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CIC: technical assistance to shorten the gap between academia

By Chen Weizhe
Published: Dec 09,2013

Language of the world's most complete vertical integration of semiconductor resources where National Chip Implementation Center National Institutes of experiments (CIC) through the power of the state to combine domestic industry resources, such as academic research projects when the package needs to be done, you can seek SPIL, ASE support; do IC manufacturing, TSMC, UMC is the first choice, and these are the world's sit tight in the first and second leading manufacturers.

In other words, to achieve the necessary resources to innovative chip design, can be found in the semiconductor industry in Taiwan, which is the center of the wafer can play NARL niche lies! The following is the national director of the National Institute of Experimental Mr. Chip Implementation Center 阙志 up (hereinafter referred to as Que) and CTIMES chief editor Mariana Au Ambrose (hereinafter referred to as the EU) brilliant dialogue finishing:

Europe:As a national research center, but a lot of people, not many of you know, could you please talk about the positioning National Laboratory Research center of the wafer and the results?

Que:CIC is a history of twenty years old unit, but has been in "production, learning and research." Pushing hands bound behind the scenes role, when the teachers and students want to study electrical engineering achievements of the electron to "do" comes out the first thought is to us. In simple terms, the wafer center is hoped to provide hardware and software technology integration services to support Taiwan's academic prospective study. Remember when the chips just to set up the center in 1991, is to serve the research community for the purpose of learning.

Figure I
Figure I

In addition to providing a simple scholars IC design software beyond, CIC also chairman of the contact window between the teacher and the fab, fab will be commissioned to assist teachers and students concerted efforts to design IC manufacturing. Even later incorporated into the National Academy of CIC experimental system, CIC still uphold the original intention was established with the purpose of expanding its scope of services under this basis.

Our first task is to continue when the latest technology and techniques for the marches, even if the user's IC design, research has not yet using the latest process technology and design software, but we are ready to prepare the user's desired, so that all use able to maintain competitiveness in the international academic, research and development and continue to move forward toward. This made ​​the whole, we have provided more than 100 sets of IC design software, also has more than 12 different wafer process technology.

Europe:However, the commercial demand for advanced research in academia and industry there is often a gap, scholars how to use state resources to bridge the gap between it and the industry?

Que:In order to shorten the technology gap between academia and industry, education and training for us is one of the very important services, CIC fixed annual summer vacation in education and training will be conducted for 8 to 9 thousand passengers, in addition for each proprietary IC design software and a different allocation process technology dedicated engineers, but also for the students to make the most appropriate tailored handout materials.

Through a series of sound chips training centers, schools, teachers are able to teach students exempted from responsibility to explain the design of the software and process technology teaching, able to focus more peace of mind to focus on IC design creative thinking top research areas. We integrated EDA software, process offline, education and training, as well as the latest value creation platform these four services in the hope that the school can further shorten the gap between academia.

Europe:Venture threshold relative software electronics field, Internet business is much higher, do you think that how to encourage young people to be creative in this field and to realize their business vision?

Que:In fact, after a few years under the media, academia NARL and diverse pipeline continues to push the concept of innovation and entrepreneurship has been deeply rooted in the minds of students. While denying that the actual number of students who are willing to venture into real action slogan is short, I do not think the students in their first job after graduation, you must choose to join the business, after all, not everyone is suitable venture into this way, the focus is to allow more of our students who maintain entrepreneurial spirit is the most valuable.

I think as long as have the entrepreneurial spirit, even if the body is under an authoritarian regime or a large company, it can burst out of the eyes of one of the brightest new ideas and innovative research and development, further development to come up with more possibilities, and not just obedience to play only know how to say "Yes Sir" no problem sir roles.

As far as I know, most of the schools to teach in addition to considerable emphasis on the details, but also for the vast majority of students can receive tuition course content and opinions questioned, after school professors and understanding can not be completely encompasses all technologies and techniques interact with each other through discussion and research, and help to achieve the effectiveness of teaching and learning.

Over the years, I have come across quite a number of students, many of which can even guide us to reach students not previously been exposed areas of science and technology emerging technologies. I am worried that if there is no class courage to dare to challenge the content of the course the students of what to do it! I am willing to believe and to encourage students to challenge the authoritarian regime, it is more able to create a new field of study and direction.

Europe:Current technology of intense competition in the semiconductor industry, the center of the wafer branched out how to help schools to the most advanced process technology?

Que:Frankly speaking, the higher the cost for an industrial technology research and development of the bets, or stifle creativity often suffer from depression. After all, are not just relying on the idea can be put into practice immediately, you must also consider the overall cost of funding and time may need to consume. On the current status of the electronics industry point of view, you want to implement creative ideas from initial research and design stage to the finished product for display, the required investment of time and money can be said to be increasing.

Plus, the current IC design houses to advanced process generally face the problem of high threshold, making it increasingly difficult piece cast off the assembly line, the ability to use the most high-end manufacturing technology the company has developed its own products, not much. In addition to this industry, schools and teachers wafer center services have the same situation occurs, forward-looking process the resources we can provide is limited, do not want to be too much for the proportion of over-concentration of resources in this piece, we can only make likely to make resource balancing configuration, so the vast majority of users are able to benefit from the resources and services provided by CIC.

As the saying goes: "We must first sharpen his tools", the academic course, you want to use a better process technology in order to improve competitiveness in the international study, but the high cost threshold but people look door sigh. However, living in Taiwan, Gakken sector still often through industry-university cooperation, joint development of a number of forward-looking cooperation; hand, mature processes are still plenty of space for applications, such as special technical analog, mixed-signal development, this perspective, we do not rush to grab high-end process of limited resources.

Europe:According to some studies report that has always been regarded as sacrosanct semiconductor industry Moore (Moore's Law) seems to be coming to an end, your opinion?

Que:In more than a year ago, it was generally felt to Moore's Law has been in a dead end, but a while ago I was invited to participate in the exchange industry conference organized by the Taiwan Semiconductor Industry Association, several industry heavyweights view is that, in FinFET process after the introduction of new technology, it seems, came down from 14nm/16nm 10nm, and even 5nm stage of the process, does not seem impossible.

Past semiconductor industry has encountered a bottleneck can not go on, the most obvious is the development of 130nm copper process, that is the case, but later successfully overcome technical bottlenecks, has been developed to today's 28nm, 20nm, and even 16nm, 14nm process technology. Therefore, today looks technical difficulties, a huge demand in the market development of energy invested, so that the end is very likely again vista.

At least for now it seems, in front of the House for some time, and did not see completely insurmountable technical obstacles.

Figure II
Figure II

About Quezhi up

  • The current director of the wafer center NARL Professor Department of Electrical Engineering, National Taiwan University (main research areas: communication baseband integrated circuit design, high-speed integrated circuit design).

  • Zeng Ren Guoli Taiwan University, Institute of Electronic Engineering Institute (2004-2006), the National Science Council of the Agency NSoC project convener (2007-2009), the Ministry of Education SoC design talent nurturing prospective pilot-project total Alliance convener (2006 -2008), ITRI system Center advisor (2008-2010), the National Science Council chip design Center co-host (1993-1995).

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