SEMI ISS 2014 – Scaling Innovation

February 4, 2014
Courtesy of Ivo Bolsens (Xilinx), SEMI ISS 2014

Courtesy of Ivo Bolsens (Xilinx), SEMI ISS 2014

Don’t pop the champagne just yet! Although plenty of good news was shared at the 2014 SEMI Industry Strategy Symposium (ISS) there was the sobering outlook of possible limited long-term growth due to technology issues as well as economic projections. Noticeable was the lack of news and updates on key industry developments.

This is the yearly “data rich” or “data overload” (take your pick) conference of semiconductor supply chain executives. The majority of the attendees and presenters are from the SEMI member companies that develop the equipment, materials, processes, and technology used to build, test, and package semiconductors. Keeping the pressure on for advanced technology were the “end customer” attendees and presenters – semi-conductor manufacturers.

The official theme was “Pervasive Computing – An Enabler for Future Growth” and the presentations made it clear  Read the rest of this entry »


SEMI ISS: Sense of Scale

January 22, 2013
Intel shows first fully patterned 450 mm semiconductor wafer at SEMI ISS 2013

Intel shows first fully patterned 450 mm semiconductor wafer at SEMI ISS 2013

Attending the SEMI Industry Strategy Symposium (ISS) is like drinking from a fire hose with the additional risk of whiplash. Don’t get me wrong, it is an exquisite fire hose but sometimes the data presented can be overwhelming at this conference of semiconductor supply chain executives. The majority of the attendees and presenters are executives from the SEMI member companies that develop the equipment, materials, processes, and technology used to build, test, and package semiconductors. And the executives present from the semiconductor manufacturers are typically the “end customers”.

The greatest value of SEMI ISS, beyond the networking, is the strategic overview of the entire semiconductor ecosystem. What are the market drivers, the technology needed, and the roadmap status of this industry? It is true that we all know where we need to head courtesy of Moore’s Law and the International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors which attempts to keep us on that trajectory. The pressure of consumers needing wanting greater functionality at lower costs is relentless. Much of the technological detail of this ecosystem is addressed in a myriad of other forums throughout the year. ISS ties these technical requirements, development needs, and business needs back to the strategic direction and desires of the global marketplace.

The whiplash comes from  Read the rest of this entry »


IEEE Semiconductor Wafer Test Workshop 2012 – Session 4 (Monday)

June 28, 2012

Click image to download presentation

Here are the highlights from Session Four “New Contactor Technologies and RF PCB Design” of the 22nd annual IEEE 
Semiconductor Wafer Test Workshop (SWTW) from Monday June 11, 2012.

A last minute change to balance the schedule moved my paperThe Road to 450 mm Semiconductor Wafers” from the previous session:

Many believe that Gordon Moore in his famous 1965 paper “The Experts Look Ahead: Cramming More Components onto Integrated Circuits” that has become know as Moore’s Law, said that the number of transistors on a device would double every year (later revised to every two years). He did not say quite that. What he said was  Read the rest of this entry »


Change the Rules to Win!

April 26, 2012

Some consider the many of billions of dollars invested in the semiconductor supply chain to be huge bets on yet to be proven technology and future business. Even if you take a strict view of this as simply business it is possible to learn something from gambling.

The Atlantic tells the fascinating story of how Don Johnson took Atlantic City casinos for $15 M playing blackjack. Last year he won $5 M from Borgata in February, $4 M from Caesars in March, and $6 M from Tropicana in April. This wasn’t luck and he wasn’t card counting. How did he do this and how does this connect to semiconductors and Apple?

Read the rest of this entry »


SEMI ISS – Snapshot of a Wild Ride – Other Coverage

February 2, 2012

Michael Splinter (Applied Materials) - Relative industry cost improvements and volumes.

I hope that my summaries of the first day of SEMI Industry Strategy Symposium (ISS) 2012 in

provided useful insights to the economic roller coaster that is the semiconductor market and its equipment and material supply chain. There have also been several good reports Read the rest of this entry »


SEMI ISS – Snapshot of a Wild Ride – Session 2

January 25, 2012

After a gloomy first session focused on world economics at SEMI Industry Strategy Symposium (ISS) 2012, Session 2 – Semiconductor Markets was significantly more upbeat.

Stephen G. Newberry (Vice Chairman of the Board,  Lam Research Corporation) started off with a way forward in Read the rest of this entry »


SEMI ISS – Snapshot of a Wild Ride – Session 1

January 23, 2012

Like the roller coaster ride that is the semiconductor industry, the SEMI Industry Strategy Symposium (ISS) 2012 had its share of ups, downs, twists, and turns. Semiconductor Equipment and Materials International – better known as SEMI – as the industry association of suppliers to semiconductor manufacturers has held this annual conference in early January for thirty five years to provide updates on business conditions and technology roadmaps to enable SEMI members to plan for the coming year. The conference was packed with senior management paying close attention to the industry leaders, analysts, and customer presenters. All of the presentations, even the most poorly disguised sales pitch or infomercial, contained several valuable insights.

In his keynote presentation “Technology Law Still Delivers“, William Holt (Senior Vice President; General Manager, Technology & Manufacturing Group, Intel Corporation) opened the conference with much optimism based upon Read the rest of this entry »