The Masao Horiba Award was created to encourage researchers and engineers in universities or public laboratories worldwide who are contributing to the field of science and technology through their research related to analysis and measurement. We are now inviting entries for the 15th Masao Horiba Award in 2018 under the theme of "Advanced analytical and measurement technologies in semiconductor manufacturing processes."
The First Industrial Revolution came with the invention of the steam engine. The Second was brought about by mass production using electricity and oil. The Third was driven by computer based automation. Following these, the Fourth Industrial Revolution, characterized by the Internet of things (IoT) and artificial intelligence (AI), has already begun. As a foundation to support major changes in the industrial structure like this, semiconductors are becoming increasingly important. For instance, if you want to realize better services and improved productivity by leveraging IoT and AI technologies, it will be important to generate massive data by activating a large number of sensors through IoT and to appropriately analyze the data by AI. To this end, semiconductor devices to activate these sensors are necessary, as well as processors and memory devices capable of processing bulk data. From the viewpoint of productivity improvement, further automation of manufacturing processes and the introduction of cutting-edge robot technologies will be required, thereby driving the demand for a wide range of semiconductor devices that support various sensors adopted in these technologies. Moreover, considering the future streamlining of the power infrastructure and electrification of automobiles, the development of power semiconductors with higher performance that reduce power loss is also indispensable. Thus, semiconductor devices are further growing in importance as a key to industrial technologies.
To meet the abovementioned demands, next-generation semiconductor devices will need to be based on process technologies that efficiently achieve further miniaturization of devices, as well as improvement of performance and reliability. In addition, they will also require mass manufacturing processes pursuing yield and energy-saving performance more extensively than ever. In a series of processes, thin-film deposition on the substrate, along with etching, are very important manufacturing processes that greatly contribute to device performance and reliability, thereby requiring delicate and precise control. For example, there has been an expectation for the development of process control technology for feedforward and feedback of a huge quantity of parameters, which are output from monitoring and control instruments surrounding the thin-film process chamber, to the very process of thin-film deposition. In other words, a sophisticated, organic connection between analytical and measurement technologies and control technologies is necessary for the future evolution of semiconductors.
Against this backdrop, the 2018 Masao Horiba Award is accepting entries themed on analytical and measurement technologies contributing to the sophistication of thin-film deposition and etching processes, which are particularly important among the manufacturing processes of semiconductor devices indispensable to industrial progress. We welcome applications from motivated researchers and engineers in and outside Japan, who are devoting themselves to unique, creative research and development activities in the field of analytical and measurement technologies that support further innovation of semiconductor devices closely linked with our lives.
Masayuki Adach, Ph.D.
Chief of the Organizing Committee for 2018 Masao Horiba Awards
President & COO