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 Bridging the Frontier
Bob Smith, Executive Director
Bob Smith, Executive Director
Bob Smith is Executive Director of the ESD Alliance responsible for its management and operations. Previously, Bob was senior vice president of Marketing and Business Development at Uniquify, responsible for brand development, positioning, strategy and business development activities. Bob began his … More »

System Scaling is an Industry Movement

August 1st, 2016 by Bob Smith, Executive Director

System Scaling Blog PostAnyone in our industry who doesn’t believe system scaling is an industry movement need look no further than the IoT market of high-volume and low-cost devices. While these devices have exacting densities, performance and power requirements, advanced process technologies are a bit too risky and costly for IoT developers. IoT also requires heterogeneous functions such as digital, analog, mixed-signal, sensors and MEMS, a challenging proposition to mix all of these capabilities on a single die/process.

And, system scaling –– or multi-die IC –– is a viable integration alternative to traditional transistor scaling of newer process technologies. It integrates complex systems at the functional/building block level, not the transistor level. It doesn’t replace the need for the SoC. Instead, the SoC remains a key functional component of the system or, in die-form, a key building block of a multi-die IC.  System scaling relies on different advanced packaging technologies used to integrate and package multiple heterogeneous die.

A market indicator comes from a noted industry influencer who told me recently that he’s been tracking the trend toward system scaling for several years and believes it’s picking up steam. We agree with him and see much of the same activity.

The ESD Alliance is taking a leadership role to educate the industry about system scaling, in addition to taking an active role to bring together the design and manufacturing communities. We’re seeing results. For example, we launched the latest version of the Multi-Die IC Design Guide in June. Since then, more than 200 people across the system design ecosystem worldwide downloaded the comprehensive guide. We plan to formally kick-off our System Scaling Working Group with a meeting in September. Herb Reiter of eda2asic and an expert in system scaling will head the group. Anyone interested in becoming involved in this group should contact the Alliance.

Meanwhile, if you haven’t done so already, please download your own copy of the Multi-Die IC Design Guide and be part of the industry movement. It is full of useful information, including an up-to-date backgrounder on multi-die IC integration techniques and technologies, and a listing of vendors who offer multi-die IC design and manufacturing solutions and services. The design guide can be downloaded from:

Watch for more news from the Alliance and announcements of upcoming events in the fall.

A reminder if your company is thinking of joining the ESD Alliance: I’m available to answer any questions about the Alliance and why your company should join. Please contact me at The ESD Alliance website address is:

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