In many ways it feels like we’ve turned back the hands of time. We are staying at home, playing board games with the family. Outdoors, we can view mountains not seen in decades – air pollution has dropped nearly 20 percent. Neighbors we haven’t met are out walking, a lot. Traffic is relatively sparse.
We’re staying up late, sometimes even getting up early, for calls with all regions. Some of us have temporarily suspended our use of cleanroom masks – but now wear them everywhere we go outside of the house. And through virtual meetings, I see I’m not the only one who let the beard grow. Who would’ve thought we’d be able to so quickly and completely change our habits?
Clearly, the usual distractions that fill most of our lives have given way to a temporary pause. We have time to reflect, and perhaps gain even greater perspective. I hope that’s been a good thing for you.
Through virtual meetings, we seem to be getting access to people not typically in our circle of influence – both up and down the organizational ladder. This pleasant surprise seems to be helping to create a valuable acceleration in how the industry community interacts and progresses.
As a testament to the strategic importance of our industry, the fabs continue to produce. This is due in great part to the standards, technologies and their resulting applications that enable those operations. Many parts of our industry supply chain became officially designated as essential businesses. Whether or not we stayed home from the office, we’ve continued to work on our roadmaps for growth beyond the current lull.
Empowered by 50 years of technology legacy, we are again demonstrating the capability to manage disruption through collaboration. This is the signature of our industry’s highly regarded business culture. Among what we have learned is that this pandemic has made all of us more vulnerable in a variety of ways, and in turn has accelerated our unity as an industry community like never before.
This month, as I brainstormed with a set of industry execs during one of countless Zoom meetings, it was clear that when they gather, they want more than a repackaged version of everyone else’s usual messages about this unusual year.
While this type of year certainly wasn’t what we had in mind when we began to construct ways to mark this 50th year of SEMICON West, we’ve taken the bull by the horns and begun to blaze a new trail. The consensus within the industry is that SEMI’s constant, measured communication is netting an increased, and growing, level of trust among our collective, global group that may serve as one of the silver linings of this irregular year.
As a result, we’ll lay a new road with the first – and possibly not the last – Virtual SEMICON West. For this inaugural digital format, we’ve secured a set of visionaries offering both legendary and evolutionary talents alike to reveal what we can expect during the next few years. It’ll be unlike any other such gathering before, and there’ll be something for everyone.
Despite the pause in time we’ve experienced during our isolation of these recent weeks, the timeless value of collaboration marches on. I look forward to joining you at Virtual SEMICON West, July 20-23.
Dave Anderson is president of SEMI Americas.