Up Periscope!


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Up Periscope!

By Jonathan Davis, SEMI President, North America

Deluged by the underwater economy, much of the industry has been swimming at depths not seen for a decade. So, it was good to see rising expectations at SEMICON West and in other recent news as people begin see encouraging signs above the waterline. IC Insights reports that the top 20 semiconductor companies collectively saw Q2 sales improve 21% over the first quarter of 2009. And our own mid-year SEMI Consensus Forecast, released last month at SEMICON West, projects capital spending to resume in 2010, with the global equipment market rising 47% to about $21 billion.

Speaking of SEMICON West, this year's event also bucked industry trends, with verified visitor attendance rising 4% to 17,801. Part of this increase comes from the growth of and interest in Intersolar North America and rising interest in the solar energy and PV markets, but growth is also reflected in the core semiconductor segments that are the hallmark of SEMICON West.

This year's event featured a strong agenda of keynotes, panels, and technical programs focused on key segments and topics that attracted thousands of visitors. Among the highlights were keynotes from Intel's Anand Chandrasekher and Walden Rhines from Mentor Graphics; executive panels and summits including the Foundry Summit, Packaging Summit, and Executive Test Summit; and technical sessions at the new Extreme Electronics "mini-show" focused on new opportunities in MEMS, high-brightness LEDs, nano-electronics, and printed and flexible electronics. Additionally, SEMICON West again played host to the ITRS summer public conference, which this year featured a keynote panel discussion including executives from Micron, Qualcomm, ASE, Applied Materials, and ATMI.

Presentations and audio from many of the panels and technical sessions are currently available on the SEMICON West website.

The strength of attendance and program interest clearly shows the continuing value and role of SEMICON West as a forum for collaboration and information exchange, as well as a place to connect with critical technical content. This trend will expand further in 2010 with the co-location of the Advanced Semiconductor Manufacturing Conference (ASMC), presented by SEMI and IEEE. For the past 20 years, ASMC has been the premier semiconductor technology conference, bringing together the best and brightest minds and cutting edge ideas in the industry. The co-location of this world-class, industry-leading event with SEMICON West will bring additional technical gravity to the overall event and expand opportunities for even greater attendance and participation. The ASMC call-for-papers is currently open; additional information can be found at www.semi.org/ASMC2010.

In the near-term, we continue to look optimistically for additional signs of recovery and a return of business growth. The next Silicon Valley Lunch Forum, August 19 at the Santa Clara Marriott, in Santa Clara, Calif., will again present a panel of leading industry analysts who will offer their latest prognostications on the future of the global semiconductor industry and prospects for recovery. Speakers include Bill McClean, IC Insights; Dean Freeman, Gartner; and John Housley, Techcet. Registration and additional information is available on the SEMI website.

While the industry and we here at SEMI continue to look for more signs of optimism, we invite you to stay connected to and involved with SEMI as we work through the current cycle and prepare for the next upturn.

August 3, 2009