiji” graphics processor which was made possible by an aggressive prototyping sequence that produced over 15 distinct product designs and involved over 20 contributing companies. More importantly, the AMD-led project produced a number of industry firsts:  the use of die-stacked memory in a graphics processor, the use of a high-volume interposer package in a graphics product, the integration of 22 discrete die into a package shipping millions of parts, and collaboration across the supply chain. These innovations would not be possible without the leadership of AMD. SEMI is honored to present Bryan Black, a senior AMD Fellow at AMD Austin, with the 2017 SEMI Award for the integration of the “Fiji” 3D-IC graphics processor.

“Every year SEMI honors key technological contributions and industry leadership through the SEMI Award. This year’s recipients were each instrumental in delivering technologies that will influence product design and system architecture for many years to come. Congratulations to both Bryan from AMD and the Micron team for their significant accomplishments,” said David Anderson, president, SEMI Americas.

“Both of the 2017 Awards recognize the enabling of high-volume manufacturing through collaboration with key vendors in the supply chain at AMD and by establishing a collaboration with competitors as well as the supply chain at Micron. These breakthroughs through collaboration set an example for acceleration of innovation in the future,” said Bill Bottoms, chairman of the SEMI Awards Advisory Committee.

The SEMI Award was established in 1979 to recognize outstanding technical achievement and meritorious contribution in the areas of Semiconductor Materials, Wafer Fabrication, Assembly and Packaging, Process Control, Test and Inspection, Robotics and Automation, Quality Enhancement, and Process Integration.

The award is the highest honor conferred by SEMI Americas. It is open to individuals or teams from industry or academia whose specific accomplishments have broad commercial impact and widespread technical significance for the entire semiconductor industry. Nominations are accepted from individuals of North American-based member companies of SEMI. For a list of past award recipients, visit


Easily post a comment below using your Linkedin, Twitter, Google or Facebook account. Comments won't automatically be posted to your social media accounts unless you select to share.