Heinz Letter - In the Midst of Change - May 2009

From the SEMI Europe President

In the Midst of Change

The whole industry is in transition, struggling with the downturn and seeking opportunities. How can we manage through these difficult times? Where should we invest our money in terms of markets and technologies?

The good news is that device inventories are near depletion and the chip market in Europe seems to have bottomed-out. WSTS reported a worldwide chip sales increase in April of 3.3% world-wide and 3.9% in Europe in April compared to March. With the exception of Japan, all regions had substantial growth according to WSTS. Not surprisingly, in Europe, the winners are mainly applications in the automotive and communication segment.

Diversification is the strategic direction that many companies are presently pursuing. While the race for smaller scales is going on, many equipment and material companies continue to diversify into special applications— including LED and especially photovoltaic.

Due to the economic downturn and the regional competition, SEMI Europe has intensified the advocacy with the European Union and issued the SEMI White Paper for a strong European manufacturing basis to the European Commission. Meanwhile, the commission has reacted and declared that semiconductors are an enabling and critical industry to keep Europe’s industrial sectors competitive.

This is a very important step that enables us to take further action towards a strong semiconductor and related manufacturing base in Europe. We will continue our advocacy for Europe— not only as an excellent R&D location but also as a competitive manufacturing environment. For more information, please visit our dedicated SEMI Europe advocacy website and attend our upcoming industry events:

    Your presence is important for a successful business development in Europe and a strong collective identity.

Heinz Kundert

May 6, 2009