Korea’s First IEEE EDTM Semiconductor Conference Names Collaboration as Key to Growth

By March 17, 2023 December 5th, 2023 No Comments

During the various talks and sessions on semiconductors at the recent IEEE1 Electron Devices Technology and Manufacturing (EDTM) 2023, there was one word which consistently came up: collaboration. The need for cooperation not only among those in the semiconductor industry but throughout the ICT sector was emphasized as being key to the growth of the semiconductor industry by speakers at the event. Held annually across Asia since 2017, IEEE EDTM is an international semiconductor research conference established by IEEE Electron Devices Society (EDS)2. As the event was held for the first time in South Korea this year, it was hosted by SK hynix and the Korea Nanotechnology Research Society (KoNTRS). SK hynix employees were among the industry officials who gave talks at the conference between March 7-10 at Seoul’s Convention and Exhibition Center (COEX).

1Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE): An international organization and society for electrical, electronic, and computer engineering formed in 1963.
2IEEE Electron Devices Society (IEEE EDS): It started as a committee of the Institute of Radio Engineers (IRE) in 1952 and became a society of IEEE in 1976, and is currently composed of 16 professional committees.

Held under the theme of “Strengthening global semiconductor research collaboration beyond the COVID-19 era”, the four-day event received a record number of 404 abstracts. In addition, around 850 attendees from academia and industry participated in sessions on the growth of technology convergence across various semiconductor-related topics such as materials, production, devices, memory technology, nanotechnology, and quantum computer.

SK hynix’s Newsroom team headed to IEEE EDTM 2023 to experience the packed program of events, which included the opening ceremony, plenary talks on the future of the semiconductor industry, and a technical program discussing the latest research trends. The program also featured a Women in Electron Devices Society (WiEDS) session celebrating International Women’s Day and the 75th anniversary of the development of the transistor.

Attendees gather for a talk at IEEE EDTM 2023


Opening Ceremony: Attendees Return for In-Person Conference

As this year marked the first in-person IEEE EDTM to be held since the start of the pandemic, many leaders and academic experts from the global semiconductor industry attended the opening ceremony to celebrate the occasion.

SK hynix’s Head of CIS Development Changrok Song, Kazunari Ishimaru, director at flash memory and SSD company Kioxia, and Michael Lercel, director at chip-making equipment manufacturer ASML, were among those in attendance. Professor Rino Choi of South Korea’s Inha University served as the moderator of the opening ceremony. Ishimaru, the EDS chair, kicked off the conference by providing an overview of IEEE EDTM and its importance. He was followed by SK hynix’s Song who delivered his welcoming remarks.

SK hynix’s Changrok Song delivers a welcoming speech at the opening ceremony

SK hynix’s Changrok Song delivers a welcoming speech at the opening ceremony

SK hynix’s Changrok Song delivers a welcoming speech at the opening ceremony

SK hynix’s Changrok Song (left) presents Kioxia’s Kazunari Ishimaru (right) with a plaque

Song, who chaired the event, praised the industry’s efforts to overcome the pandemic and emphasized the need for stronger industry-wide collaboration. “Despite the adversity of the pandemic for several years, the semiconductor industry has continued to innovate and move forward,” he said. “I hope that through this event, we can strengthen our partnerships in the semiconductor sector and continue to work together to advance the industry.”

Plenary Talks: How 3Cs Can Drive Industry Growth & Expansion of Lithography Applications

The first plenary talk session, covering industry-wide issues, was led by SK hynix’s Head of R&D Seon Yong Cha and ASML director Michael Lercel. Cha presented his talk titled “Journey of Memory Innovation in the AI Computing Era,” which outlined the future of the semiconductor industry.

SK hynix’s Seon Yong Cha speaking on the future of the memory semiconductor industry

SK hynix’s Seon Yong Cha speaking on the future of the memory semiconductor industry

SK hynix’s Seon Yong Cha speaking on the future of the memory semiconductor industry

SK hynix’s Seon Yong Cha speaking on the future of the memory semiconductor industry

An attendee asking a question at the end of Cha’s speech

In the future, Cha predicts that the growth of AI will drive demand for semiconductor memory as it can rapidly process large amounts of data and is at the core of AI systems such as OpenAI’s ChatGPT. Citing a Greenpeace report that forecasts video streaming will account for 80% of internet traffic by 2030, he also pointed out that data centers will use increasingly more power. This will in turn drive the development of low-power semiconductors with high capacity.

