A Plan to Revitalize the Semiconductor Industry for Decades to Come

Crafted through the collective effort of hundreds of individuals representing 112 organizations from government, academia, and industry, the Microelectronics and Advanced Packaging Technologies Roadmap outlines critical research priorities and technology challenges that must be addressed to ensure sustainable growth and true innovation in the semiconductor industry. The document extends the work of the Semiconductor Research Corporation’s 2030 Decadal Plan for Semiconductors. The Decadal Plan identified five seismic shifts in the industry related to smart sensing, memory and storage, communication, security, and energy efficient computing.

The MAPT Roadmap summarizes the key drivers of technology progress, provides guidance for how to achieve the technical challenges outlined in the Decadal Plan, and strategizes for developing the workforce required to realize the promises of these innovations. The MAPT Roadmap directly supports the Chips and Science Act, led by the U.S. Department of Commerce, in efforts to develop a robust domestic R&D ecosystem. The Microelectronics and Advanced Packaging (MAPT) Roadmap will guide the forthcoming microelectronics revolution!

Navigating the Roadmap

The MAPT Roadmap is organized into 11 chapters, grouped into four categories as shown in the figure. While the Roadmap is organized by chapters, readers should note that there is a high level of interdependence and cross-referencing across the chapters. Readers are encouraged to explore the roadmap in whatever order their interests dictate. Editorial highlighting has been used to call out key challenges, promising technologies, key findings, trends and needs for foundational capabilities in each of the chapters.

Needs and Drivers

Serves as the input to the MAPT Roadmap and is framed around the Three Pillars of Sustainable Development: Prosperity, Planet, and People. Includes Chapter 1 on Application Drivers and System Requirements (addressing prosperity), Chapter 2 on Sustainability and Energy Efficiency (addressing planet and people), and Chapter 3 on Security and Privacy (addressing people and prosperity).

Chips, Chiplets, and SiPs

Technology-centric focus that includes Chapter 4 on Digital Processing, Chapter 5 on Analog and Mixed-Signal Semiconductors, Chapter 6 on Photonic and MEMS, and Chapter 7 on Advanced Packaging and Heterogeneous Integration.

Foundational Ecosystem

Includes Chapter 8 on Materials, Substrates, and Supply Chain, Chapter 9 on Design, Modeling, Test, and Standards and Chapter 10 on Manufacturing and Process Development Metrology.

Critical Enabler

Represented by Chapter 11 on Workforce Development, focusing on future generations of talent for the benefit of society.

Chapters Image Map
Application Drivers and System Requirements Sustainability and Energy Efficiency Security and Privacy Digital Processing Analog and Mixed-Signal Semiconductors Photonics and MEMS Advanced Packaging and Heterogeneous Integration Materials, Substrates, and Supply Chain Design, Modeling, Test, and Standards Manufacturing and Process Development Metrology Workforce Development

Application Drivers and System Requirements

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Application Drivers and System Requirements

Chapter 1 (Application Drivers and System Requirements) describes the impacts of a wide variety of application domains and their influence on the direction of key enabling technologies covered by the MAPT roadmap: data center and HPC, mobile communications and infrastructure, edge and IoT, automotive, bio-applications and health, security and privacy, and defense and harsh environments are specific examples discussed. Each of these application areas will evolve in distinct ways and will require domain-specific systems to achieve next-level performance. It is critical that we understand these workloads, the systems that will be built to run them, and their implications.

Sustainability and Energy Efficiency

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Sustainability and Energy Efficiency

Chapter 2 (Sustainability and Energy Efficiency) describes the crosscut need for i) improvements in energy efficiency in computing, ii) increased environmental sustainability and efficiency across the entire lifecycle (e.g., design, development, manufacturing, use, end of life management) of semiconductor devices and systems, and iii) the development of the workforce needed to create new sustainable solutions and systems as societal needs change. According to the Decadal Plan for Semiconductors [1] computing based on solutions we apply today are not sustainable now and will be impossible after 2040 as the energy requirements for that computing will outpace the energy available from the market as computing demand increases. Without 1000x improvement in energy efficiency in the next decade, and 1,000,000x improvement beyond 2040 [1], computing will be in an energy-limited regime and will not grow, drive new markets, or spur global GDP growth. Also, as chip manufacturing in the United States is expected to increase in the coming years in response to the increasing global demand for semiconductors, and objectives of the CHIPS Act [4], it is imperative that the chemicals, materials, and processes involved in chip fabrication and advanced packaging as well as the product design itself are as sustainable as possible both from an environmental and human health standpoint.

