Bridging the Gap in the Cloud

Conference covers how silicon systems can lead to a more mobile and connected world

22 November 2013

As we become more reliant on mobile phones and tablets, central storage of data and fast access to systems in the cloud become essential to enable ubiquitous and anytime access. To these ends, the technologies that support the cloud must become faster, more cost-effective, and more secure. To keep up with these needs, the IEEE Solid-State Circuits Society is hosting its annual International Solid-State Circuits Conference from 9 to 13 February in San Francisco on the theme of “Silicon Systems Bridging the Cloud.” The meeting will cover a spectrum of design approaches to silicon solid-state circuits and integrated systems-on-a-chip that can benefit cloud computing.   

According to the Semiconductor Industry Association, the solid-state industry generated US $290 billion in sales in 2012 fueled by mobile and cloud computing. The technical program of the 61st conference will offer papers covering the latest in research and in commercial products in analog, digital, memory, and communications systems, as well as innovations in micro-machines, imagers, sensors, and biomedical systems. And as the conference usually does, its program includes presentations of novel systems some years away from commercialization, notes IEEE Fellow Anantha P. Chandrakasan, the conference chair and professor of electrical engineering at MIT.

HEAD IN THE CLOUDS

The four-day conference will be packed with more than 200 technical papers as well as dozens of educational sessions, including tutorials, special topic forums, and plenary talks.

IEEE Fellow Mark Horowitz, chair of the electrical engineering department at Stanford, will give a plenary talk on computing’s energy problems and solutions, and how cloud computing can help. Other plenary speakers include Ming-Kai Tsai, CEO of MediaTek, a leading semiconductor company for wireless communications, based in Hsinchu, Taiwan, who will speak about next-generation cloud connectivity and challenges. IEEE Fellow Susie Wee, vice president and CTO of Networked Experiences Cisco, in Palo Alto, Calif., will discuss the future of networked computing, which is relying increasingly on the cloud to share data.

Sessions will highlight the challenges being faced in areas that will continue to influence the cloud, including the Internet of Things, wireless communications, and radar technology. One session, for example, will discuss low-power wireless for short-range communications that could reduce cost and the use of energy with the growth of cloud computing. Several authors will share their research on this subject.

Other sessions will cover advances in wireless communications and low-power processors, as well as wearable biomedical devices that operate with cloud systems and technologies that data centers need to support tomorrow’s cloud, to name a few.

OUTSIDE THE CLOUD

Innovation in places other than the cloud is also on the minds of ISSCC conference organizers. Each year, they accept papers that push the limits of innovation in solid-state. And they’re giving innovation itself a closer look in a panel discussion titled “Anatomy of Innovation: Bug or Feature?” Here, senior managers from top companies such as Bosch, Qualcomm, and SK Telecom will discuss the process by which some of their best innovations were conceived. They will focus, for example, on how to turn a computer bug into a desirable product feature and ponder the question: Is innovation more effective as a result of accidental discovery or logical thinking?

The conference will also have a panel of semiconductor industry CEOs from companies including ARM, Broadcom, and Cypress, and venture capitalists discussing the financial growth and new business opportunities in the industry. 

A number of networking sessions are also planned, including one specific to women called, simply enough, the Women’s Networking Event. It will be held at noon on 10 February.

ISSCC will hold its annual awards ceremony on 10 February during the plenary session to recognize outstanding work in solid-state circuits. Eight society awards will be presented, including the Lewis Winner Award for Outstanding Paper, the Distinguished Technical Award based on ratings by the Technical Program Committee, and the Outstanding Forum Presenter Award.

To help attendees navigate the conference, a mobile app will be available for download from the conference website. It will include details of the program, a customizable schedule, access to PDF versions of the papers, and a map of the venue.

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