Florida Semiconductor Week, Jan. 23–25 in Gainesville, brought together nearly 300 luminaries in the world of semiconductor manufacturing and research to discuss the state-of-the-art in advanced packaging, advanced semiconductor design, and fabrication. Though many of the presentations did get quite technical, there was another straightforward thread that made its way through many of the talks—workforce development.
The conference dovetailed with the a newly-created public/private consortium spearheaded by the ECE Department, the Southeastern Consortium for Assured Leading-Edge Semiconductors (SCALES). The consortium aims to leverage funding allocated by the recently enacted CHIPS for America Act to drive the return of semiconductor manufacturing and jobs to the U.S., specifically to the Southeastern region of the U.S.
Day one of the conference focused primarily on advanced packaging and industry. Keynotes from Wally Rhines (CEO of Cornami) and Todd Younkin (President & CEO of Semiconductor Research Corporation) spoke to the challenges and opportunities facing semiconductor manufacturers in today’s economic and political landscape.
Day two of the conference featured a focus on quantum computing. Speakers from DARPA, the Air Force Research Lab, industry, and academia all spoke to developments and challenges in moving beyond traditional semiconductors to new quantum modalities.
Day three of the conference brought a focus on CHIPS for America, electronic design automation of chips, and updates from various ECE-affiliated centers and institutes. The final section of the conference was focused on SCALES. Leads from each of the seven thrusts of work at the consortium reported on the challenges and successes facing their areas.
Amidst all the keynotes and invited talks, students presented posters during presentation sessions, highlighting projects in the semiconductor field. And two lively panel discussions kept the discussions going.