September - October 1999
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Reflections on SEMICON West '99
Chip Scale Review recently concluded its first SEMICON West as an independent journal. In the space of three information-packed days, these tired feet traveled around, in and through the San Jose Convention Center, site of the show.
A few things became apparent as I visited exhibitors, spoke to advertisers, met with our editorial advisors and greeted some longtime readers at the Chip Scale Review booth. Most pointedly, there was little talk about the deep recession that began nearly two years ago. Without question, the worst is over and the recovery is firmly under way. And that's not just my assessment-it's the general consensus from every major trade organization, including SEMI, and the leading industry prophets.
I also learned that people are not shy about telling us what they like and what they would like to see improved in Chip Scale Review. As we promised earlier, we've pulled out all the stops to get the publication to you on time, filled with superior editorial content. The notebook I keep with me has grown heavy with your suggestions-many of which will be implemented as quickly as possible.
Among these suggestions, several of you have asked why we don't print "Letters to the Editor." We'll gladly print any constructive letters we receive, controversial or not-as soon as you send them. That means you can take exception to something you read here, something that needs improvement industrywide or suggestions for editorial coverage.
Speaking of things that need improvement, the sensitive issue of test, and how it relates to the assembly process, is again a hot issue, as we learned at the show. As our new Contributing Editor Jack Kessler declares in his column, it's time for the historical isolation of assembly from test to come to an end-an idea Jack's been promoting for years.
Moving down a similarly winding road, Edward "Ned" Barnholt, CEO of HP's new measurement organization, Agilent Technologies, delivered the Manufacturing Test Conference keynote speech on "The Coming of Age in Test." During his talk, Barnholt urged the semiconductor test industry to move toward flexible, general-purpose test systems-equipment that incorporates multiple test methodologies while driving down the cost of testing.
Welcome to Steve Berry and Sandra Winkler of Electronic Trend Publications, San Jose, who have joined us as contributing editors. Look for their exclusive take on the business of IC packaging inside every issue.
You can count on us, and our columnists, to keep a close watch on future directions impacting both assembly and test as they relate to CSPs and other advanced packages. Your thoughts are important; contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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