2018 CICC Panels

Key issues and controversial topics are debated by leaders from the IC industry. CICC panel discussions are well known for their lively and thought-provoking discussions. The Q&A sessions provide the audience the opportunity to weigh in on the important issues.

Session 17 – Panel-What is the Sweet Spot of Voltage Regulator Integration

Tuesday, April 10, 2:00 pm, Great Room 5

Chairs:  Patrick Mercier, UCSD and Zeynep Deniz, IBM


Vivek De, Intel

Seth Sanders, UC Berkeley

David Giuliano, Peregrine

Philip Mok, HKUST

The mismatch between voltages produced by high-density batteries and the supply voltage needs of scaled CMOS SoCs necessitates DC-DC converter integration in essentially all modern electronic devices. Conventionally, large off-chip power management integrated circuits (PMICs) are used to generate one or more fixed rails for each SoC domain. However, the constituent passives (inductors and capacitors) consume large board area and volume in tightly integrated mobile devices, and large PMICs have difficulty supporting fine-grain dynamic voltage scaling needed in modern SoCs. This panel will introduce and debate the various merits of various state-of-the-art power management options, including hybrid inductive/capacitive converter topologies, integrated inductors, switched-capacitor converters, distributed LDOs, all-digital regulators, and more. Will a winning approach emerge?  Attend to find out!


Session 24 – Panel-Is the IC Startup Era Over or Just Transitioning

Wednesday, April 11, 11:00 am, Great Room 5

Chairs: Hanh-Phuc Le, U. of Colorado Boulder, and Rikky Muller, UC Berkeley


Benton Calhoun, Professor, University of Virginia and PsiKick

Karim Arabi, Atlazo

Richard Schwerdtfeger, NSF

Wonyoung Kim, Lion Semiconductor

Shahin Farshchi, Lux Capital

With a thirst for improving lives and changing the world, semiconductor startups, fueled by novel technical ideas, ambitious business plans, speed, agility and risk, played a key part in forming the famous Silicon Valley in California. The resulting high returns and benefits to the society inspired VC, investors, government agencies to increase their funding for new startups. However, it seems much harder to secure investments for semiconductor startups recently compared with the golden age of IC startups in 2000s. Is the IC startup era coming to an end, or just transitioning to new models? If so, what are they? The discussion in this panel will cover many different perspectives of the carefully selected panelists, including a famous IC professor with years of startup experience, a large-firm-VP-turned-startup founder, an 8-figure-funded startup CEO with fresh PhD, an NSF SBIR program director with semiconductor portfolio, and a VC with a long list of successful semiconductor investments.


Session 25 – Panel-What can/should Circuit Dsigners do to Ride on the Wave of Machine Learning

Wednesday, April 11, 11:00 am, Great Room 6-8

Chair: Mike Chen, USC, and John Khoury, Silicon Labs


Boris Murmann, Stanford

Edgar Sanchez-Sinencio, TAMU

Mingoo Seok, Columbia University

Vivek De, Intel

Analog neural networks were a hot research topic in the late 1980s, but fell out of favor after a few years.   Now, 25 years later, neural networks /  Machine Learning has  returned in force  with impressive real world results.  Machine learning has been resurging thanks to the large quantity of available data on the cloud. These modern neural networks are being implemented on GPUs. Will analog neural networks or even a hybrid approach yield important benefits over and above GPU implementations?  How can analog circuit designers contribute to this new wave? What direction should we take? How should we re-educate ourselves?  In this panel, we assemble a group of analog and digital circuit researchers as well as industry professionals to share their views on this potential opportunity.