Looking at the future technology development trend from the ISSCC2021 paper

ISSCC2021 (International Solid State Circuits Conference) will be held from February 13 to 22, 2021. However, due to the epidemic, ISSCC2021 will be held online, which is the first time that ISSCC will be held online.

ISSCC2021 overall situation

According to Dr. Xu Yunxiang, Vice Chairman of the Far East Region of ISSCC 2021, a total of 580 papers were received in ISSCC 2021, down 7.8% from last year, which may be related to the new crown epidemic this year.

Dr. Xu Yunxiang also emphasized that although the number of submissions has declined, the quality of submitted papers has improved. ISSCC2021 accepted a total of 202 papers, with an acceptance rate of 33.6%. Dr. Xu Yunxiang further pointed out that among the 12 technical categories of ISSCC 2021 papers, high-speed networks, 5G, WiFi, impact applications and machine learning are the most numerous. From these fields, we can see the direction of technological development. The proportion of papers in wired transmission has increased from 6% in ISSCC2020 to 9%, which is mainly due to the popularity of cloud data centers; the proportion of papers in machine learning It has also increased from 3% in ISSCC2020 to 7%, which shows the industry’s attention to this technology.

From the perspective of the source of the papers, a total of 15 countries and regions in the world have accepted papers. Among them, the Far East includes Mainland China, China Macau, China Taiwan, South Korea, Japan, and Singapore; North America includes the United States and Canada; Europe includes the Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland, Germany, Italy, Austria, and France. Judging from the number of submissions from countries and regions, ISSCC papers from the United States, Japan, Taiwan, and South Korea have all declined in previous years, with a decrease of 35, 15, 12, and 9 papers respectively; only the number of submissions from mainland China and Singapore There was an increase, with 19 articles in mainland China and 27 articles in Singapore doubled from 13.

From the perspective of the acceptance rate of papers, Japan invested 21 papers, 12 were selected, and the acceptance rate was 57%, which was 23.4 percentage points higher than the overall acceptance rate; the United States submitted 174 papers, and 75 were accepted, with an acceptance rate of 43%, which was higher than the overall acceptance rate. 9.4 percentage points. The employment rates of South Korea, Taiwan, and Singapore are 30%, 26%, and 26%, respectively, which are lower than the overall employment rate.

Among the top five in the number of submissions, mainland China has the lowest number of submissions, but not many accepted articles, resulting in the lowest acceptance rate among the top five. Mainland China contributed 84 manuscripts to ISSCC2021, an increase of 19 from 65 in the previous year; the number of accepted papers was 22, a decrease of 1 from 23 in the previous year; the acceptance rate was 26%, down 9 percentage points from 35% in the previous year.

Dr. Xu Yunxiang said that there are 61 ISSCC2021 papers from the industry, and the overall proportion has further decreased, from 34% in the previous year to 31%; from a geographical point of view, the industry in the Far East has performed well, with 29 selected, North America There are 26 papers from the industry (including 2 from Huawei Canada), while only 3 from the European industry were selected. The number of articles from universities reached 128, and the proportion increased from 62% to 66%; another 6 articles came from scientific research institutes.

From the perspective of the contributing institutions, there are 41 institutions in the district that have contributed more than 2 papers, including 10 companies in the industry, namely Intel, IBM, ADI, Inphi in the United States, Samsung, SK Hynix in South Korea, and MediaTek in Taiwan, China. , TSMC, Japan’s Sony, Canada’s Huawei. IMEC from Europe is the only scientific research institute that has contributed more than 2 papers. There are 30 colleges and universities that have contributed more than 2 papers, including 13 in the Far East, 13 in North America, and 4 in Europe. China accounted for the top 1/6, including Tsinghua University, Peking University, University of Electronic Science and Technology of China, University of Macau and Zhejiang University.

Judging from the number of accepted papers in ISSCC2021, the United States is still the world’s largest contributor to papers, with a total of 75 papers, an increase of 4 from the previous year; South Korea ranks second, with a total of 30 papers, a decrease of 5 from the previous year; China ( Mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau) maintained the third position, with a total of 22 papers accepted, one less than ISSCC2020. Taiwan and Japan each had 12 accepted papers, tied for fourth place.

