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Semiconductors creating hope-filled, dream inspiring society: Semicon West 2020

By Pradeep Chakraborty

SEMICON West 2020 is online this week. Here’s a write up of one of the keynotes. To access the entire virtual event click here.

Day 3 of Semicon West 2020 commenced with a keynote by Terry Higashi, Former Chairman, President and CEO, Tokyo Electron. He spoke about the semiconductor industry: creating a hope-filled, dream inspiring society.

Higashi said that technology can produce happiness and hope for people. He congratulated SEMI on completing 50 years and said this year is memorable for SEMI. As technology goes, things have just begun. Many of them have been supported by semiconductor devices. The evolution of the industry will continue for the next 50 years.

One of the turning points was during his stay in California in 1983. He remembered spending many hours discussing US-Japan relations. In 1996, he became CEO of TEL. In 2019, he started the next journey.

So, what’s new? Its the Tsukuba Innovation Arena (TIA). It is a government, industry and academic institution focusing on advanced science and technology development. He is also a director in three different companies — Nomura Real Estate, 7-Eleven, and Ube Industries. All the industries are today facing new challenges.

What’s new for all of us is Covid-19. Many of you know that the word crisis is composed of two characters. There is danger, risk and fear. As also, there is hope, opportunity, and inflection. We can overcome any difficulty and create a new society. There is constant evolution of technology and human beings. It is time to concentrate the collective wisdom of mankind.

The wisdom of mankind is technology and ethics. High ethics are required for science, technology and people. We should be mindful of protecting human rights, promote health and reduce poverty, spread education, and save the environment. We must make the right choices and make our lives better. The need for people to connect is also strong. We have a strong desire to connect. Compassion can be shown for others in many ways, especially, collaboration.

There are distributed computing projects. Individually-owned computers are linked, networked and used to analyze Covid-19 protein sequence. This leads to useful information for the treatment of the disease. This progression is very far reaching. Even after the pandemic is defeated, the evolution of technologies will continue. There is focus on medical, or regenerative medicine, robotics, leading to humanoids, mobility, including autonomous, finance, including medical insurance, and security, including quantum cryptography.

These collaborative efforts include technologies. Semiconductors are the core of these technologies. Technology should not discriminate and benefit humanity. We are a global industry. Global collaboration holds the key.

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