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  1. Technology
January 29, 1998


By CBR Staff Writer

If semiconductor manufacturers are going to be able to be competitive in the systems-on-a-chip market, they will have to double their productivity every two years. At least that is the opinion of Hector Ruiz, president of Motorola Inc’s Semiconductor Products Sector, expressed in his key note speech at DesignCom 98 being held in Santa Clara, California. Ruiz believes the system-on-silicon as he puts it, is going to need to play a crucial role if the chip industry stands any hope of reaching revenues of $300bn within the next five years. But systems on chips are far from sophisticated enough yet, according to Ruiz and combined with the fact that production costs are going to need to come down considerably if they are to be viable, the $300bn goal is made even harder. In a report in Electronic Engineering Times, Ruiz expresses concern that systems-on-silicon need to be made more practical and says Motorola is working with copper interconnects to try an achieve this goal. Fragmentation of the implementation of these devices also needs to be addressed, and this can best be achieved by bringing some sort of order to the embedded system marketplace, Ruiz says. Motorola is currently building a system-on-a-chip using 0.25 micron process technology with copper interconnects, which it hopes to have ready later in the year. However, one of the main problems facing the system-on-a-chip is the lack of experienced and qualified design engineers, says Ruiz, and even drawing on the most optimistic estimates, the industry will still be short of staff and likely to fall short of its objectives.

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