Papers in the Far East

According to the data of ISSCC2021, the number of papers selected for ISSCC2021 from the Far East reached 82, of which 30 were selected from South Korea, ranking first in the Far East; Macau has 2 articles; Taiwan and Japan have 12 articles each, tied for third; Singapore has 7 articles, ranking fifth.

There are 18 institutions in the Far East that have selected more than 2 papers, including 5 companies and 13 universities; 5 companies are MediaTek and TSMC in Taiwan, China; Samsung and SK Hynix in South Korea; and Sony in Japan. The 13 universities are Tsinghua University, Peking University, University of electronic Science and Technology of China, University of Macau and Zhejiang University in China; Tsinghua University, Taiwan Jiaotong University and National Taiwan University in Taiwan, China; Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, Yonsei University in South Korea; Nanyang Technological University in Singapore , National University of Singapore; Tokyo Institute of Technology, Japan.

Dr. Xu Yunxiang also introduced that the fields with relatively strong performance in the Far East include image optical sensors and memory. Among them, 9 papers in the field of Session 7 Image and Range Sensors have been selected worldwide, and 7 papers are from the Far East; There are 16 papers in total, distributed in 4 sessions. There are 12 papers from the Far East region, namely Session 16 Compute In-Memory, Session 24 Advanced Embedded Memories, Session 25 DRAM, and Session 30 NVM. The Far East region was selected in each of the 4 sessions 3 articles. The reason is that Samsung, Sony, SK Hynix and TSMC, the world’s strongest companies in the field of image optical sensors and memory, are all located in the Far East.

Papers in Mainland China

In 2021, ISSCC will invest a total of 84 papers in mainland China (mainland, Hong Kong and Macau), an increase of 19 papers compared with 65 papers in the previous year; 22 papers will be accepted, a decrease of 1 paper compared with 23 papers in the previous year, and the admission rate is 26%, which is higher than that of the previous year. 35%, down 9 percentage points. Among them, 20 were accepted from the mainland, 2 from Macau, and 0 from Hong Kong.

22 papers covering 10 technical categories, including analog design (ANA, 5 papers), power management (PM, 3 papers), data converters (DC, 3 papers), wireless transmission (WLS, 3 papers), machine learning and artificial intelligence (ML, 3 articles), digital systems (DAS, 2 articles), digital circuits (DCT, 1 article), forward-looking technology (TD, 1 article), radio frequency technology (RF, 1 article) and storage (MEM, 1 article) articles). It should be noted that in the Digital System (DAS) classification, there is an invited paper looking at Baidu in China. This achievement reflects the steady rise of China in the field of integrated circuit technology, the good development momentum of industry-university-research development, and the flourishing of a hundred flowers. It also proves that my country’s international recognition and influence in the field of integrated circuits are constantly improving.

Judging from the situation in the past five years, there have been several major changes in the trend of Chinese papers: First, the number of selected papers has continued to increase, from 11 in ISSCC2017 to 22 in ISSCC2021; The number of papers in ISSCC2021 has increased from 6 to 10 in ISSCC2021; thirdly, the number of papers in mainland China has increased significantly, from 1 in ISSCC2017 to 20 in ISSCC2021; fourthly, the number of first-time institutions selected for the first time has continued to increase, and there are 3 this year, namely Zhejiang University, Nanjing Low Power Chip Technology Research Institute Co., Ltd., East China Institute of Electronic Engineering (38 Institutes of China Electronics Technology); Fifth, papers from the industry have been selected for two consecutive years. ISSCC2020 is Chongqing Xianyi Electronic Technology Co., Ltd., ISSCC2021 is Nanjing Low Power Chip Technology Research Institute Co., Ltd.

For more details, please refer to “ISSCC2021 China Chip Breakthrough! “.

Technology Development Trend

Academician Huang Ru of Peking University, Prof. Liu Yongpan of Tsinghua University, Prof. Xu Hongtao of Fudan University, Prof. Luo Wenji of the University of Macau, Prof. Xu Jiawei of Fudan University, Prof. Zhang Tuolin of Tsinghua University, Prof. Lu Yan of Macau University, and Prof. Deng Wei of Tsinghua University respectively discuss memory, machine learning, Papers and trends in eight technology categories, including wireless transmission, data converters, analog technology, forward-looking technology, power management, and radio frequency, are introduced.

