Business is bright as Semicon West opens its doors

July 13, 2006
The economic environment looks good as the premier event for North American makers of semiconductor equipment kicks off this week. SEMI, the industry association serving semiconductor equipment manufacturers, says the May book-to-bill ratio was a healthy 1.12, meaning $112 worth of orders were received for every $100 of product billed for the month.

"Semiconductor fabrication facilities worldwide are utilizing high levels of available manufacturing capacity and equipment bookings have been steadily increasing," said Dan P. Tracy, senior director of Industry Research and Statistics at SEMI. "Total bookings for North American-based equipment makers remained strong into the second quarter and are well above the same period last year."

Semicon 2006 takes places this week at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. Executives from STMicroelectronics, Micron, Mentor Graphics, Xilinx, LogicVision, and Surfect Technologies are among the keynote speakers scheduled to present at the exposition. In addition, the expo will feature short courses, sponsored by IEEE/CPMT, Pinnacle Training International (PTI), SEMI, the International Society for Optical Engineering (SPIE), and the Standards Technology Group (STG), as well as a series of Standards Technical Education Program (STEP) courses.

Mentor Graphics CEO and Chairman Wally Rhines will keynote a Market Symposium on July 10, speaking about changing directions in manufacturing equipment cost and capability. Laurent Bosson, STMicroelectronics executive vice president of front-end technology and manufacturing, will deliver the main opening keynote Tuesday morning.

Other keynoters include Xilinx CEO Willem Roelandts who will speak on fabless models for 65-nm processing, LogicVision CEO Jim Healy speaking on chiptesting trends, and Surfect Technologies CEO Steve Anderson discussing interconnect techniques for consumer electronics. Semicon West will also offer short courses focusing on numerous areas of technology, such as advanced packaging, advanced design methodologies, nanotechnology and MEMS, deposition and etch, optical lithography, semiconductor account selling and standards.

Of special interest this year is the Emerging Technologies TechXPOT (ETX) areas. Focusing on enabling technologies and emerging market opportunities in nanotechnology, MEMS and energy, the ETX will feature exhibits and presentations from winners of the fourth annual Technology Innovation Showcase (TIS), automotive fuel-cell displays and a raceway using MEMSenabled Segway Human Transporters. SEMI is partnering with the MEMS Industry Group (MIG), California Fuel Cell Partnership (CFCP), U.S. Fuel Cell Council (USFCC), the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and the Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA) on the ETX.

ETX sessions will cover: Fuel Cell and Battery Markets and Technologies, featuring John Goodman, CTO of Entegris and president of the USFCC; Solar Markets, Technologies and Regulations, featuring Rhone Resch, president of SEIA; Nano Materials and Manufacturing Technologies, featuring Mike Garner, manager, external materials research, Intel Corp.; Nano Metrology; MEMS Markets and Applications, featuring Jean-Christophe Eloy, managing director and founder of Yole Dðveloppement; as well as MEMS Process Technologies.

The ETX will also house TIS winners from emerging technology markets. 2006 TIS winners in nanotechnology include ALIS Technology, Ascend Instruments, Cambrios Technologies Corp., Metryx Ltd., Nano-Dynamics, and Pixelligent Technologies LLC. MEMS winners include Akustica Inc., Applied MicroStructures Inc., Lam Research Corp., and MemsstarÙ Technology.

The ETX will also feature displays showcasing fuel-cell vehicles from Toyota and Ford. In addition, SEMI will be sponsoring a Segway giveaway at the Emerging Technologies Reception on Wednesday.

Semicon West 2006,

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