Hail the heavyweights: Global tech giants gather to explore future trends at 2022 FUTEX

Sandy Du, DIGITIMES Asia, Taipei 0

Credit: TCA

With the COVID-19 pandemic debilitating global production for over two years, the global chip shortage has become an unprecedented crisis, making the semiconductor industry one of the most closely monitored sectors internationally. As a major site for semiconductor manufacture globally, Taiwan has shown outstanding results spanning the areas of IC design, packaging and wafer fabrication. Coming up second globally in IC design output value and first in market share for both wafer fabrication as well as packaging and testing, the country is a formidable force driving advances in the semiconductor industry.

Despite limitations in material properties and increasing difficulties in realizing Moore's Law, TSMC, the indisputable leader in wafer fabrication, has been utilizing a wide range of innovative technologies to overcome hurdles in advanced processing with stunning results each and every occasion. At the 2022 North America Technology Symposium that has just taken place, TSMC also announced its latest innovative results in advanced logic technology, special technology and three-dimensional integrated circuit (3D IC) technology, and unveiled its next-gen advanced N2 process technology using nanosheet transistors as well as its exclusive FinFlex methodology supporting N3 and N3E processes.

As sectors such as next-gen communication, electric cars and consumer electronics continue to flourish and environmental issues become increasingly of focus across the globe, the need for semiconductors with high frequency, high-speed computing and fast charging with be growing each year. As such, R&D in forward-looking, innovative technologies, new materials and new processes will become indispensable for companies seeking to establish solid positions in the global supply chain.

All eyes on the semiconductor forum for roadmaps into the next decade

Numerous global trends forums and topic discussions will be held at 2022 Future Tech with content encompassing three major aspects: semiconductors, net-zero transition and sports technology. Leading figures from industry, government, academia and research institutes home and abroad have been invited to partake in the discussions. With Taiwan's semiconductor industry playing a crucial role in the global market, all eyes are now on the global trends forum to take place on opening day, October 13. Taking the lead in the forum entitled "Ahead of the Trend: The Global Market for Semiconductors in the Next Decade," Michael Campbell, senior vice president of engineering for Qualcomm, will be speaking on "Heterogeneous integration shaping the next pinnacle of semiconductors," while Alon Webman, co-founder & CEO at Chain Reaction, will be speaking on "Engineering Semiconductors for the Future of Privacy," and Jack Kang, senior vice president of business development, customer experience (CX), corporate marketing at SiFive will be delivering a keynote titled "The revolution: RISC-V for CPU applications."

Just as governments around the world are taking strong initiatives to foster their own semiconductor industries, Taiwan has also formulated the Angstrom Semiconductor Initiative that aims to bolster the country's key competitiveness in the semiconductor industry for the next decade from the aspects of materials, processes and inspection so Taiwan remains a leading contender in the global market.

2022 FUTEX goes live both as exhibitions and online

Focusing exclusively on technology trends of the next three to 10 years, Future Tech (FUTEX) always attracts a large attendance and is hailed as one of the great tech events that warrant annual visits. This year, the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) has joined forces with Academia Sinica, the Ministry of Education, and the Ministry of Health and Welfare in organizing 2022 FUTEX, which will be taking place both as physical exhibitions and virtually. Exhibitions will be open from October 13 to 15, 2022 at Taipei World Trade Center Exhibition Hall 1 (TWTC Hall 1), while virtual show dates will be from October 11 to 20.

The focal point of this year's FUTEX will be "Global Tech and Industry Ties with Taiwan," highlighting in particular the four major technological fields of AIoT & Smart Applications, Sustainable Energy & Evolutionary Materials, Electronics & Optoelectronics and Precision Health. Key achievements from four major projects will be shown, and two major experience zones showcasing R&D in precision health and sports technology will be open to the public, coming up to a total of over 200 advanced technologies on exhibition. A total of 17 companies including Qualcomm, Merck and CES 2022 Innovation Awards winning teams will be present in the International Area, while top US accelerator Muckerlab will be leading six startups in showcasing their innovative applications and technologies.

TIE Award facilitates the semiconductor industry's enlisting of global startups

To converge and augment Taiwan's international prowess in technological R&D, special strategies have been deployed at this year's FUTEX including "Inbound: Attracting overseas talents to come to Taiwan" and "Outbound: Sending Taiwan's high-quality teams abroad" as well as the lucrative Tech Innovation Excellence Award (TIE Award) and Future Tech Award. In particular, the TIE Award Unveil and match-making session will be held on the forenoon of October 13 (Thursday) where TIE Award winning teams will be presenting their achievements onstage, thus accelerating the convergence of global indicator R&D technologies in Taiwan and creating massive opportunities for industry alliances and commercialization.

The TIE Award, hosted for the first time this year, is the perfect opportunity for Taiwan's semiconductor industry to call for technology and application entries from startups, companies and research and academic institutes around the world in fields where semiconductors are researched and applied, including AI and AIoT, sensors, energy-efficiency, communications and satellite, smart manufacturing, self-driving cars, and new energy. This year's event attracted 119 technological entries from 25 countries, while a panel of judges was put together by the organizers with assistance from leading industry units such as the Taiwan Semiconductor Industry Association, SEMI, and Taiwan Semiconductor Research Institute. Scoring based on application innovation, value creation and local connection was carried out by judges representing Taiwan semiconductor leader TSMC, Realtek, members of industry and academia, and international venture capital, and 11 award-winning teams were ultimately selected to showcase their achievements at this year's FUTEX.

In terms of the Future Tech Award, apart from calling for entries from local R&D teams with breakthrough and innovative technology, teams with potential for developing internationally will also be selected and given assistance to shine on the global stage. The aim of this award is to drive developments in forward-looking technology for the next three to 10 years and recruit outstanding researchers and developers with disruptive innovation for powering industry-academia collaborations and international business opportunities.

For more information on forward-looking innovative technologies driving future tech, please visit the FUTEX official website. If you would like an in-depth introduction to participating teams and companies on any given show date, please make a reservation for Group Guided Tour services, and the organizers will ensure you receive a detailed tour of the technologies on show.

2022 FUTEX going live from 10/13 to 10/15 at TWTC Hall 1, virtual shows starting 10/11.

2022 FUTEX going live from October 13 to 15 at TWTC Hall 1, virtual shows starting October 11.
Photo: TCA