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No.17 / January 2012

CEO Corner

Election USA and Election GSA | Jack Harding
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Partnership Spotlight

GSA: The Commonwealth of the Semiconductor Industry | Dr. Doug Ridge
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eSilicon News

Jack Harding, eSilicon CEO, Running for Re-Election to GSA Board
eSilicon CEO Jack Harding is running for a third term on the GSA Board in the value chain producer (VCP) seat. Find out more about why Jack Harding is the right person for the job.

Ikanos Communications Selects eSilicon for Manufacturing Operations and Logistics
eSilicon will manage Ikanos' manufacturing operations and related logistics functions including supply chain management for Ikanos production products.

HiSilicon Licenses eSilicon's 40nm Silicon-Proven TCAMs for High-Performance Network Chips
HiSilicon has licensed eSilicon’s silicon-proven 40nm ternary content-addressable memory (TCAM) macros for its next generation of high-performance network-application ASICs.

eSilicon adds Wim Roelandts and Timothy Chen to its Board; Appoints Seth Neiman as Chairman

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Industry News

Experts at The Table: The Future of Stacked Die
Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3   |  System-Level Design

Sofics PowerQubic Technology Used by eSilicon to Protect High-Voltage Solar Panel IC from Electrical Overstress  |  Yahoo! Finance

Rebalancing Power, Performance And Area  |  System-Level Design

eSilicon Recognizes Magma With 2011 Supplier of the Year Award   |  TMCnet

Experts at The Table: Stacked Die and the Supply Chain
Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3   |  Semiconductor Manufacturing & Design

Synopsys to buy Magma to address 20nm chip design  |  Electronics Weekly

Make Vs. Buy   |  System-Level Design

Memory Challenges in the Extreme   |  System-Level Design

eSilicon Uses Magma to Tape Out 28-nm 1.5GHz Microprocessor Cluster for Embedded Platforms  |  MSNBC

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Upcoming Events

TSMC and eSilicon will share a booth at New Electronics Russia 2012 (formerly ChipExpo) in Moscow, April 17-19, 2012. Stop by booth 518 if you're in town.


CEO Corner

Election USA and Election GSA
by Jack Harding

Jack  Harding photo

It’s the election season. The race for President of the United States is on.

Pick up any newspaper and one is already overdosed with the Republican candidate shucking and jiving to become the presidential nominee, and the early Democratic responses are planting media-fed land mines designed to derail the president’s competition before it is even selected. Politics is a full contact sport and it’s just about now the gloves are coming off; the winner being the one who can take the Rocky Balboa beating in a designer suit.

Personally, while generally interested in politics, I find myself awaiting the results of the earliest primaries to anoint the Republican who will face off with President Obama. I have my own opinion about the candidates from both parties but recognize our system selects the opposing nominee long before I get any say, living in California. In other words, while imperfect, some small subset of Americans will select, in this case, the Republican challenger for the Oval Office. I suppose I could move to Iowa or New Hampshire if I wanted more of a voice, but I’ve come to accept the process, flaws and all, and believe “the system works,” regardless of the party of the incumbent. Iowa, New Hampshire or South Carolina, I have the choice to be an early influencer if I so desire, and if I don’t, well, that’s my choice, too.

The election is a long way away measured in months, speeches, dollars, drama…and wafers.

Yes, for the semiconductor industry the election hopefully occurs in the midst of our industry’s return to the secular growth following the two to three seasonal quarters of “correction” and “inventory management,” code words for “we’re selling less than we expected.

“ I’ve read many analyst reports calling for the second-half return of semiconductor growth and in a sustainable way. Phrases like “tail wind” and “global, secular demand” punctuate generally upbeat predictions for our industry’s next big chance to satisfy the consumer and bandwidth product consumption that drives our collective bottom line. In a way, we’re somehow relegated to awaiting that demand. In another way, we are not.

Policy decisions for the semiconductor industry cannot solve the recessional pressures. But they can soften the landing. The Global Semiconductor Alliance (GSA) exists to facilitate growth in the best times and downside management in the worst. It offers programs, working groups, technology advances and best practices to its members to manage their businesses with relevant information and many more resources.

Deciding what resources are available to the industry is the purview of the GSA management and its board. Experienced leaders from around the world team up to steward the organization and add their unique experiences to create a portfolio of advice, wisdom, serious debate and valuable programs. It’s been my great pleasure to be a part of that team for the past five years; a role I have valued personally and to which I have attempted to repay with value of my own.

It’s also election season at the GSA.

Hardly comparable to the race for the White House, scaled down to a tiny $300B industry, the role of the GSA Board member is of great significance to the management of our community of semiconductor-related companies. Unlike the national elections, we candidates are respectful and civil towards each other. But, we value our contributions proportionately as much, and for good reason. There is much at stake as we function in an uncertain global economy with uncertain political outcomes.

I am seeking reelection to the GSA Board. Please help me reduce the uncertainty in the semiconductor industry by voting for a passionate and serious contributor to the GSA, and a supporter of those policies that will help us to weather the outcome of much larger elections, and the challenges that go with them.

[ More about Jack Harding ]

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Partnership Spotlight

GSA: The Commonwealth of the Semiconductor Industry
by Doug Ridge, eSilicon Strategic Sourcing Manager

The Global Semiconductor Alliance's (GSA's) mission is stated as being "to accelerate the growth and increase the return on invested capital of the global semiconductor industry by fostering a more effective ecosystem through collaboration, integration and innovation." It might seem a stretch to compare the GSA to the Commonwealth of Nations, but in reality the basic principles of the two widely different organizations are the same. The Commonwealth was established to enable different countries to efficiently and effectively work together in an environment of trust that enables prosperity for its members. The GSA likewise works on the basis that the result is greater than the sum of the parts. It acts as an overall umbrella organization that brings together semiconductor companies along with those specializing in IP, packaging, EDA, test and wafer manufacturing.

Throughout the history of the semiconductor industry, various organizations and consortia, such as the Virtual Socket Interface Alliance (VSIA), Design and Reuse (D&R) and ChipEstimate, have been set up and operated with varying degrees of success. While the VSIA focused on specifications and standards during its 12 years of operation before disbanding in 2006, D&R and ChipEstimate focused on establishing industry portals to search for IP and are still in operation today with links from the GSA's site.

One of the primary reasons for disbanding the VSIA was the fact that an organization dedicated to one piece of the semiconductor industry struggled with external influences and needs of the other parts. Focusing on one piece of the puzzle in the semiconductor industry is the same as focusing on a single country – many of the objectives can't be met by trying to "go it alone." In contrast to the VSIA, the GSA benefits the industry as a whole, but being a member of the GSA, and a contributing member at that, allows companies to bring their specific expertise to the table and helps to mold the future of the industry to everyone's greater benefit. eSilicon is proud to be a contributing member of the GSA and will continue to be so by bringing into play the company's expertise and the individual experience and skill sets of such people as its CEO, Jack Harding.

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