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SEMICON: A look to survival, new growth and new tech leaders


There are many changes that will come painfully to life next week in San Francisco and in September in Taiwan with the SEMICON shows.  As with just about everything, the macro-economy may throw a wet blanket on some aspects of the shows.  But, importantly, not all.

A newer technology that is poised to be a show stealer particularly in Taiwan, is MEMS.  The MEMS market is dynamic, penetrating numerous industries, and provides much needed diversification for the entire supply chain; from fabs and equipment manufacturers to those at the CE product end of the chain.

Solar is likely to be a standout in San Francisco.  Diversification into solar was a mixed bag for many during the past year, but with a rapidly expanding market triggered by various legislative supports globally (incentives, efficiency standards, etc.), the solar industry is ramping up quickly.  The semiconductor has much to offer solar and the two are a natural pairing (cf., the 1Q09 Commentary, the initial Solar + Semi Intersect article in MarketWatch Quarterly, and the most recent MarketWatch Quarterly now available publically).

As for more core technologies, it's time to really take a good look at the 300mm question as well as memory.  We hope to see more around 3D packaging and TSV.  These technologies are maturing and will have a significant impact on the future of ICs.  DDR4 - well, without logic and a 3D stack, some analysts such as Yole Developpement, argue that phase change memories will be affected and the future of NAND and the future of SSD.

At the upcoming SEMICONs, prepare to be challenged- not wined and dined (cf., EETimes article).  And that's a good thing.

Lisa Ann Cairns, Ph.D.
Written on Wednesday, 08 July 2009 00:00 by Lisa Ann Cairns, Ph.D.

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