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Semicon West preview: Looking beyond Moore’s Law to the artificial intelligence era

With the rapid rise of AI providing overwhelming possibilities for industry growth, Semicon West has been designed to help the microelectronics industry get a firm handle on how best to enable and take advantage of AI’s potential.

From the lab to the fab, and from design through system, the benefits from conversations at the event will be felt across transportation, medical, manufacturing, IoT and Big Data.

With the world’s interest racing toward how artificial intelligence can accelerate so many things, six visionary keynoters will reveal what lies ahead for semiconductors and society. 

Forecasting tomorrow’s trends and their impacts, the keynoters plan to illustrate the semiconductor’s path to enabling a global state of “Beyond Smart”.

Complementing the keynotes, nearly 120 experts from multiple disciplines will analyze pivotal aspects of trends that are driving the emerging markets for microelectronics.

This year’s Semicon West will be held at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, July 10-12.

David Anderson, president of Semi Americas, says: “Semicon West is the timeless home where the world’s next innovations are previewed and accelerated.

“With the dawn of the AI era ramping up globally, we’ve assembled the richest lineup of talent and resources in Semi history.”

Through both artificial and organic cognition, the ways that intelligence is being cultivated will be profiled and mapped by world-renowned keynoters:

  • Dr John E. Kelly, III, senior vice president, IBM Cognitive Solutions and IBM Research
  • Gary Dickerson, chief executive officer, Applied Materials
  • Amir Husain, chief executive officer, SparkCognition, and author of The Sentient Machine: the Coming Age of Artificial Intelligence
  • Dr Melissa Schilling, professor, New York University Stern School of Business and author of Quirky: The Remarkable Genius of Breakthrough Innovators Who Changed the World
  • Mark Papermaster, chief technology officer, Advanced Micro Devices
  • Dr Wolfgang Juchmann, vice president, AutonomouStuff

Dr John Kelly of IBM has shared in interviews that he was an “early-on” believer in Moore’s Law, where he built much of his career. Now, he sees the industry embarking on the early part of an “AI’s Law”.

He is focused on IBM’s investments in several new and future areas of the fastest-growing and most strategic parts of the information technology market. He also oversees the specialization of IBM Watson into various industries and domains.

Gary Dickerson of Applied Materials is as well-versed as anyone about the history, and future, of the chip business. In addition to Applied, he also has led semiconductor equipment companies Varian Equipment and KLA-Tencor in their top executive positions for 25 years.

His insights to be presented at Semicon West will include first-hand knowledge of how the markets are changing and where will be the opportunities for the toolmaking and chipmaking businesses.

Amir Husain of SparkCognition argues – from his background as an inventor and computer scientist – that with AI, the chip industry is on the cusp of writing its next, and greatest, creations.

Also author of The Sentient Machine, he’ll examine for the audience what complex computer science and AI concepts will mean for a wide variety of chip technologies, including the resulting cultural benefits and challenges.

Husain is an advocate for embracing AI in order to advance the state of the art in many critical fields, including security, resource management, finance and energy.

Dr Melissa Schilling of NYU’s Stern School of Business will speak about “creative genius” as partial reflection of her research focus on innovation and strategy in high-tech industries such as smartphones, gaming, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, electric vehicles and renewable energies.

She’s well-studied in platform dynamics, networks, creativity and breakthrough innovation.

As author of several innovation strategy textbooks and the recently released book Quirky, she suggests that regardless of whether an innovator is a one-hit wonder or a serial disruptor, a common thread among those introverts and extroverts alike is their cultivation of talents for the benefit of society.

Mark Papermaster of AMD is a veteran of silicon engineering at Apple, Cisco and IBM.

He’s responsible for corporate technical direction, product development including system-on-chip methodology, microprocessor design, I/O and memory, and advanced research.

He also oversees Information Technology to deliver AMD’s compute infrastructure and services.

From his leadership roles managing the development of products – from microprocessors to mobile devices and high-performance servers – Papermaster will offer his insights and forecasts around the inflection points for semiconductor applications and AI.

Dr Wolfgang Juchmann of AutonomouStuff is expert in future automotive options and with the technologies that enable perception sensors, LiDAR and autonomous vehicles.

He will include discussion of how and where advanced autonomous driving tasks will rely on new capabilities for radar, vision and ultra-sonic sensors, real-time 3D data fusion middleware, fully by-wire controllable autonomous development vehicles and modular software algorithms.