ISS 2019 Panel: The Next Semiconductor Revolution: Filling the Gap between Smart Speakers and Autonomous vehicles 



Moderator: G. Dan Hutcheson, CEO and Chairman, VLSI Research


  • Sanjay Natarajan, Corporate Vice President, Applied Materials

  • Terry Brewer, PhD, President and Founder, Brewer Science

  • Michael C. Mayberry, PhD, CTO, Sr. Vice President, and General Manager, Technology Development, Intel 

  • Federico Faggin, PhD, Designer of the world’s first microprocessor, Inventor and Entrepreneur

The Next Semiconductor Revolution: Filling the Gap Between Smart Speakers and Autonomous Vehicles 

In media today, the average technologist is portrayed as thinking AI is pretty much done: That implementation is the only thing left to do. They tend to frame the AI picture around smart speakers and autonomous vehicles, thinking the primary difference is computational scale … And that software is the only game left to play. Worse the science and research is also portrayed as done, so now it’s simply product development. Then they glide over the recent AV setbacks, where companies who thought it would be easy-silicon-valley-peasy are hitting reverse and burning rubber to back out.

There is a large development gap between smart speakers and future autonomous vehicles. It’s a decades-long AI research runway that extends deep into the stack … all the way down to device and materials system engineering, not to mention developing an understanding of how the wet-ware works in the brain in order to develop better neural processors, which are rudimentary at best today. If one tries to overlay the AI research runway on that of the MPU, today’s NPU (Neural Processing Unit) is about where the Intel 4004 was when it was being developed for the Busicom calculator. That means there is a great undiscovered future ahead, including the AI equivalent of the PC and the smartphone, which at the time of the 4004 could only be visualized as small mainframes and Dick Tracy watches.

The panel will focus on what needs to be done all the way down to the device and materials system engineering level, as well as the role the equipment and materials suppliers will need to play in making it possible for the world get there. It will be a conversation across the stack from OEMs to chip makers and down to equipment-and-materials makers about what new requirements will be handed down the supply chain from emergent devices and how suppliers can meet these challenges as these devices come to market to fill the gap between today's smart speakers and tomorrow’s autonomous vehicles.