By Dave Anderson, president, SEMI Americas
I hope you were able to attend SEMICON West 2017. If you did, I think you’ll agree that this year’s show had plenty of verve, due in part to the fact that 2017 is on course to set a record for semiconductor equipment spending, topping the dot-com days of 2000. Business is booming, and the trade press noted that SEMICON West reflected the exuberance, and indeed heightened it, saying, “this year’s event boasted a certain swagger.” But breaking an all-time sales record isn’t the only reason the mood was so upbeat — we added groundbreaking programs and innovative experiences to make SEMICON West 2017 like no other before. In case you missed it, here are some highlights:
Keynotes: TEL’s Tetsuro Higashi reassured us that we can safely co-exist with AI and asserted that humans will be empowered, not enslaved, by it. Kathy Winter from Intel described how emerging 5G wireless networks will soon enable the real-time, onboard crunching of Big Data, making self-driving vehicles safe and ubiquitous in the not-too-distant future. Applied Materials chairman Emeritus James Morgan offered insights gained over his long tenure at Applied Materials and signed copies of his autobiography. GLOBALFOUNDRIES Tom Caulfield explained how smart devices, sensors, and advanced connectivity are creating a new, intelligent world driven by AI, AR, and machine learning. Thank you, keynoters, for sharing your enlightened perspectives!
SMART Programming: “Smart Starts Here” was our theme, and we truly lived up to it. This year’s programming was intensely focused on the applications, technologies, and trends driving the business forward: Heterogeneous Integration, Advanced Packaging, Artificial Intelligence, Autonomous Vehicles, Hyper Scaling, China’s Rise, Smart Manufacturing, and Sensors and IoT — SEMICON West is the place to be to see where the industry is headed.
Executive Panel: On Wednesday in the Yerba Buena Theater, the Executive Panel on "Meeting the Challenges of the 4th Industrial Revolution along the Microelectronics Supply Chain," took place. The panel, headed up by Mary Puma, president and CEO of Axcelis Technologies, and secretary/treasurer of the SEMI Board of Directors, was comprised of business executives working across the supply chain. They explored the opportunities and business challenges that the Big Data Revolution, or so-called 4th Industrial Revolution, brings, as well as what effect it has on collaboration across the supply chain.
Next up? Mark your calendars for the Strategic Materials Conference (SMC), on September 18-20, themed “Materials Accelerating Innovation”: This year’s Strategic Materials Conference will delve into market forces driving demand for sophisticated process materials, including the need to meet the increasingly complex requirements of chip fabricators and developers of end-use applications and consumer products. Presentations by thought leaders, academics, and analysts will shed light on emerging material technologies that are enabling faster time-to-market for innovative new solutions. SMC provides in-depth content and robust networking opportunities for professionals across the extended microelectronics supply chain. To learn more, visit SMC at semi.org.
We look forward to seeing you at many SEMI events this year (SEMI Event calendar) and hope that you’ll also mark your calendar for next year’s SEMICON West (July 10-12, 2018)!
President, SEMI Americas
August 1, 2017