Semiconductor Equipment and Materials Industry Honors Technology Pioneers

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2005 SEMI Award for North America Bestowed on Cognex Team for Machine Vision Work; SEMI Lifetime Achievement Award Presented To Jim Koford

SAN JOSE, Calif., October 21, 2005 – SEMI today announces that the 2005 SEMI Award for North America will be presented to the team of Bob Shillman, Bill Silver and Marilyn Matz for their contributions to machine vision inspection for the semiconductor industry. The SEMI Lifetime Achievement Award will honor James S. (Jim) Koford for contributions to computer-automated integrated circuit simulation and design.

The industry honors will be presented on Saturday, October 22 during the SEMI annual dinner at the Fairmont Hotel in San Jose, California. In addition to serving as an industry awards banquet the gala evening is a fundraiser for the SEMI Foundation, which supports education initiatives.

“These innovators developed new technologies and continually adapted them to the rapidly changing semiconductor manufacturing process, enabling device makers to maximize their performance,” said Stanley T. Myers, President and CEO of SEMI. “I congratulate the winners and convey the appreciation of SEMI and the industry for their innovation and dedication.”

2005 SEMI Award for North America:

Shillman, Silver and Matz founded Cognex Corporation in 1981. The company develops machine vision systems capable of performing wafer alignment and wafer identification in areas such as metrology, lithography, wafer prober and dice, and wafer packaging. In addition, Cognex develops software tools for notch detection, ink dot inspection, probe mark inspection, street detection, diced die inspection, and wire bonder inspection.

Shillman serves as chairman and CEO of Cognex. Prior to founding the company he held faculty positions in the departments of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Tufts University and at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He holds a B.S.E.E. from Northeastern University, and an M.S.E.E. and a Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He has published over 20 technical papers and is recognized as an authority in the areas of optical character recognition (OCR) and the application of machine vision to industrial uses.

Silver, a senior vice president and Senior Fellow at Cognex, is considered a leading technical authority in industrial machine vision. At MIT in the early 1970s he wrote the software for one of the earliest computer-controlled digital radar sets. He studied machine vision and robotics at MIT’s Artificial Intelligence Lab as a graduate student, earning a Masters degree in electrical engineering and computer science in 1980. His work on optical character recognition in 1982, normalized correlation in 1987, and geometric pattern matching in 1997 became benchmarks for industrial part identification, alignment, and guidance. His latest work is a vision sensor that detects events and inspects objects at 500 frames per second. Silver holds 22 U.S. patents, with over 40 additional patents pending.

Matz earned a Master’s Degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT before joining the founding team of Cognex. In her initial role as a vision software developer, she helped develop early OCR software. Since then she has held numerous technical management roles including vice president of software engineering, and senior vice president of worldwide engineering. In her current role as senior vice president of PC Vision, Matz oversees the development and marketing of PC-based vision products, and also oversees the vision R&D group.

SEMI Lifetime Achievement Award:

Jim Koford, recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award, developed the IC industry's first logic and functional design simulators and the first downstream design tools such as physical verification, DRC and place and route. His contributions over a period of 40 years created the technological infrastructure and tools that enabled the IC industry to move from manual design, manufacture and test to automated design, manufacture and test of LSI and ULSI integrated circuits.

Koford started his career at IBM and later worked at Fairchild Semiconductor during the mid 1960s. He is a co-founder of LSI Logic and the founder of Monterey Design Systems which was acquired in 2004 by Synopsys. He holds a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University and has over 80 patents to his credit.

The SEMI Award for North America, which has been presented annually since 1979, honors individuals who have made significant technical contributions to the semiconductor industry. Nominations are accepted from individuals of North American-based member companies of SEMI. Past award recipients include Walter Benzing and Mike McNealy (1979) for expitaxial silicon deposition; Kenneth Levy (1983) for automated photomask inspection; Jean Hoerni (1985) for the planar process; Dan Maydan, Sass Somekh and David Wang (1988) for plasma etch; and Bruce Deal (1998) for silicon oxidation.

SEMI is a global industry association serving companies that provide equipment, materials and services used to manufacture semiconductors, displays, nano-scaled structures, micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS) and related technologies. SEMI maintains offices in Austin, Beijing, Brussels, Hsinchu, Moscow, San Jose (Calif.), Seoul, Shanghai, Singapore, Tokyo and Washington, D.C. For more information, visit

Scott Smith/SEMI
Tel: 408.943.7957