Moving on to his three Cs, Cha identified continuity, convergence, and change as the capabilities required for the growth of the semiconductor memory industry. Continuity refers to the need for uninterrupted technological advancement; convergence is the breaking down of barriers between memory and processors such as through PIM3 products; and change refers to the need for environmentally-friendly semiconductor manufacturing. “The era of AI computing is only possible if the entire ICT industry collaborates to achieve sustainable development and innovation,” said Cha, emphasizing the need for industry-wide cooperation.

3Processing In Memory (PIM): A next-generation technology that provides a solution for data congestion issues for AI and big data by adding computational functions to semiconductor memory.

ASML Director Michael Lercel explains the EUV lithography process


This was followed by a speech by ASML’s Lercel, who explained the principles of the extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography processes and equipment. He also announced that the company’s lithography technology will gradually be applied to a wider range of fields.

Technical Programs: Tailored Research Presentations on Advanced Technologies

Following the plenary talks, the attendees participated in technical programs in their respective research areas of interest. The program, in which academics and industry practitioners presented their research findings, was divided into 13 topics. These included materials, yield and process, semiconductor devices, memory technology, image and display, energy devices, modeling and simulation, reliability, packaging and heterogeneous integration, sensor, wearables, nanotechnology and disruptive technologies.

Attendees listening to a technical program lecture

A technical program presenter

An attendee asking a question during a technical program lecture

A technical program presenter

As the conference aims to foster discussion and debate, the researchers’ presentations were followed by various talks on breaking down barriers between technologies in different industries. Many attendees were so eager to learn more about the topics that they talked with the speakers after the sessions had finished. As SK hynix was a co-host of IEEE EDTM 2023, several of the company’s employees were also presenters for the technical program.

SK hynix’s Joonrak Kim explaining the role of the interposer

SK hynix’s Joonrak Kim explaining the role of the interposer

SK hynix’s Kijun Sung explaining VFO technology

SK hynix’s members presenting at each technical program

SK hynix’s members presenting at each technical program

In the Advanced Interposer4 RDL Technology session, SK hynix’s Joonrak Kim, TL of Dev. P&T and MGT Data Analytics, spoke about the interposer applied to the company’s premium DRAM product HBM3, which is gaining traction due to its application for AI systems. He shared that his team succeeded in reducing the routing lead time by 30% with the interposer routing model they developed.

Kim’s colleague Kijun Sung, TL of Advanced PKG TD, presented the semiconductor packaging session titled “A Novel VFO5 Technology for Small Form Factor and High-Performance Memory Applications.” He noted the trend that semiconductors in smartphones are getting smaller, and explained that the VFO technology developed by SK hynix can reduce the size of the semiconductor package.

4Interposer: A chip that can be used as a bridge or a conduit that allows electrical signals to pass through it and onto another element.
5Vertical Wire Fan Out (VFO): A technology that leverages the benefits of fan-out packaging to address miniaturization and heat issues.

WiEDS Session: Empowering Women in the Semiconductor Industry

A Women in Electron Device Society (WiEDS) session was also held to celebrate both International Women’s Day, which was held on March 8th, and the 75th anniversary of the transistor. The panelists included Myung Hee Na, head of SK hynix’s Revolutionary Technology Center (RTC), and Professor Andrea Armani of the University of Southern California, USA.

Kioxia’s Ishimaru also attended the WiEDS session and gave a speech in which he said that increasing diversity in the semiconductor industry requires more innovative approaches than before.

SK hynix’s Myung Hee Na delivers a speech on her career


During her speech, Na spoke about her career. “My journey has been a process of constantly discovering and learning new things,” she said. “It doesn’t matter how small you feel or what you do. Anyone can start to make a difference where they are, and when those actions come together, they eventually make a big difference.” The WiEDS session ended on a high note with a cake cutting ceremony to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the transistor.

SK hynix’s Myung Hee Na cutting the cake marking the 75th anniversary of the transistor

WiERDS session group shot

Collaboration Heralds a Bright Future for the Semiconductor Industry

Co-organized by SK hynix, IEEE EDTM 2023 successfully wrapped up its four-day spell in South Korea with an optimistic message for the future. After we all experienced being disconnected from one another during the pandemic, the conference played a major role in emphasizing the importance of collaboration and joint research in the semiconductor industry as it brought officials together. IEEE EDTM 2023 can be seen as a crucial step in connecting those in the semiconductor industry and beyond to bring about a brighter tomorrow.