Microelectronics Technology Forum Expedites Microelectronics Advancement via Global Collaboration and Idea Exchanges

A Microelectronics Technology Forum (MTF) was organised from 3 to 5 August 2021 to foster microelectronics technology and experience exchanges at a global level, as well as gathering brilliant insights into effective and sustainable industry development. The forum was initiated by Semiconductor Nanotechnology Alliance (SNA), and co-held by United Microelectronics Centre (Hong Kong) Limited, Hong Kong Science & Technology Parks Corporation, IEEE EDS Hong Kong Chapter, and five top-echelon universities, namely, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, City University of Hong Kong, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, and The University of Hong Kong.

The hybrid forum was a tremendous success that had attracted over 700 onsite and online audiences, with about half of them as either C-level, Directors, or Professors. Over 20 world-leading scholars, industry pioneers, entrepreneurs, and global investors shared on various microelectronics topics, and their valuable insights into the microelectronics development. There were different themes each day, which were “Global Trends of Microelectronics” on day 1, “Business Opportunities of Emerging Technologies” on day 2, and “Critical Research Infrastructure” on day 3.

The forum was started by introducing the global trends of microelectronics, in order to give an industry overview to the participants. The industry leaders from ASML and IBM Research introduced the EUV lithography and the world’s first 1nm chip, whereas several top-notch scholars and academicians explained the next-generation packaging technologies, emerging memories, and mean-time-to-failure (MTTF) research. A panel discussion was also held to investigate the latest development of 3rd generation semiconductors, a rapidly growing segment which GAN power devices are expected to have a 90.6% YoY increase in 2021.

On the second day of the forum, it focused on the business opportunities of the emerging microelectronics technologies. To begin with, keynote presentations were given to elaborate the emerging technologies – silicon photonics and metasurface respectively. Five high-calibre start-ups in Hong Kong showcased their innovative technologies and achievements. Then, two panel discussion sessions were held to explore how start-ups can turn into successful businesses, from both promising start-ups and investors’ points of view.

The last day of the forum looked into the key microelectronics competencies of Hong Kong’s universities, and the critical research infrastructure that could foster the industry development. Started by introducing the experience of U.S. in developing the microelectronics industry, the deans or chair professors of five local universities then highlighted their research focuses and attainments. Based on their sharing, they discussed on different types of critical research infrastructure that they need to support the research activities.

To conclude, the forum was an excellent platform to enhance global collaboration. As the first event of the newly formed Semiconductor Nanotechnology Alliance (SNA), it realised the goals of fostering research and innovations in the fields of micro- and nano-electronics, and strengthening the competitiveness of the industry. More joint effort between academia, industry, and public bodies is expected in the foreseeable future to accelerate the industry growth.

Dr. Meikei Ieong, Founding Chairman, SNA, and Director, UMEC gave opening remarks to kick off the forum

Onsite audience was attentive to the sharing about the global trends of microelectronics

Apart from industry practitioners, many investors were also attracted to the forum on day 2 to understand the business opportunities of microelectronics technologies

(From left) Mr. Zhi-ming Liu, General Manager, Beijing-Hong Kong Exchange of Personnel Centre; Mr. Ming Yam Wong, Honorary Chairman and Convener, SNA; Mr Alfred Sit, Secretary for Innovation and Technology, Innovation and Technology Bureau; Prof. Philip Chan, Honorary Chairman and Vice-convener, SNA; and Dr. Meikei Ieong, Founding Chairman, SNA announced the formation of SNA