Writing an ISSCC paper

Writing a good ISSCC paper updated May 2017 Tips on how to increase the chances of paper acceptance These slides are from a presentation given at the A-SSCS in Hangzhou, China November 2006. Jan Van der Spiegel ISSCC Kenneth C. Smith 1 Important This version has been updated (May 2017) to include new guidelines for referencing an earlier paper written by yourself to comply with the double-blind review process.

Character count limit is also updated Comments in these slides assume that you have read, very carefully, the most recent Call for Papers. ISSCC 2 Sit back and relax Enjoy the presentation ISSCC 3 Overview

Background of ISSCC Early considerations General guidelines for writing an ISSCC paper Specific suggestions What to omit for the double-blind review process Common reasons for paper rejection Additional Information (appendix): Suggestions for each technical area

ISSCC Technical-Area Descriptions ISSCC 4 ISSCC its Vision ISSCC is the foremost global forum for presentation of advances in Solid-State Circuits and Systems-on-a-Chip ISSCC 5 Reviewers ensure the high standards

of ISSCC Your paper will be carefully read by Expert Reviewers (up to 15 per paper) who are very familiar with the state-of-the-art. You need to convince these reviewers that your work is better than what others have done. ISSCC 6 International Technical Program Committee (ITPC) Technical Program Chair Program Vice-Chair FE Regional Committee

EU Regional Committee ITPC ISSCC 11 Subcommittees: 1. Analog 2.Power Management 3. Data Converters 4. Digital Architectures and Systems 5. Digital Circuits 6. Imagers, MEMS, Medical, & Displays 7. Memory 8. RF Circuits 9. Technology Directions 10. Wireless

11. Wireline 7 Early Checklist Does my paper advance previous work or does it introduce a new concept? Does my paper have hardware: has a chip been fabricated and tested? Does the topic of my paper fit into the scope of ISSCC (Is it circuit-oriented)? In which Subcommittee does my paper fit? Have parts of my paper been published previously? ISSCC

8 Before you begin writing, ask yourself: What results do I want to communicate? How does my work improve on that previously published? Who are the key players in this area? What are the latest references? ISSCC 9 References are important!

Know the latest key references related to your work: Use ISSCC references whenever possible. Use IEEE Journal references as next best. Do not use old references, except to emphasize the time scale of the problem. The use of good references tells the reviewers that you are aware of the latest developments in the field. Refer to all references in the text of the paper, and comment briefly on each. Do not refer to only your own work.

Use about 4 to 6 references. Important: for the initial submission (not for the accepted version) you must refrain from including any information that may reveal your identity. ISSCC 10 Two Key Prerequisites: First and foremost is the technical quality of the work Must be original and innovative! Should advance state-of-the-art!

Must fit into the ISSCC topic areas! Write-up of the paper The paper must convince the reviewers of the quality of your work. The paper must be clearly written. Have the paper proof-read by a fluent-English speaker to check the English. Have the paper reviewed by a colleague to check the technical quality and completeness (preferably the best expert available, but not on ITPC). ISSCC 11

General Guidelines on writing an ISSCC paper ISSCC 12 Beginning to Write: Start by writing the Conclusions! This forces you to think about what you want to say. Be quantitative in the Conclusions: Summarize the important measured results, giving numerical data; relate them to previously published work.

Once the conclusions are written, backfill the paper. Be explicit and concrete: Quantify the results. Put your results in context: Compare them to results of others (refer explicitly to the references). ISSCC 13 Introducing the topic: Opening or Introduction: This should make it clear to the expert reviewer that you know your

area and what others have done: Discuss the state-of-the-art in terms of what others have done recently. Make use of references. What is the problem you want to solve? Capture the different approaches to solving the problem and show which of these approaches you have picked and why. Continue with explaining your approach ISSCC 14 Writing the body of the paper (1/3): You have only 8700 characters for the text including title, spaces and references! Note, this does not include author list & affiliations.

