‘Convergence’ is a door to future microsystems, which enable numerous emerging applications such as life-saving/changing miniature medical devices, surgical procedures with less invasiveness and morbidity, low-cost preventive healthcare solutions in daily life, effective chronic disease management, point-of-care diagnosis for early disease detection, high-throughput bio sequencing and screening for new discovery, groundbreaking brain-machine interface from deep understanding of human intelligence, and smart & green power grid, building and transportation systems, and next-generation mobile society opening the way to “Always-On” future where we are constantly connected to everything we care about, which allows us to do “Anything”, “Anytime”, from “Anywhere”.
When semiconductor industry is facing the limitation of further technology scaling which has been guided by Moore’s Law for last decades, it is very timely paying attention to new needs arising from emerging microsystems towards convergence. There is obviously a huge room for great innovation and value creation which can be materialized by creatively integrating diverse functionalities into microsystems using well-established and field-proven semiconductor and integrated circuit technologies.
The semiconductor and integrated circuit technologies are a key ingredient and an enabling platform for the future microsystems. Here the vital role of integrated circuits is providing seamless interface to various sensors and actuators, high-efficiency operation with various energy sources (especially, renewable ones), high-level integration and miniaturization, embedded intelligence, and connectivity. When the semiconductor and integrated circuit technologies are developed in the context of systems and applications, it is extremely important to fully understand the needs and challenges in the target systems and applications first, leading to right and smart solutions enabled by the technologies eventually. Innovative microsystems can be realized only by the convergence-ready technology platform developed with keeping the integration into systems and applications in mind from the beginning.