Would you buy your next hotdog in parts, from un-coordinated suppliers? For example: Get the bun from a baker, the sausage from a butcher, mustard and/or ketchup and veggies from the nearest supermarket…?  If yes, you may find the sausage being too small, the veggies too big for the bun, and, when you finally finished adding mustard/ketchup and start eating, you may “enjoy” a cold sausage on a soggy bun!

This “hotdog example” is just a very simple way to highlight the advantages of a well-coordinated semiconductor supply chain. What may be a few dollars and cents wasted in this hotdog purchase, can become millions of dollars lost to delays and inefficiencies during the roll-out of a new electronic system.

Complexity is Increasing The Challenge

The very innovative semiconductor industry is continuing to develop more complete and complex building blocks for electronic system solutions, with the intent of making our customers’ lives easier. However, every new technology takes increasingly more time for technical and business interfaces to mature before all the semiconductor supply chain members can serve customers in a smooth, efficient and cost-effective manner. In particular, coordination between design and manufacturing has always turned out to be in the critical path.

SEMI, the manufacturers’ trade organization, and the Electronic System Design (ESD) Alliance, representing electronic design automation (EDA) tools vendors, developers of intellectual property (IP = ready-made building blocks for ICs) and IC design service providers, both recognized these challenges. Late in 2018, these two industry organizations decided to jointly address his painful, costly and often a very frustrating, yet critical path and became Strategic Association Partners, The goal is to establish a well-coordinated semiconductor supply chain.

To make the value propositions of this partnership highly visible and demonstrate the first joint accomplishments, SEMI’s well-known Semicon West conference and, in its first year, ES Design West, will be conveniently co-located in San Francisco’s Moscone Center from July 9 to 11, 2019.  The synchronized schedules and geographic proximity of these events not only outlines the multi-faceted interdependence of manufacturing and design but encourages and enables conference attendees to do, what previously would have been viewed as “forming cross-border relationships”. It’s a new word now — please join the path to success and expand your network!

Navigating SEMICON West and ES Design West

Just in case you are not yet planning to come to San Francisco early July, please check the Agendas-at-a-Glance for Semicon West and ES Design West, to see how broad and valuable these parallel conferences are for your business. In addition, every customer, partner and semiconductor industry supplier can, from July 9 – 11, walk from one conference section to the other, arrange face-to-face meetings, in dedicated meeting rooms, with representatives from both camps and discuss, from the first project planning step to the final production ramp-up, the many topics that need to be coordinated across parts or the entire supply chain to minimize delays and/or cost over-runs (Figure 1).

Who WIll Lead the Discussions?

Conference attendees can, in addition to meeting many important supply chain partners face-to-face, hear about the latest technologies and market trends from key executives in our industry. Featured speakers are:

  • David Pellerin, Head of Global Business Development, Amazon Web Services
  • Lisa Su, President, and CEO, AMD
  • Gary Dickerson, President, and CEO, Applied Materials
  • Laurent Le Faucheur, Principal Engineer, Digital Signal Processing and Machine Learning, Arm, Ltd.
  • Renee St. Amant, Ph.D., Research Engineer in Emerging Technologies and US Innovator of the Year, ARM
  • Dean Kamen, President DEKA Research & Development, Founder First and First Global
  • Jeffrey Welser, Ph.D., Vice President and Lab Director, IBM Research-Almaden
  • Dean Drako, President and CEO, IC Manage, Inc.
  • Oreste Donzella, Sr. VP & Chief Marketing Officer, KLA Corporation
  • Prakash Narain, President, and CEO, Real Intent, Inc.
  • Aart de Geus, Chairman, and Co-CEO, Synopsys, Inc.
  • Manish Pandy, Fellow, Synopsys, Inc.
  • Nate Baxter, General Manager, Development and Production Group, TEL US.
  • Like in previous years, Semicon West and ES Design West offer a range of special features, addressing Smart Manufacturing, Smart Transportation, Smart MedTech and Smart Workforce development in dedicated pavilions as well as an AI Design Forum. Also, the many exhibitors from both camps will give conference attendees convenient opportunities to get to know new supply chain partners and/or refresh long-term business relationships. Search for the exhibitors you want to meet early July here.

Questions to Ask for A Well-Coordinated Semiconductor Supply Chain

If I may, I would like to ask my many friends in the manufacturing camp to spend some time in the ES Design West section and ask the exhibitors a few questions, like: What can you do to get me to profit faster? To reduce development and unit cost? To improve yield, product quality, and reliability?  When can you visit my team to discuss how your company can contribute to our goals?

Vice versa, I would like to encourage my friends in the design camp to spend time in the Semicon West section and ask exhibitors what their companies offer. When talking to manufacturers of IC, passive components or circuit boards, assembly and test houses, please ask very specific questions like: How can we help you reduce iterations between you and your customers? How can we help to improve IC test programs? How can we increase the throughput of your manufacturing equipment? How can we apply machine learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) to minimize equipment downtime, improve yields and/or shorten production ramp-up?

I can assure you that you’ll not only win great friends “across the border” but will be very impressed by the expertise you’ll find in the other camp and the willingness for and benefits of cross-border cooperation.

I look forward to meeting you at Semicon West and ES Design West. Also, if your schedule allows, mark your calendars for the June 12 MEPTEC Luncheon at SEMI in Milpitas,  June 18 for the GSA’s Silicon Summit in Santa Clara and June 25 to 27 for the IMAPS SiP Conference in Monterey, CA. Hope to see you at one or all of these important events!

Thanks for reading….Herb

Herb Reiter

After more than 20 years in technical and business roles at semiconductor and EDA companies,…

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