Fabless group widens scope as “Global Semiconductor Alliance”

December 3, 2007 – The Fabless Semiconductor Association is dropping the “fabless” from its name and going “global,” claiming that it’s met original goals to proliferate the fabless business model and now must expand its agenda to address challenges through the entire chipmaking supply chain.

Formed in 1994, the FSA has swelled to 500 members in 25 countries serving a $50B industry. Recast as the “Global Semiconductor Alliance,” the group’s new mission is to “accelerate the growth and increase the return on invested capital of the global semiconductor industry,” by pushing collaboration, integration, and innovation across the fabless ecosystem, addressing supply chain challenges including IP, EDA, wafer manufacturing, test, and packaging.

“Today, the organization is focused on addressing the challenges inherent in a complex value chain. Its new role will be to reduce inefficiencies to ensure the long-term viability, growth and profitability of the semiconductor industry,” said Dwight Decker, GSA chairman and non-executive chairman of Conexant Systems, in a statement.

Willem Roelandts, chairman and outgoing CEO of fabless firm Xilinx (which ranked No.7 in global fabless revenues in 2006 ($1.9B), according to the FSA), noted that this “is an exciting time” for the newly commissioned GSA, “as it continues to support the overall growth of the semiconductor industry alongside complementary organizations.” It’s worth noting Roelandts also is the sitting chairman of the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA).

As the GSA gets ready to start 2008 under a new banner and mission statement, it also will welcome in a roster of new directors. Of the group’s 20 director seats, 13 were open for election. New fabless directors hail from Open Silicon (Naveed Sherwani, president/CEO), Xilinx (Vincent Tong, VP/worldwide quality, reliability engineering), and Wolfson Microelectronics (John Urwin, COO), while Decker and PMC-Sierra VP/COO Colin Harris were reelected, all serving three-year terms. TSMC North America’s president Rick Cassidy, Fu-Tai Liou (president of UMC’s Americas business group), and Michael Rekuc president of the Americas region at Chartered, were reelected for another one-year term of foundry representation. Elected as IDM director was IBM’s Steven Longoria (VP of semiconductor solutions), while Amkor EVP/VOO Oleg Khaykin and ASE COO Tien Wu return to represent backend suppliers. And Mentor Graphics chairman/CEO Wally Rhines and Synopsys chairman/CEO Aart de Geus were reelected as design partners.

The GSA also is recasting its organization in Europe, renamed the EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) Leadership Council), which will articulate regional challenges to the GSA board and identify additional tools, resources, and activities needed. Council members include: David Milne, executive director, Wolfson Microelectronics; Jalal Bagherli, CEO, Dialog Semiconductor; David Baillie, CEO, CamSemi; Guillaume d’Eyssautier, president/CEO, picoChip Designs; Danny Hacohen, SVP of business operations, DSP Group; Chris Ladas, VP of manufacturing, CSR; Svenn-Tore Larsen, CEO, Nordic Semiconductor; Eric Mayer, VP of production partner management, Infineon Technologies; and John Schmitz, VP and manager of process technology lab, NXP Semiconductors.

“Regions face issues that are both similar to and unique from the semiconductor industry as a whole, and by working with GSA, Council members provide valuable insight and direction to help steer the GSA Board on matters related to EMEA,” stated Jodi Shelton, GSA co-founder and executive director.


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