1 SIA/SRC Decadal Plan for Semiconductors (SRC 2021) https://www.src.org/about/decadal-plan/

4 https://www.semiconductors.org/the-chips-act-has-already-sparked-200-billion-in-private-investments-for-u-s-semiconductor-production/

Security and Privacy

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Security and Privacy

Chapter 3 (Security and Privacy) identifies emerging security and privacy challenges and outlines approaches to address them. The entire technology stack is analyzed holistically, but we emphasize implications for manufacturing and packaging technologies. This crosscut chapter is complementary to the security chapter of the Heterogeneous Integration Roadmap [5]. The main topics of this chapter include: (i) potential hardware security vulnerabilities in heterogeneous integration; (ii) feasible strategies to identify security aspects for SiP and define fair metrics evaluating the security resilience of implementations; and (iii) attack predictions and defense mechanisms for specific applications.

5 Heterogeneous Integration Roadmap (HIR), Chapter 19: Security https://eps.ieee.org/images/files/HIR_2019/HIR1_ch19_security.pdf

Digital Processing

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Digital Processing

Chapter 4 (Digital Processing) is focused on digital processing technologies and infrastructures that have permeated into all aspects of our modern society. Today, yield issues, practical limits on thermal design power (TDP), high design and manufacturing costs at advanced technology nodes are increasingly threatening the realization of end-user expectations. At the same time, AI/machine learning applications, advanced cognition needs, blockchains and others have imposed the need to handle ever-increasing data sets and perform increasingly sophisticated computations. Single chip-in-a-package solutions are no longer viable for addressing these data-intensive or high-performance processing needs. Furthermore, processing costs are now dominated by the energy cost of moving data from their point of origin to the processing, including the energy spent in moving data within the microchips that process the data. Heterogeneous integration (HI) of diverse unpackaged dies (chiplets) with a single package, resulting in a System-in-a-Package (SiP) has emerged as a solution to address these challenges.

Analog and Mixed-Signal Semiconductors

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Analog and Mixed-Signal Semiconductors

Chapter 5 (Analog and Mixed-Signal Processing) summarizes the short-, mid-, and long-term outlook for analog and mixed signal processing as it pertains to emerging applications and trends that are driving analog hardware. Analog component hardware is essential to world-machine interfaces, sensing, perception, communication, and reasoning systems, as well as the distribution, delivery and management of power to electrical systems of all types. Information from the physical world is analog and the exponentially increasing number sensors in the world are creating a large amount analog inputs where digitization of these signals would create a digital data load that would be near impossible to consume in downstream digital processors. Analog signals include the wired, wireless and optical communication of digital content, and we are also experiencing exponential growth in the number of communication nodes as well as the amount of data generated by each node. Analog signal processing or processing at the “analog edge” can help mitigate the number of signals that must be processed digitally. The main topics of this chapter include: (i) analog & mixed-signal circuits and processing; (ii) power conversion and management; (iii) intelligent sensing interfaces, and (iv) RF-to-THz devices, circuits and systems.

Photonics and MEMS

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Photonics and MEMS

Chapter 6 (Photonics and MEMS) addresses important auxiliary technologies essential for memory, computing, sensing, communication etc. This chapter is complementary to the Integrated Photonics System Roadmap – International (IPSR-I) [7]. It is expected that photonics will play a critical role in driving innovations in the post Moore’s law era. Our evolving digital culture will rely evermore heavily on photonics in collecting and moving the data. While integrated electronics may be approaching the physical limit, photonics integration has just begun. In the coming years, we will witness the exciting transition where the manufacturing processes of electronics and photonics are homogenized. The primary scope of the chapter includes: (i) MEMS- and photonics-based sensors and actuators; (ii) integrated photonics for communication, (iii) photonic I/Os for memory and computing; (iv) materials and processing; (v) design & modeling enablement.

