Looking Ahead at Europe in 2017

by Laith Altimime, president, SEMI Europe 

2017 continues to bring change to our industry. In Europe, SEMI is offering the platforms and cooperation networks our members need to understand and assess new technologies and markets and to access new business opportunities. 

The Internet of Things remains a key driver for change: as we take our first steps into the IoT era, cooperation between companies in the value chain is taking on different forms and new business models are emerging. Demand is driven by applications: electronics are becoming ubiquitous and are driving innovation across most sectors:

Audi admits that to remain relevant in the future, the company must rely on the innovation capacity of its value chain. In fact, for Audi many innovations arise in direct cooperation with semiconductor manufacturers and are then rolled out into the supply chain, according to Berthold Hellenthal, in charge of robust design and electronic component testing at Audi. Bosch manufacturing are following a dual strategy of both developing industry 4.0 solutions and applying them in their own manufacturing sites. Kuka Roboter, a global leader in industrial robots, needs all the computing performance they can get out of silicon chips to manage the masses of calculation, coordination and control that are involved. 

This also means that applications have a direct impact on the requirements set for materials and capital equipment suppliers. ISS Europe 2017 will explore these evolving dynamics in the value chain, addressing the business models, the market trends and the technology demands they are shaping. The program includes the companies mentioned above, as well as OSRAM, Infineon, NXP, GLOBALFOUNDRIES, TSMC and Mentor Graphics among others. It’s a unique opportunity to understand what and who is driving the industry and to strategically position your company in this changing environment.

In response to this changing industry landscape and members’ feedback, SEMI also will be offering new platforms for knowledge and cooperation – here’s a taste of what to look out for in 2017:

  • SEMI Member Forum in Israel – mark your calendars for 25-26 June 2017 and join us for the opportunity to better understand and network with the Israel-based industry, including local site visits.
  • 1st SEMI Imaging & Sensor Summit – co-located with the 3rd European MEMS Summit in Grenoble, France (20-22 September 2017) and with a common track on sensors, offering attendees unique combined events and opportunities to bridge adjacent communities. 
  • SEMICON Europa 2017  - the largest microelectronics event in Europe will be collocated with Productronica in Munich, Germany (14-17 November 2017), offering exhibitors and visitors increased opportunities to connect to the extended value chain. Flagship programs such as the Innovation Village, Fab Managers Forum and power electronics conference are again on offer, but also expect new programs and networking opportunities.
  • New program on Materials – to be launched at SEMICON Europa 2017, this program is expected to focus on materials for high reliability requirements for automotive and for high RF requirements in the area of communication. 

On the policy front, expect further changes that will impact the industry in Europe. Brexit negotiations should be officially launched in the next few weeks, the new Trump administration is showing signs of breaking with past trade policies, while elections in the Netherlands, France and Germany will dominate Europe’s political scene for the next few months. Increasing EU regulatory requirements on substances will require stronger cooperation and communication in the supply chain to ensure compliance with EU laws. 

Watch for the decision from the EU’s executive, expected in the first half of 2017, on whether to approve a large-scale public-private investment (around 6 Billion Euro over the next two years) in production capacities for electronic components – also known as Europe’s first important project of common European interest (IPCEI) in electronics. The success of this proposal, and the lessons learned, could pave the way for further large-scale public co-investment in manufacturing capacities in Europe. 

This will be another exciting year for the industry and for SEMI and I look forward to working with you to showcase and reinforce Europe’s strengths.

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Global Update
February 7, 2017