Don Scansen has gone over the International Solid-State Circuits Conference advanced program with a fine-tooth comb to uncover seven gems that all attendees should have on their list.
The theme of this year's International Solid-State Circuits Conference (ISSCC) is "Electronics for Healthy Living." The semiconductor industry is clearly looking to chart some new territory that can provide some improved revenue growth. Next week's ISSCC (Feb. 20-24) follows on the heels of an EE Times special edition devoted to medical electronics.
Despite the enthusiasm for opportunities in biomedical, it would be hard to build a conference the size of ISSCC solely on that subject. But the theme does allow for biasing the presentations in directions that could prove important to medical electronics in the future. I'm thinking mostly about low-power and low voltage (ULV, as touted on the conference brochure). In addition to the sessions like Low Power Wireless (26) and Sensors & Energy Harvesting (6), there is a Sunday Forum, Ultra-Low Voltage VLSIs for Energy Efficient Systems (F2). There are tutorials picking up the theme including Ultra Low-Power and Low-Voltage Digital-Circuit Design Techniques (T3) as well as a tutorial appearing as one of my conference picks below, Harold Pilo's embedded memory tutorial (T2).
There is also a session Sunday evening (Feb. 20) on wireless sensors, where there is an obvious need to create low power devices, and the second speaker looks at "Ultra-low Power Design for WSN."
The ISSCC committee is proud of a new feature this year, the technology roundtable plenaries. The first follows quickly after the three plenary talks. Beyond the horizon: The next 10x Reduction in Power—Challenges and Solutions rounds out the theme. This panels includes some true industrial and academic heavyweights like Mark Horowitz, Jack Sun, Dan Dobberpuhl, Kiyoo Itoh, and Asad Abidi.
With that quick view of some of the highlights, it's pretty obvious ISSCC is a real working conference. It's good value if you can keep up the pace of roundtables starting at 8 a.m. and evening panels starting at 8 p.m. This year, there is something new on Tuesday evening as well—Industrial Demo Sessions. I'm sure many attendees will look forward to getting back to their regular jobs to catch their breath.
To help avoid overload, here are my selections of what I would like to attend at the conference. If you are paying registration plus travel to get there (or even it's just your boss signing off on it), you might want to hit a few more sessions. But I hope the condensed list below will help avoid information overload and burnout. At least you can maximize your networking or other social interactions, which are still the most important reasons to get to these events in person.