The hunger's back says SEMI's Manocha

October 02, 2017 // By Peter Clarke
Ajit Manocha, CEO of industry organization SEMI, reckons the hunger and excitement he experienced in the chip industry 37 years ago, is back.

Back then he was starting out at as research scientist at Bell Labs and the hunger and spirit of adventure was for all things semiconductor. Now there is a renewed hunger and MEMS and sensors are part of it, and this also part of an opportunity for Europe, said Manocha, the former CEO of Globalfoundries who took over as head of SEMI early in 2017.

Manocha came to the co-located European MEMS and Sensors and European Imaging and Sensors summits in Grenoble, France, organized by SEMI, to introduce the keynote speakers and support the events in their first year under SEMI's auspices.

In an interview with eeNews Europe Manocha pointed out that when he was starting out double-digit percentage growth for the semiconductor industry was common. But more recently the accepted wisdom has been that semiconductors are mature and that the industry was consigned to low growth. "Well this year growth is greater than 20 percent for the chip industry and IC equipment and materials are breaking all growth records since 2000. It is down to the new applications in IoT, automotive, 5G, medical technology, and a lot of focus on AR/VR and machine learning," he said.

Notwithstanding that elevated average selling prices for memory ICs are a key part of this year's boom, it is true that when there is money around hunger and excitement are a natural consequence.

Manocha said that when SEMI started out connection, collaboration and innovation were the mantra with the organization supporting these by way of setting standards, encouraging collaboration for conferences and to collect market data and working on health and safety issues. And SEMI is ready to do the same in the area of MEMS and sensors Manocha said.

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