President Ma pledges support for industry

CIOL Bureau
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TAIPEI, TAIWAN: As capital spending declined steeply in 2008 after two years of double-digit industry growth, the Taiwan semiconductor industry is expecting a major spending boom in 2009. According to the SEMI Mid Year Equipment Forecast, Taiwan is projected to spend $10.32 billion in 2009, a remarkable 53 percent gain over estimated 2008 spending.


Speaking at the SEMICON Taiwan Gala Dinner on September 9, Taiwan President Ma reinforced these expectations with positive, well–informed and committed support for the semiconductor equipment and materials industry.

President Ma demonstrated a deep understanding of the supply chain and a personal commitment to its growth and prosperity. Recognizing SEMI members Lam Research, Applied Materials, TEL and others, President Ma voiced strong support for improving industry regulatory policies and enhancing the country’s investment attractiveness.

Despite the industry’s capital spending decline, crowded aisles, record breaking registration and exciting developments in technologies such as Through Silicon Vias and advanced device scaling solutions, the microelectronics manufacturing industry in Taiwan is poised for continued growth, diversification and leadership.


This year’s SEMICON Taiwan was co-located with the inaugural PV Power Taiwan (organized by SEMI) and IIC Taiwan, the region’s leading design conference, and features nearly 800 exhibitors and over 25,000 pre-registered attendees, well over last year.

Highlights from the first day of the exposition included the CEO Forum that addressed productivity improvements across the supply chain from design through manufacturing. Dr. Aart de Geus, chairman and CEO of Synopsys, described how the industry is “moving from scale complexity to systemic complexity…where function is meeting physics.”

Dr. de Geus affirmed that “there is more of Moore’s Law coming” and that the major technology challenge today is power. After providing data on design starts and tape outs by node, he stated that the development costs for the next technology node now exceed $ 1 billion, fueling the growth in alliances, consortia and other mechanisms to mitigate risk. Going forward, the “capability to collaborate” has become a competitive factor.


Dr. Michael Polcari, president and CEO of SEMATECH, provided a thorough overview of that organization’s research into productivity opportunities in the industry. He described the Next Generation Factory initiative that is addressing nineteen factors in productivity included predictive equipment maintenance, wafer readiness and wafer size. A major effort in this area is sustainability and resource conservation. ISMI’s “Green Fab” initiative is developing guidelines for resource conservation at fabs which currently consume enough power for 13,500 homes and enough water for to support 4000 homes.

Tod Higinbothan from ATMI, speaking at the CEO Forum, gave the discussion an important emphasis in economics. “The technical challenges of 32 nm and 22nm manufacturing will be overcome like they always have, through process and an materials innovation. But at what cost?” he said. He described the increase in materials complexities at today’s node (over 60 materials used at 45 nm, up from 32 at 65 nm), and how the near doubling of process steps has created enormous economic impacts on the material supply chain.

Presenting data that illustrated a 13X development cost increase from 250 nm to 32 nm, and a 2.5X fab cost increase for the move from 90 nm to 32 nm, Higinbothan claimed that survival requires suppliers to “climb the value chain” and that the industry imperative demands true partnerships that share risk and achieve win-win advances.


The final speaker at the CEO Forum was Dr. James Sung, president of the Diamond Technology Center and leading expert in diamond and nanodiamond technologies. He urged the Taiwan industry “to leverage its cultural and geographic proximity with China to take advantage of this historical opportunity.”

Other highlights from Day 1 included the inaugural opening of PV Power Taiwan, featuring the leaders of the Taiwan’s booming PV industry. In similar fashion to semiconductors and flat panel displays, Taiwan has identified PV as a major economic and industrial opportunity. Already, Taiwan is fourth among world PV cell producers. PV Power Taiwan is planned and organized by the SEMI PV Group Taiwan PV Committee, comprised of industry leaders from companies such as E-Ton, Motech, DuPont, Applied Materials, Oerlikon, and many more.

Source: SEMI, USA

Copyright © 2008 Semiconductor Equipment and Materials International (SEMI®).