SEMICON West has come and gone…..

Time for a little reflection… can we say that there was an air of optimism at SEMICON West this year? I would offer a resounding “YES!” especially when you compare it to last year – when many of us were barely clinging to the precipice.

“This is an exciting time as the industry begins its recovery.” So stated Jonathan Davis, president, SEMI North America, during his opening comments at the annual press breakfast at SEMICON West. There was more of everything this year – attendees, exhibitors and especially content. It’s a good thing SEMI added virtual SEMICON West, extending the conference into cyberspace until August 27.

Oh yes – and according to Stan Myers, president and CEO, SEMI, after hitting almost disastrous lows last year, the industry has rebounded spectacularly, with forecasters reporting an average expected growth of 38.7%.

“I want to savor this moment, I don’t know how many times I’ll get to stand up here and say the market is going to double this year,” said Davis. Indeed. Moments like this SHOULD be savored.

I noticed that there were a number of significant milestones and successes being celebrated this year, particularly among our partner organizations. EV Group celebrated 30 successful years in the industry. After 9 months of reorganization, SPTS celebrated their launch as a newly branded company, announcing triple the revenue in the first half of this year of all three companies combined last year (Sumitomo Precision Products (SPP) Surface Technology Systems (STS) and Aviza. Alchimer celebrated an equity investment infusion from Panasonic Partners, which according to CEO Steve Lerner, opens up a wealth of application opportunities for the AquiVia family of wet deposition processes. 3D InCites celebrated its first year as a successful new information platform as registered members continue to climb – numbering 327 as of today; and Chip Scale Review celebrated its ‘rebirth’ as the premier print publication serving the advanced packaging market sector with a slick, 60 page issue.

I did it again – slept the entire flight home. Information (and adrenaline) overload can do that to you. Silly me, I thought I’d be avoiding that when I decided to focus JUST on 3D…. who knew 3D would start seeping into every aspect of SEMICON West? It’s that ecosystem approach we talk so much about. Thanks to a last-minute impulse purchase of a Flip video camera the day before SEMICON West, and a willingness of several key participants, I was able to keep pace with much of the 3D happenings. I’m still sifting through video footage, interview notes, and press releases. So stay tuned, there’s more to come. And while you’re waiting, don’t forget to join in our SEMICON West 3D Wrap-up Forum. Participation is strongly encouraged. – F.v.T.