imec's ITF: conference session snapshots Software vs. Hardware in 2016

April 20, 2016 // By Graham Prophet
A full conference session on the second day (Brussels, May 25th 2016) of nanotechnology research organisation imec's (Leuven, Belgium) Technology Forum will be based around the theme “It's a software world but it would be nothing without hardware.”

“In this plenary session on the second day of ITF,” say the organisers, “we would love to hear your view on the hardware vs software controversy.”


Today, software seems to rule the world, and hardware is commoditizing. After the 1980s, we went through a decade where software value dropped due to open-source technology. It seems that we are closing the circle now, with low margins on hardware, outsourcing of manufacturing, and distributed systems with virtual assets. Cloud computing makes hardware less relevant, and software & services are becoming the differentiator for connected devices. True or not? This session includes three authoritative presentations and a panel discussion. Each presentation will discuss the view from a different angle: from a chip vendor persepctive, from a system vendor viewpoint, and from the semiconductor research side. Presentations will be followed by a panel discussion that will include the three speakers, plus one additional speaker from an OEM car company.


Presenters will include;

  • Wim Van Thillo, imec's Director, Perceptive Systems for IoT, Automotive and High-speed Wireless

  • Peter Real Senior VP & CTO, Analog Devices, whose presentation will be on the topic of 'Enabling the Internet of Things'


Joining the panel will be Berthold Hellenthal, Head of PSCP & Head of the Competence Centre Electronics & Semiconductors, Audi AG; and to moderate; Harmke de Groot, Senior Director Perceptive Systems for the Internet of Things, imec.


For more information on the rest of the 2-day programme of imec's Technology Forum (ITF) 2016, which has the overall theme, “Daring to Take a Different View; Nanotechnology in the Hot Seat”, and for registration information, visit;