JRSC Planning Meeting 2009 Summary
On August 28, 2009, the JRSC (Japan Regional Standards Committee) held a one-day set of meetings at the SEMI Japan office (Ichigaya, Tokyo), including a JRSC Business Meeting, Membership Training on Regulations Governing SEMI Standards Committees, and the JRSC Planning Meeting 2009. In spite of the severe economic conditions, nearly 40 participants (including staff) attended and participated in these very active discussions, which focused on the theme “How SEMI Standards activities/development should be in the period of industry growth slowdown?”
The keynote presentation was given by JRSC co-chair Makoto Yamamoto (Muratec Automation) on “Standards Strategy for Equipment Suppliers”. He first focused on how the original features of the SEMI Standards program, “Industrial standards of users, for users, by users”, “Standards for cost reduction by curbing variety of specifications”, or “Standards for defining Interfaces and Functions”, have been changing due to the environmental transformation encompassing the 300mm standardization era. He noted, as a result, standards indirectly accelerate the aging of the industry by influencing the business clarifying Interfaces and Functions to avoid manufacturing inefficiencies. He also cited some key statistical trends in the semiconductor (manufacturing) industry and SEMI standards activity.
Based on the keynote, JRSC co-chair Shigeru Kobayashi (Renesas Technology) gave an introductory presentation for the group discussion. He emphasized how it is important and necessary to redefine/analyze the “significance of existence” of the SEMI Standards Program with fresh eyes. He started by outlining ITRS2009 (to be released in December), predicting that the visible/physical change in the decade to come would be 450mm related preparations. Other changes would be mainly for productivity improvement, where a totally different axis would be required compared to the one used during the 300mm standardization era aiming for cost reduction benefits.
- First, he requested each attendees’ group to analyze the needs for SEMI Standards development, from the viewpoints of “To determine if needs for standardization exists or not”, “If yes, where is it, and should it be SEMI standard?” or “Should it be standardized in SEMI domain in connection with other SDO like ISO/IEC?” A matrix was also suggested for the analysis, with “standardization needs such as traditional cost reduction à management standards (to provide business service) à standards to drive business structure” in the vertical axis and “objective for standardization (hard/soft ware/FPD/PV/EHS standards)” in the horizontal axis.
- Second, he introduced the adoption of “Analysis of efficiency for standardization in SEMI”, in order to determine what areas needing standardization should be developed as SEMI Standards.
- Finally, he requested a summary for each group discussion.
Afterwards, five group discussions took place for about two hours. The outputs of this discussion included the following ideas:
- Might need to freeze developing new standards based on the lesson-learned from 300mm era (too many options)
- Need to consider that other SDO might “use/utilize” SEMI
- Need standards to define whole supply/business chain to encourage creating value chain
- Need to train volunteers who can develop standards strategically
- Need to have the view point that standards are to create business instead of achieve cost reduction
- SEMI should be “Service/Solution Equipment & Materials International”
As a conclusion, Michio Honma (JRSC MAL, a former JRSC co-chair) stated “SEMI standards has value that most work at the early stage of new business area, so SEMI standards should be developed in a timely manner to find a clue of each area of business. New business area comes after and after that need to be standardized.”
For over a decade, JRSC (Japan Regional Standards Committee) has been conducting a “Planning Meeting” annually, attended by the JRSC members (Technical Committee chairs and members at large), Task Forces’ leaders, and other highly motivated SEMI Standards members. In recent years, active discussion has addressed cross-committee issues commonly shared by the attendees, and there have been multiple beneficial presentations by external experts on “Standardization as a Strategic Business Tool”, “Benefit & Limitations of SDOs’ Patent Policies/Consideration on Anti-trust”, etc. (see summaries of the Planning Meetings in 2007 and 2008).