1. Storage

At ISSCC2021, a total of 16 papers were selected for storage, which are divided into four sessions, namely, in-memory computing (Seesion 16: Compute-In-Memory), advanced embedded storage (Seesion 24: Advanced Embedded Memories), and dynamic random access memory. (Seesion 25: DRAM) and non-volatile memory (Seesion 30: Non-Volatile Memory), 3 of the 4 papers in each Seesion are from the Far East.

There are 3 in-memory calculations from Taiwan, China (2 from Tsinghua in Taiwan and 1 from TSMC), and 1 from the University of Texas at Austin. For advanced embedded storage, 1 article is from the Institute of Microelectronics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 1 article is from IBM, Germany, 1 article is from TSMC, and 1 article is from Samsung on 3nm GAA SRAM; in terms of DRAM, 2 articles are from Samsung’s work on 16Gb LPDDR5 and HBM2, respectively. The other two are SK Hynix and Micron’s work on 8Gb GDDR6; in terms of NVM, South Korea’s Samsung, South Korea’s SK Hynix, and Japan’s Kioxia (formerly Toshiba Storage Division) are all about TLC work, while Intel is about QLC. work (don’t know if this will be the swan song of Intel’s paper on storage).

Academician Huang Ru said that in general, high density, high bandwidth and low power consumption are the common pursuits of the storage industry. On the NVM side, the industry trend is to reduce peripheral circuits.

Although China has 2 selected papers in the field of storage, they are all contributed by universities (Southeast University, ISSCC2019) and research institutes (Institute of Microelectronics, Chinese Academy of Sciences). Industry doesn’t seem ready to write papers.

2. Machine Learning

At ISSCC2021, the number of papers submitted in the field of machine learning increased from 24 in ISSCC2020 to 46, and the accepted papers also increased from 7 in ISSCC2020 to 13. Professor Liu Yongpan said that the 13 selected papers are all for neural networks. The research on reasoning, training and application of the paper is also oriented to the server-side and edge-side of speech and image applications.

The 13 papers in the field of machine learning are divided into 2 sessions. The 9 papers of Session 9: ML Processors From Cloud to Edge are from the Far East, 3 in North America, and 1 in Europe. 6 papers are from universities and 3 papers are from industry; 4 papers on In-Memory Computing of Deep Neural Networks (Session 15: Compute-In-Memory Processors Deep Neural Networks) are 2 papers from the Far East and 2 papers from North America, all from universities.

3 papers from mainland China were selected, all from Tsinghua University, 1 in Session 9; 2 in Session 15.

In addition to the 2 sessions, there are also 3 machine learning-related links, namely, key chip releases (Session 3: Highlighted Chip Releases), processors (Session 4: Processors), and in-memory computing (Session 33: Compute-In- Memory). For example, NVIDIA’s paper describes how to design an efficient neural network accelerator.

In the key chip release (Session 3), there is an AI processor paper from Baidu; in the processor (Session 4), there is an AI processor article from the University of Electronic Science and Technology of China. Both sessions belong to the digital system classification.

Professor Liu Yongpan said that the development direction of AI chips mainly focuses on three aspects: application, in-memory computing and manufacturing technology.

3. Wireless transmission

In the field of wireless transmission, a total of 68 papers were submitted and 24 papers were accepted, with an acceptance rate of 35.3%. Among them, 8 are accepted from the Far East, 11 are accepted from North America, and 5 are accepted from Europe. The 24 articles belong to four sessions, including sub-6Ghz (Session 6, 3 articles), millimeter wave (Session 14), ultra-wideband (Session 21), and terahertz technology (Session 22).

A total of 3 papers in the millimeter wave (Session 14) field in mainland China were selected, from Tsinghua University, Southeast University, and East China Institute of Electronic Engineering.

4. Data converter

Professor Luo Wenji said that the total number of submissions in the field of data converters is 43, and a total of 14 papers have been accepted, with an inclusion rate of 32.6%.

