This past week SEMI announced that SEMICON West 2o21 will be a hybrid affair with both a live conference and virtual views possible. The show will be held December 7-9, 2021. The usual July show will be canceled this year, but according to Dave Anderson President of SEMI America, will be resumed in July of 2022. Dave Anderson cited one of the reasons for a live show:

“As a means to improve collaboration for exploring the shared challenges and opportunities for helping our society and planet, this colocation will lay a new foundation for faster innovation through the cross-industry, face-to-face interactions that we are all eager to resume.”

I fully support a face-to-face meeting and the collaboration that might possibly ensue, but I think of a SEMICON in December and I think of Japan. According to SEMI, SEMICON Japan 2021 will take place the week following SEMICON West. This will mean if SEMICON Japan is held face-to-face, it’s going to be an extremely busy December for equipment companies’ executives and Marcom departments. Or will it mean two pared-down shows as a result of some companies not traveling or supporting the expense of 2 back-to-back SEMICONs? It will mean a hectic two weeks for SEMI executives and standards committee chairs, as most of them attend all SEMICONs.

SEMICON West 2021 and DAC 2021

In asking some follow-up questions of SEMI, they responded that SEMI members were looking towards a physical event and that it appeared unlikely that by July 2021 the industry would be able to meet face-to-face. As a result, SEMI will hold SEMICON 2021 or the 51st SEMICON west at Moscone center in early December. The event will be co-located with the Design and Automation Conference (DAC), in hopes of generating or improving cross-industry collaboration.

At SEMICON West 2020 and the International Trade Partners Conference in November, collaboration for innovation was a strong theme. CEOs appreciated how much work was being accomplished by video conferencing, but bemoaned the fact there was limited face-to-face contact, which they all felt limited the innovation that could take place which, the CEO’s feel, is necessary to drive the industry forward.

When I think of DAC, I think of Synopsys, Mentor Graphics (now Siemens Digital Industries Software), and Cadence. There are other electronic design automation (EDA) companies, but those are the ones at the top of my list, in part due to my dealings with Aart de Gues, and Wally Rhines, Aart de Gues is the CEO of Synopsys, and Wally Rhines was the CEO of Mentor before it was sold to Siemens. As a side note, both are excellent speakers and when they present at conferences, they look at the industry from a slightly different perspective, so if you have the chance to hear them speak don’t miss it.

When I think of EDA companies, I don’t automatically think of semiconductor manufacturing. EDA companies have been focused primarily on the creation of integrated circuits, and printed circuits. However, a quick search of websites shows that Mentor Graphics does have products for semiconductor manufacturing. So, there is a closer relationship than I first suspected. It will be interesting to see what type of cross-over and collaboration takes place at the show in December.

What’s San Francisco Like in December?

Wear your mittens!

As for the selection of December, the weather in San Francisco in December can be a bit unpredictable. While Mark Twain said “The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco”, December can probably match some of those summer months for chilly weather. In December you can have cold driving rainstorms, misting fog that San Francisco is well known for, chilly clear days, or mild weather with Sun. Stick around long enough you will get the weather you like.

The challenge I see with the weather is that traditionally SEMICON West has multiple outdoor venues for PR firms and company parties. Having these events outdoors, when the sun is going down at 4:30 PM, along with a higher probability of damp wet weather, will mean lots of heaters, and overcoats. Most of the hotels in the area will probably be very happy with SEMI’s December decision, as It is highly likely that the parties will need to move inside for SEMICON 2021 due to the temperatures in the evening in December. This business will be very welcome after at least 1.5 years of limited conferences in San Francisco.

So, while it will be great to see people and network face to face. Bring your woolen mittens, and overcoats to help keep you toasty while you collaborate. See you in December 2021.


Dean Freeman

Dean W. Freeman, Chief Analyst at FTMA, has over 36 years of semiconductor manufacturing and…

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