Use this limited space carefully! Plan in advance (just as you would for a system architecture) List 2-to-3 innovative aspects. Explain the importance of these aspects in terms of new design, performance achievements, and how it advances the state-of-the-art. ISSCC 15 Writing the body of the paper (contd 2/3):

Body of the paper: This should focus on the key ideas and build up the paper incrementally: Use a figure or diagram to show your approach. Preferably, show circuit schematics and explain how the circuit works and what is new about it. Show measurement results: If needed, summarize results in a table format. If appropriate, provide a Figure-of-Merit to prove that your work advances the state-of-the-art. ISSCC 16

Writing the body of the paper (contd 3/3): Compare others: your results with those of Be straightforward in the comparison. Do not ignore bad results; discuss and explain any shortcomings, rather than ignoring them. Compare your results with a paper that uses a similar test technique, and which deals with a similar system. Preferably, compare to a previous ISSCC paper. ISSCC

17 Concluding the paper: Highlight the results. The final or pre-final paragraph should list all important measured results, give the reviewers a complete picture of your system, and convince them of the technical accuracy of your results. State how your results advance the stateof-the-art. ISSCC 18 Note on 3 Extra Figures:

With the submission, you may include an extra three figures: Can be used to give a brief analysis or derivation Can provide Figures-of-Merit to compare your work to others Can provide some additional explanation of system details These extra figures should not be referred to in the initial write-up (since they will not be included in the published paper). They serve only to help the reviewers understand and evaluate your paper.

ISSCC 19 Specific suggestions Paper submission ISSCC 20 Title of the paper: Title: should give a good idea of the papers contents and highlights. Do NOT make the title too broad or general, since it may appear to be

a marketing or survey paper. For example, when your paper talks about Cache and how the Cache is built, do NOT use a title simply High-Speed Processors, but use a title A Fast Cache for a High-Speed Processor For example, use a titleAn 800mW 10Gb/s Ethernet Transceiver in 0.13m CMOS, and NOT: A novel, high-speed transceiver ISSCC 21 Body of the paper: DONTs

Dont repeat too much of the abstract. Dont present much theory; Refer to other sources of such material in a reference. Dont give too many equations; This is not a Ph.D. thesis, and hence only relevant equations (if any) should be stated. If an equation is used, you must explain the equation. Dont make assumptions. Everyone has a different way of interpreting such information. Dont write a tutorial-type paper. Our expert reviewers do not need tutorials. ISSCC papers must be very concise and present new ideas. ISSCC

22 Technical content: innovation is key Highlight the INNOVATION in your paper, early on. Innovation can include one or more of the following: Scalability, circuit or architecture innovation, implementation of a new system approach, use of a new technology, as well as bestperformance reported. Address the innovation aspect clearly: What

is the problem Solutions to the problem What is new Accuracy of the proposed approach, circuit, or system Feasibility of implementation Comparison with previously proposed techniques Show at least one important circuit diagram. ISSCC 23 More on content: When showing a circuit or diagram:

Explain what is new about it (give an explanation beyond that of a data sheet) Explain its operation. Do not expect the reviewer to dissect it. Help the reviewer to understand its operation. But, be concise and brief. What are the advantages, what are the shortcomings? Replace words like Fastest, Smallest, Lowest power consumption, etc, by quantitative and accurate comparisons with earlier work. Make sure you mention each reference. Include

also pending publications at conferences or in journals that appear before ISSCC (see also blind-review process and pre-publication policy) ISSCC 24 Results are key: The paper should: Include a die photo, and give the chip size and technology used. Include measurements of the fabricated chip, IV curves, power, etc. Be precise and quantitative. Compare measured results against stated requirements, and to prior art. Include a summary table of the design that highlights the specification and performance

metrics. ISSCC 25 How to prepare your submission for the double-blind review Eliminate names, contact information, and affiliations from the entire paper (including PDF metadata). (Logos and other identifying information will be added back to the final paper upon acceptance.) Do not use words like I, we, my, or ours. Eliminate acknowledgments and references to funding sources.