The 14 articles are divided into two sessions, Continuous-Times ADCs and DACS (session 10) and Discrete-Times ADCs (session 27).

A total of 6 papers in the Far East in the field of data converters were selected. Tsinghua University, Peking University and University of Macau in mainland China contributed 3 articles to session 27, MediaTek in Taiwan, China contributed 1 article to session 27, and Samsung in South Korea contributed 2 articles to session 10.

The development trend of data converters is: first, to add multiple high-performance continuous-time A/D converters; second, the technical trend of high-performance D/A converters for next-generation wireless communications; third, to combine advanced technology and continue to pursue conversion efficiency The limit of conversion efficiency has increased by 1000 times in the 15 years from 1997 to 2020.

5. Analog circuit

ISSCC2021 has received a total of 39 submissions in the simulation field, and the number of submissions has declined. A total of 12 papers have been accepted, one of which is from Peking University in mainland China, located in session 5.

The 12 papers are divided into 2 sessions, which are 8 analog interfaces (session 5: Analog Interfaces) and 4 analog techniques (session 23: Analog Techniques).

Professor Xu Jiawei said that from the trend point of view, the simulation design mainly focuses on the three directions of accuracy, temperature and parameters.

6. Forward-looking technology

A total of 14 papers were accepted in Technology Directions, which are divided into innovation in low-power and secure IoT (session 12: Innovation in Low-power & Secure IoT), Cryo-CMOS for quantum computing (session 13: Innovation in Low-power & Secure IoT), and Cryo-CMOS for quantum computing (session 13). 4 sessions: Cryo-CMOS for Quantum Computing), Biomedical Devices, Circuits, and Systems (session 18: CBiomedical Devices, Circuits, and Systems), and Optical Systems for Emerging Applications (session 19: Optical systems for Emerging Applications).

Nine papers selected for prospective technology are from North America, and one from Peking University in mainland China was selected for session 12.

7. Power management

A total of 59 papers were submitted in the field of power management, and 18 papers were accepted, which were divided into two sessions, namely DC-DC converters and high voltage, GaN and wireless charging.

The 18 papers are divided into two sessions, namely DC-DC converters (session 17), and high voltage, GaN and wireless charging (session 33). Zhejiang University, Southeast University and University of Science and Technology of China in mainland China contributed 3 articles to session 33.

The chair of session 17 is Professor Geng Li from Xi’an Jiaotong University.

8. Radio frequency

There are 69 submissions in the field of RF, 22 of which are accepted, divided into four sessions, namely high-performance voltage-controlled oscillators (session 20: High Perfoormance VCOs), terahertz circuits and front-ends (session 23: THz Circuits and Frontends), RF power amplifier and front-end technology (session 26: RF PA and Frontends Techniques), frequency synthesizer (session 32: Frequency Synthesizers).

The field of radio frequency is a major candidate in mainland China. This year, there are also 5 papers selected, 2 papers from the University of Electronic Science and Technology of China, 1 paper each from the University of Macau, Tsinghua University and Peking University.

The chairman of session 26 is Professor Xu Hongtao from Fudan University; the chairman of session 32 is Professor Deng Wei from Tsinghua University.

9. Digital circuits/digital systems

Although there is no review and analysis of digital circuits/digital systems. But we can see that 1 paper was selected for Digital Circuit (DCT) and Digital System (DAS), and there was also a specially invited paper from Baidu for Digital System (DAS).

In the field of digital circuits (DCT), it is gratifying that the Chinese mainland has made breakthroughs in the field of low power consumption. Nanjing Low Power Chip Technology Research Institute Co., Ltd. The research results of low-power chips started in 2010, and the secondary development was carried out, which finally came to fruition at ISSCC.

In the field of digital systems (DAS), University of Electronic Science and Technology of China contributed a paper on reconfigurable AI processors. The invited talk is also about AI processors.

The three major fields of radio frequency technology (RF), data conversion (DC), and power management (PM) are China’s major contributors to traditional papers in ISSCC. They continue to make great progress in ISSCC2021, and were selected as 5 papers, 3 papers, and 3 papers respectively. Mainland China’s research in the two fields of machine learning (ML) and wireless transmission (WLS) will become a major source of subsequent papers in Mainland China in the future.


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