SEMI forecasts bright future for semiconductor field

By Wen Shin Kuo, The China Post

TAIPEI, Taiwan — Semiconductor Equipment & Materials International (SEMI), one of the world’s leading industry associations in the micro- and nanoelectronics manufacturing supply chains, yesterday forecast Taiwan’s semiconductor manufacturing to be profitable and steady growth in 2014.

Taiwan, led by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd (TSMC, 台積電), continues to strive in the global semiconductor industry, and the country is expected to invest US$10.43 billion in semiconductor equipment this year, the association said at a press conference.

The SEMICON Taiwan 2013 (台北國際半導體展) trade show, to run from Sept. 4 to 6, is a platform to showcase and exchange information on a variety of semiconductor-related topics. This year’s events will feature five main pavilions — 3D IC & Substrate, Precision Machinery, Micro Electro Mechanical Systems (MEMS), Green Management and Secondary Market.

SEMI Taiwan President Terry Tsao (曹世綸) said that the country has proven itself irreplaceable in the global semiconductor industry in its top position gained in equipment and material investment. “The restructured DRAM industry will see its equipment expenditure return to US$12 billion in 2014. As the semiconductor process advances, key equipment and materials will become increasingly integral to the industry,” he said. “SEMI will continue to bridge the (gap between) equipment and material suppliers and the fabricators and design companies to further advance the semiconductor industry in Taiwan.”

Representing the Taiwan Semiconductor Industry Association (TSIA, 台灣半導體產業協會), Etron Technology CEO and TSIA Chairman Nicky Lu (盧超群) said that it’s vital for the semiconductor industry to attract Taiwan’s top talents.

“This industry can no longer have its winners just take off. This industry needs to be so that every innovator has the chance to be successful; therefore, the winners today need to be willing to share and assist the innovators of tomorrow,” said Lu.

Inotera Memories General Manager Scott Meikle elaborated on how the micron memory technology has dramatically changed the landscape of the industry’s future.

“The future looks better in terms of profitability for the memory industry … much more stable, moving forward, growing as it leverages its technology and capabilities to supply great products to the consumers,” he said.

“What was previously a one-dimensional, very simple market has now become very complicated. We need to support a number of different devices, applications and foreign factors. This is difficult for the supply side for us manufactures, because we have a more complicated business to support. But it’s also a very good opportunity because each of those applications and those new requirements allow us to find ways to add value and to make our business more profitable.

“There are great opportunities for Taiwan to get more value out of the supply chain, given that all the components, capabilities and infrastructure is in Taiwan,” he concluded.

SEMICON Taiwan 2013, to be held at the Taipei World Trade Center Nangang Exhibition Hall (世貿南港館) will explore topics including innovation and technology in IC design, memory, 3D IC, MEMS and more.