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“Each day we wake up to a world more brilliant than the one we said goodnight to.”
—TSMC Technology Symposium opening video
Achieving this brilliance calls for continued—and fast-paced—innovation. “What strikes me is how quickly we obsolete ourselves,” said Rick Cassidy, president of TSMC North America, during his Tuesday, March 15, welcome remarks at this year’s TSMC Technology Symposium. “The speed of innovation has picked up and it has picked up exponentially. The faster you get your product out the door, the better chance you have of success.”
Accelerating innovation is what TSMC is all about, Cassidy told attendees at the San Jose Convention Center. That, he said, and collaborating closely with customers and partners. While Cassidy acknowledged the challenges the industry faced in 2015, he also noted that “maybe because of those challenges, despite those challenges, we came together and I think we came together closer than ever.”
Symposium audience members accounted for 69% of TSMC’s 2015 revenue, supporting 5,139 different products and 5.3M 12-inch-equivalent wafers in North America, according to Cassidy. “Given the increasing complexity of IC design, we really have to invest in the overall design ecosystem to make sure the environment is right, to make sure it is optimized when you need it,” he said. “You’ve driven us to ramp each node faster than the last one.” (Photo of Cassidy on the left is courtesy of TSMC.)
Dr. Mark Liu, president and co-CEO of TSMC, continued the thread around innovation acceleration. “Every year, your innovation propels our fastest innovations,” he told symposium attendees.
Looking back at recent technology advances, Liu highlighted that:
“These technology advances have redefined the user experience and changed the way people live,” Liu said. (Photo of Liu on the right courtesy of TSMC.)
He also pointed out how today’s trendy applications may soon become integrated into more of our daily lives. Take autonomous cars. By 2020, according to Liu, all new vehicles will have connectivity. Eventually, mobility will be provided as a service, such as via managed car fleets that serve our cities, he noted. Virtual reality and augmented reality, traditionally the domain of the gaming and entertainment industries, are starting to touch industries ranging from retail to tourism. In the future, Liu said, virtual and augmented reality will be integrated into our everyday lives to “enrich our interaction between each other, improve our productivity, and unleash our creativity.” Wearables are another area poised to expand. Advances in high-performance computing and data analytics are expected to bring greater intelligence to the mountains of data collected—one day, we may be able to predict our genetic susceptibility to diseases, he said.
To illustrate the powerful solutions that result from collaboration, Liu brought to the stage Tyson Tuttle, president and CEO of Silicon Labs, and Moshe Gavrielov, president and CEO of Xilinx. Tuttle addressed opportunities in the Internet of Things (IoT) sector, referring to the single solution integrating functionality, connectivity, and low energy consumption as the IoT SoC. The ability of the industry to create connected products that improve lives will, Tuttle said, rejuvenate what we all do.
Gavrielov highlighted that while programmable logic is at the core of Xilinx’s business, the company has transitioned to being an all-programmable company, enabling software intelligence and hardware optimization integrated into its products. “It’s not your grandfather’s FPGA, it’s an all programmable device,” he said. “Our customers are moving from being hardware designers to being software designers.”
Liu wrapped up the day’s opening talks with updates on TSMC’s advanced technologies. Some highlights:
“Without your innovation, we cannot be where we are today,” said Liu. “We are compelled to work with you to propel innovation forward.”