New Model To Advance Industry Roadmaps

Amid geopolitical unrest, new technologies such as AI, VR, and 5G put the industry in the midst of a major inflection point.


Economically, geopolitically and technologically – with visibility for the future unclear – there couldn’t be a better time for the microelectronics industry to take stock of its options.

The U.S. government obsesses with whether to build a bigger wall. The trade war continues to have significant impact across the globe, straining U.S./China relationships to the point of saber rattling. Presidents Xi and Trump are comparing the size of their tariffs and talking of who has the biggest aircraft carrier.

At the same time, rhetoric is heating up across the South China Sea, concerning the sovereignty of Taiwan – an issue that could have significant ramifications for our industry.

Meanwhile, with the proliferation of AI and machine learning applications, commercial AR and VR possibilities, the long-awaited introduction of 5G and sensors everywhere, we’re truly in the midst of a major technology inflection point. New markets will open and create new business models, leading to the launch of new products that will redefine our future and our quality of life.

Inflection points of such a great degree are rare, but not unprecedented. We’ve seen such disruptive milestones before. Every 10-12 years since the creation of the integrated circuit, there’s been a defining inflection that has changed our businesses and our lives.

For instance, mainframe computing. Then, Personal Computers, followed by Internet connectivity. Then, mobile computing and connected devices.

Each of these has created new products, disruptive business models and significant new opportunities.

As an industry, we have been on a pretty healthy pace over the past few years, even given the current softening.

So, what laid the groundwork for this recent growth?

Because it was so pivotal to where we are today, consider the last significant technology inflection period.

The year of 2007 was simply epic. It commenced a chain of technology dominoes that quickly changed the world, in a way that would eventually help fuel this most recent bull market.

Apple debuted the iPhone. Google launched the alternative Android platform. Mobile phone apps erupted in popularity and pervasiveness.

AT&T invested incomparably in software-enabled networks, spurring a 100,000 percent increase in their mobile data traffic across the next few years.

Cognitive computing was advanced by IBM’s efforts with Watson, becoming the first to combine machine learning with AI.

Biotech and DNA sequencing leveraged the capabilities of semiconductor technology and big data. This meant rapid progress for our ability to decode the human genome and impel medicine significantly.

Uber, Twitter and Facebook scaled globally. Airbnb launched. And Amazon introduced the Kindle, commencing the ebook revolution.

The Internet reached 1 billion users.

Enabled by many of the people reading this, Intel implemented high-k dielectrics into the transistor for the first time.

Results from that one phenomenal year, 2007, have touched every one of us in what, and how, we do things today – both professionally and personally.

Based on today’s market conditions and demand, and recent advancements in sensors, AI, machine learning, 5G and quantum computing, we’re likely staring into the face of the next great inflection point.

As you know, tech tends to move forward in step changes, like we witnessed in 2007. Today, you and I are preparing to fuel the next historical milestone of the digital economy.

With the objective to reduce learning curves, and shorten product times to market, key interest groups from nearly 2,200 global, market-related businesses have rallied with SEMI in the past 24 months. This ecosystem creates the innovations that will navigate the ocean of incoming data.

Added SEMI partnerships include the FlexTech Alliance, the MEMS & Sensors Industry Group, the Fab Owners Alliance and, most recently, the Electronic System Design Alliance.

The goal is to multiply interactions across the supply chain.

Comprising the world’s largest and most comprehensive approach for examining and fabricating future innovations, a new model for an eight-part sequence of SEMI strategy and technical conferences has been created. Designed to deliver the most impactful roadmap for the coming decades, it’s named the Technology Leadership Series of the Americas.

The four most critical needs identified by the industry inputs – market strategy, design, new materials and new manufacturing technologies – will drive the series.

As with previous industry progress, what hasn’t changed is that the path to success hinges on collaboration by partners from across the supply chain. Those interactions have proven to have a profound impact on the $2-trillion worth of emerging markets.

The needed – and expected – outcome will be to fuel the next inflection point that harnesses the promise of AI. Putting our heads together, we have the framework to catapult society forward in the next chapter for our industry.

It’s your chance to make history.

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