See isscc.org for FAQs and example paper. ISSCC 26 How to prepare your submission for the double-blind review All authors are required to fully disclose related work; double blind review only affects how this is done (and does not eliminate this requirement!) When you refer to your own previous work (selfcitation), it is important that you do not include any information that may reveal your identity. Refer to the work in one of the 2 formats shown on the next slide. ISSCC

27 Instructions for Self-Citation 1. Format 1 should be used if: The publication date was at least one year before the ISSCC submission deadline And you can refer to the work in a neutral manner: It was shown in [1] that class-AB amplifiers are more efficient than class-A amplifiers. Inappropriate example: We re-used the bias-generator from [2]. 1

ISSCC [1] J. Doe and T. Smith, A new amplifier circuit for rocket science, IEEE J. Solid-State Circuits, pp. 10-19, May 2010. 28 Instructions for Self-Citation If your related work is very recent (published within one year from submission deadline, or submitted but not yet published/accepted) and tightly connected to the present work, use format 2 Attach the full paper as a supplement. Supplements will

be read during final pre-pub check (after paper selection). 2 ISSCC [1] Details withheld in accordance with double-blind review process (paper attached as supplementary document). 29 How to prepare your submission for the double-blind review Do not refer to patents or other documents that would reveal you or your company/institutions identity. You can add this information in the final version that goes into the Digest. For die photos and PC boards you need to black out any logos or names in order not to

reveal your identity. (For the Digest version you may uncover logos, labels or names.) ISSCC 30 Common reasons for paper rejection ISSCC 31 Do NOT submit A paper that gives only simulations and has no silicon implementation and test results.

A paper with only modeling and/or equations: submit these to ISCAS, ICCAD or DAC. A paper that is outside the scope of ISSCC topics. Work that has been published elsewhere. ISSCC 32 Common reasons for paper rejection A lack of clear evidence of what is novel in the work, and the extent to which it advances the state-of-the-art: Successful

submissions contain specific new results with sufficient detail and data to be understood, with schematics and measured results for key circuits, when appropriate. Wrong conference Pre-Publication. ISSCC 33 Pre-Publication Policy (see also ISSCC Website) (1/4)

If a substantial part of a paper has been or will be published before the upcoming ISSCC, the paper will not be accepted. This is the case when: Disclosure of the innovative circuitry, architectures, algorithms, etc, that occurs in articles, data sheets, trade journals, or other conferences. Material submitted and accepted at another conference, or for which a decision is still pending. Any detailed disclosure of innovative technical ideas on the WorldWide Web before the paper presentation at the Conference will be considered pre-publication. ISSCC 34

Pre-Publication Policy (contd 2/4) However, a paper may be acceptable in cases where: The chip has been sampled, entered production, and/ or appeared in a publication that addressed only the marketing or applications aspects of the product. Disclosure consisting only of abbreviated data sheets that provide only specifications, a feature list, a coarse block diagram or die photo without technical details. The work has been presented at a workshop or niche conference with limited attendance and no published proceedings or press coverage and no public online access. ISSCC

35 Pre-Publication Policy (contd 3/4) However, a paper may also be acceptable in the following case: Information provided under NDA to customers, partners, or other parties. Final signed versions of Masters and PhD theses available in open access repositories (libraries), either printed or online. (But, a thesis published for profit is considered prepublication.) Published patents and patent applications. ISSCC 36

Pre-Publication Policy (contd 4/4) Authors must disclose all material that may fall into the pre-publication category as part of the submission process After your paper has been accepted, DO NOT publish or reveal any details or summaries on the Web, in press releases, or in any other articles before the forthcoming ISSCC! For questions about the pre-publication policy and double-blind review process, contact the Program Chair. ISSCC 37 In Summary:

It is all about: Innovation! Advancing State-of-the-Art! Technical quality of the results! Results clearly explained! ISSCC 38 Disclaimer: These slides provide only suggestions and guidelines intended to improve the quality of

your paper submission. There is no guarantee that a paper, however closely conforming to these suggestions and guidelines, will be accepted. ISSCC 39 Acknowledgements for insightful suggestions: Qiuting Huang Shahriar Mirabbasi Sreedhar Natarajan Willy Sansen Albert Theuwissen Chorng-Kuang Wang

ISSCC 40 ISSCC resources: http://www.isscc.org/ Program Chair Program Vice-chair Subcommittee Chairs Chairs of the Regional Committees ISSCC 41 Thank you for your attention

See you at the next ISSCC! ISSCC 42

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