These are heady times for our industry. SEMI member stock prices have soared in the past year, with many topping year 2000 levels to reach all-time records in 2017. Memory investment has come roaring back, and China is ramping steeply after more than 24 new fab announcements in 2016. This year’s semiconductor revenue is widely expected to increase 10 percent compared to 2016. With at least 15 IC companies, each making capital expenditures of billion dollars or more, semiconductor equipment billings have increased by 50 percent this year. These are the best of times!
When business is up, our industry works intensely to take full advantage. When business is down, everyone works feverishly to do more with less. As our industry is almost never flat, SEMI members are constantly running full-tilt, up and down the rollercoaster. Our industry works astonishingly hard to be successful. When I joined SEMI this past March, it was critically important to me that SEMI not only keep pace with the relentless intensity of the industry, but also speed the time to better business results for its members across the global electronics manufacturing supply chain.
In my first 100 days at SEMI, I focused on listening and learning. I was reminded that in a given year SEMI delivers more than 170 global programs to more than 27,000 attendees and hosts seven global expositions that attract more than 300,000 attendees.
SEMI itself is made up of over 2,000 member companies with over 1.2 million individuals. More than 5,000 SEMI Standards volunteers have created over 970 SEMI Standards that enable our industry’s interoperability; efficiency; and environmental, safety and health performance (over 50,000 SEMI S2 assessments to date). SEMI Special Interest Groups (SIGs) are vibrant communities where experts from member companies come together to develop solutions to shared challenges.
In my first three months, I met with hundreds of diverse SEMI stakeholders around the world, including international and regional advisory board members, member company leaders and employees, and partners and representatives across the electronics supply chain. Universally, I received positive feedback on SEMI’s value and I learned that more can be done to deliver more tangible value.
“Connecting” our members and industry, while a vital part of why SEMI exists, is no longer sufficient: SEMI needs to advance for impact, ensuring better SEMI member outcomes, building industry leadership, and amplifying the voice of the industry.
There are four focus areas that will increase our collective impact and speed the time to better business results for SEMI members:
- Advocacy (4Ts: Trade, Tax, Talent, and Technology)
- Collaborative Technology Platforms
- Thought leadership
- Industry visibility
Collaborative Technology Platforms have provided SEMI with the opportunity to cover more breadth while offering more depth in key inflection areas. While initiatives such as the Strategic Innovation Platform (SIP) have successfully delivered pre-competitive technology insights, we need to give them higher visibility to all SEMI members. Also, living in a post-ITRS roadmap world, SEMI will continue to champion critical activities like the Heterogeneous Integration Roadmap where SEMI members see great challenges as well opportunities for collaborative work.
Thought leadership, among other things, means seeing the future and distilling the implications for the industry. SEMI now has two Strategic Association Partners—FlexTech and MEMS & Sensors Industry Group—whose communities are critically important as we look at the world in 2030 and report on the implications for the electronics manufacturing supply chain. Emerging segments like flexible hybrid electronics (FHE) and sensors and the opportunities they provide to SEMI members in vertical applications such as medtech and automotive are truly astounding.
Industry visibility is critically important for its place in the $2 trillion electronics supply chain. At a time when the general public, policy makers and those making career decisions more easily associate “technology” with internet companies, it essential to reestablish recognition of the electronics manufacturing supply chain.
An explosion of new applications are driving increased silicon content -- from autonomous transportation, to the IoT, to AI, to new computer architectures. SEMI members’ contributions must be seen and valued.
While the industry is running hard to make the most of record-breaking quarters, SEMI will keep pace. And based on the feedback and guidance from our International Board of Directors, SEMI will begin its transformation to SEMI 2.0. I will keep you updated on how SEMI will increasingly speed the time to better business results for its members across the global electronics manufacturing supply chain. In the meantime, we will continue to listen, learn, and act for SEMI member impact. Exciting times indeed!