7 Integrated Photonics System Roadmap – International (IPSR-I), https://photonicsmanufacturing.org/

Advanced Packaging and Heterogeneous Integration

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Advanced Packaging and Heterogeneous Integration

Chapter 7 (Advanced Packaging and Heterogeneous Integration) focuses on various aspects of advanced packaging and heterogeneous integration of microelectronic chips. As the cost advantage of shrinking the die using finer transistor nodes (below 20nm) is diminishing, a new approach is necessary, which is to disaggregate a monolithic die into smaller chiplets cost-effectively fabricated on appropriate technology nodes. To enable functional scaling through heterogenous integration (HI) of the chiplets and passive components, the package must transition from a chip carrier/encapsulation to an integration platform. The proliferation of chiplets will continue as industry drives towards higher performance lower power solutions that are customized for each application. The next generation of packaging technology needs to support this explosion in heterogeneous integration by enabling interconnects that accommodate very fine pitch I/O die and very fine lines/spaces circuitry.

Materials, Substrates, and Supply Chain

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Materials, Substrates, and Supply Chain

Chapter 8 (Materials, Substrates, and Supply Chain) is focused on the crosscut mission of providing the MAPT Roadmap with input regarding the supply chain, including identification of material and chemical needs used within future generations of advanced electronic package constructions. The following areas will be key considerations for identified packaging categories: Materials for High Reliability, Materials for New Processes, Materials for Electrical Performance, Mechanical Performance/Process Workability, Thermal Management, Reliability/Temperature/Humidity Performance and Environmentally Sustainable Materials.

Design, Modeling, Test, and Standards

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Design, Modeling, Test, and Standards

Chapter 9 (Design, Modeling, Test, and Standards) is a crosscut that deals with future design automation portfolios and development of industry standards. These design tools and standards will give chip and system designers wings to explore and optimize across different design domains and metrics of performance, power/energy, area/volume, security, and safety, and will be the key enabler for the semiconductor industry.

Manufacturing and Process Development Metrology

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Manufacturing and Process Development Metrology

Chapter 10 (Manufacturing and Process Development Metrology) covers the measurements that enable all aspects of semiconductor materials and device research, development, and manufacturing. Characterization and Metrology are used off-line, at-line, and in-line and include all aspects of physical and electrical measurements. Characterization and metrology cover length-scales from atomic to macro measurements. Exploration into new materials and structures is characterization intensive, and in-fab metrology use increases as process technology become more mature. This chapter describes the characterization and metrology for all areas of the Microelectronics and Advanced Packaging Technologies (MAPT) roadmap from materials and devices to advanced packaging and heterogeneous integration and systems.

Workforce Development

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Workforce Development

Chapter 11 (Workforce Development) summarizes the microelectronics and advanced packaging technologies (MAPT) workforce needs for the next decade. It is a national consensus that both the current talent pool and the pathways for creating and supporting a US domestic MAPT workforce fall far short of projected needs for the US and it has reached a critical point with respect to US economic and national security. The current pipeline for workers across the spectrum of education levels, from technical certifications, associate-degree operators and maintenance engineers to M.S. and Ph.D. engineers in microelectronics and advanced packaging technologies (MAPT), is insufficient in terms of numbers and of knowledge, skills, and abilities for tomorrow’s needs [6]. This chapter contains: (i) projections/timeline for microelectronics workforce needs; (ii) roadmap for a nationwide “Winning Hearts and Minds” campaign; (iii) holistic, effective WFD framework for the entire MAPT eco-system.

6 2021 Report Chipping In – The Positive Impact of the Semiconductor Industry on the American Workforce and How Federal Incentives Will Increase Domestic Jobs, Semiconductor Industry Association and Oxford Economics, May 2021 https://www.semiconductors.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/SIA-Impact_May2021-FINAL-May-19-2021_2.pdf

MAPT Roadmap Chapters

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quote-50x50
  • We need to channel more funds to research and add to the supply and quality of degreed professional people.
    Robert Noyce
  • Attracting and retaining the world’s best STEM talent is an advantage that is America’s to lose. And we are not going to let that happen.
    Gina Raimondo
  • Working together, we can reinvest in semiconductor innovators and technologies, building upon our strengths to improve both economic and national security.
    Todd Younkin
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