try and government participants to develop manufacturing tools and process technologies. It helped industry to develop more effective manufacturing technology and helped government achieve less costly and more accessible manufacturing of advanced military circuit designs.

A Catalyst for Change in the Industry

SEMATECH has also been creative, he said, in dealing with the issues that confront most technology collaborations: creating incentives for participation, establishing an appropriate technology focus, defining the bounds of shared intellectual property, and providing effective mechanisms for technology transfer. It accomplished these objectives, he said, without diminishing the intensity of the competition among the industrial participants. Remarking that SEMATECH had a transforming effect in many ways, he cited specifically the fostering of an industry perspective on technology development, leading naturally to industry-wide testing of tools and standards and to the development of industry-wide technology roadmaps.

He defined two main tasks of the symposium. The first was to evaluate the salient aspects of SEMATECH, both at its inception and in its current form. The second task was to compare SEMATECH to other consortia initiated around the world. Many of these were in turn stimulated in part by SEMATECH. He noted that launching an initiative of this scope and magnitude requires determined leadership, and that many of the leaders of this effort were present at the symposium. He introduced the first speaker, Gordon Moore, as “one of the real visionaries for and a very compelling advocate” for the consortium as it unfolded and a force behind benefits far beyond SEMATECH.


Gordon Moore

Intel Corporation

Dr. Moore cautioned the audience that his contribution to SEMATECH was restricted to its early years. He proposed to create a picture of the situation at the time SEMATECH was established and to present industry’s view of some of its contributions. During the early years of the consortium, he said, the U.S. semiconductor industry was experiencing what Andy Grove3 dubbed “X curves” (see Figure 1). This referred to the U.S. curves for market share going down and Japanese curves going up for a variety of manufacturing industries, including the semiconductor industry. For the U.S. semiconductor industry, he said, this was “disconcerting, to say the least.”


Andrew Grove and Dr. Moore are co-founders of Intel Corporation.

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