The buzz around megatrends such as Big Data, autonomous driving and artificial intelligence isn’t going away anytime soon and SEMICON West 2019 was no exception. SEMICON West, a conference that brings together semiconductor equipment suppliers and chipmakers in San Francisco, California, was appropriately themed “Beyond Smart”.
Over 250 subject matter experts and hundreds of exhibitors focused their discussions on cutting-edge technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), IoT and quantum computing, which will continue to explode in the coming years as things like smart transportation, smart medtech and smart manufacturing come to life.
While these smart technologies may require less human interaction, Merck certainly does not when it comes to our customers. At SEMICON West, both our Performance Materials team members and I spent the week connecting with our customers and understanding their needs during face-to-face meetings and networking events.
There was some talk amongst some semiconductor industry experts about the changing landscape for semiconductors. Today, digital megatrends like AI and IoT are increasingly business driven and offer higher returns as they require new hardware, tools and materials. Being able to collaborate with our customers at a conference like SEMICON West, allows us to understand how these trends are changing our customers’ needs so that we can adapt and provide the most relevant and innovative, customized solutions. Even if we can bring the newest and latest technologies to the table, there is no value if we can’t answer a very simple question – What do our customers need? We will continue to align our product and innovation strategy primarily with market and customer needs, and not just with what is technologically possible.
Merck is at the forefront of these technical developments. In fact, our Performance Materials business already offers a broad range of product solutions that are for example used in displays or computer chips. We will continue to be a leader in the electronics market by being exceptional partners to our customers and advancing semiconductors together.