2000: We learn to pick our sources

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Knowledge is power: An overused phrase, yet it was the mantra for 2000. One could even say that this simple line is literally, fundamentally, driving the worldwide semiconductor market; and, for the time being, keeping quite a few members of the cleanroom industry in a consummate state of bliss.

Our feverish quest for knowledge is translating into countless cleanroom retrofits, expansions and startups that now dominate our Particles and News sections—chances are you're in the middle of planning now.

The new human playing field is defined by what you know and when you know it. No matter where you stand on the cleanroom continuum, there's status in being first with the news, power in the handheld wireless device that keeps your finger on the pulse of your operations whether you're in the facility, in your car or 30,000 feet in the air. Today, one simply has to choose to harness this power.

Yet with all this technology, all this information, I can't help but think that we're overwhelming ourselves. We're overpowering our senses, forced to prioritize what we read and what we choose to digest. We now have to seriously consider the source and ultimately become our own editors, reading between the lines to construct our own leads and instant summaries.

A simple example is the recent barrage of worldwide semiconductor forecasts. According to the Semiconductor Industry Association's (SIA) latest forecast—the father of all forecasts—the semiconductor market is on target to exceed $200 billion in sales in 2000 and $319 billion by 2003, thanks to the ever-increasing usage of new communications tools, including Internet infrastructure and wireless applications.

Released at Semicon Southwest in October, Gartner Dataquest's forecast predicts 2000 semiconductor sales to come in at $213 billion, $295 billion in 2001 and $336 billion in 2002.

Both credible sources predict sales growth but declining growth percentages over the next three years. Slightly different numbers, same overall message. Does it matter that their numbers differ slightly? No. Would it matter if their numbers differed greatly? Yes. The semiconductor industry knows itself and its cyclical nature quite well—it's strike while the iron's hot. Right about now it's just past its molten point.

cleanrooms.com takes one giant step forward
I know you have been using cleanrooms.com mainly for its vast archive of CleanRooms magazine articles and product searches. But now I want you to consider it as your first place to turn for breaking industry news.

We recently welcomed Jeff VanPelt, CleanRooms web editor, to our staff. For the past month, Jeff has been building databases and contacts throughout the semiconductor, life sciences, food, automotive, and emerging cleanrooms communities to bring cleanrooms.com the most timely news stories available in the market.

Drop Jeff a line at [email protected] and let him know what you think of the new, improved site.

Michael Levans
Chief Editor


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