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Industry News, Trends, and Technology, and Standards Updates

SEMICON Taiwan wrap-up

Posted by Alan Weber: Vice President, New Product Innovations on Sep 21, 2017 10:45:00 AM

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As predicted, Cimetrix had a very busy and fruitful week (September 11-15) in Taiwan. In addition to hosting numerous customers, prospects, and friends at our booth, Cimetrix made multiple technical presentations focused on Smart Manufacturing, both at the show and at the eMDC Conference in Hsinchu. Two of these were jointly presented with Mark Reath of GLOBALFOUNDRIES. Use the links at the bottom of this post if you’d like a copy of this material.

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In addition to our participation in these technical events, Cimetrix demonstrated the new Cimetrix EDATester™ product to a number of factory customers who now need a validated method for verifying incoming equipment compliance to the SEMI Equipment Data Acquisition (EDA) suite of standards. The timing for this product is ideal, based on the increased rate of adoption for these standards we have seen in Taiwan. 

Given the industry’s current momentum and near-term outlook, the mood in Taiwan is overwhelmingly positive, and the trade show almost had a celebratory quality to it. Fittingly, the Leadership Gala Dinner held Wednesday night was a feast for all the senses, from the food to the entertainment to the array of dignitaries who attended. 

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For the second year in a row, President Tsai attended and expressed her gratitude for the industry’s role in advancing the quality of life across the nation and her administration’s unwavering support for its continued prosperity. Dr. Nicky Lu, one of Taiwan’s well-known business and technology icons, was honored with the industry’s most prestigious Leadership Award, and shared his personal perspective on some of the exciting semiconductor-enabled products now in the works. 

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Dr. Lu went into even more depth about semiconductor technology evolution in his keynote address for the eMDC Conference (Joint Symposium of e-Manufacturing & Design Collaboration Symposium 2017 and ISSM 2017) on Friday, outlining a powerful vision that he’s labelled as “HIDAS: Heterogeneous Integrated Design/Architecture/System for Silicon-Centric Nano-System in Si4.0” – if you want to know more, you’ll want to contact him directly!

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All in all, is was a great week to be in Taiwan, especially since Typhoon Talim decided to take a turn to the north without dampening the spirit of SEMICON. Please contact us with any questions, and we look forward to seeing you at future industry events.

Device Scaling vs. Process Control Scaling: Advanced Sensorization Closes the Gap

Smarter Manufacturing through Equipment Data-Driven Application Design

Smart Manufacturing Requirements for Equipment Capability and Control

Topics: Events, SEMICON, SEMICON Taiwan, Smart Manufacturing

SEMICON Taiwan and eMDC: Join Cimetrix in Smart Manufacturing Events

Posted by Alan Weber: Vice President, New Product Innovations on Aug 24, 2017 11:15:00 AM

The week of September 11 will be a big one for Cimetrix in Taiwan. In addition to exhibiting at SEMICON Taiwan for the third year in a row (Booth # 2926) with our local partner, Flagship International, Cimetrix is privileged to be making joint technical presentations with GLOBALFOUNDRIES in two distinct events.

semitaiwan_banner.jpgFirst of all, Alan Weber (Cimetrix) and Mark Reath (Senior Member of Technical Staff, GLOBALFOUNDRIES) will share the stage at the Smart Manufacturing Forum at the Nangang Exhibition Center during the show on Wednesday afternoon (September 13, 12:40–1700, Room 402ab). Their presentation is titled “Smarter Manufacturing through Equipment Data-Driven Application Design” and highlights the importance of robust, standards-based data collection capabilities on both the equipment and factory sides in realizing the industry’s Smart Manufacturing objectives.


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On Friday of that week, this same duo will present “Device Scaling vs. Process Control Scaling: Advanced Sensorization Closes the Gap” at the Ambassador Hotel in Hsinchu on September 15, at 08:30–16:40 (click on the “Program” link). This presentation discusses how GLOBALFOUNDRIES is addressing the need for precise fault detection and process control in the sub-10nm domain  through integration of high-speed, process-specific sensors using its EDA (Equipment Data Acquisition standard) infrastructure to deal seamlessly with complex data types (e.g., spectral data) and the context information necessary to use this information effectively.  The conference agenda features speakers and topics across a broad spectrum of the industry’s value chain, so the conference promises to be an exciting and well-attended event.

In addition to these technical events, Cimetrix will be demonstrating its new EDATester™ product at the booth along with its complete family of connectivity and equipment control products.

We invite our customers and colleagues to join us at all of these venues and hope to see you in Taiwan soon.

Topics: Events, SEMICON, SEMICON Taiwan

SEMICON China 2017 - China is becoming a major Center for Electonics Manufacturing

Semicon_china_skyline.jpgSEMICON China was held from March 14-16 in Shanghai at the Shanghai New International Expo Centre.

This is a monstrously large complex of 17 exhibit halls of which 5 were filled with semiconductor and flat panel exhibitors. Another set of shows for PCB and solar filled up the remaining halls. China is clearly becoming the center for electronics manufacturing.

Cimetrix enjoyed sharing a booth with our partner Flagship International for the second year in a row.

The Cimetrix employees that attended were: Bob Reback (President and CEO), Dave Faulkner (EVP Sales and Marketing), Ranjan Chatterjee (V.P., Emerging Business & Technology Office), and Kimberly Daich (Marketing Manager).Semicon_China_booth_2.jpg

Our first China based equipment supplier using CIMControlFramework is finishing up their first production tools making full use of the CCF benefits.

Meetings with this customer’s president confirmed excellent progress in setting up this equipment supplier for future growth with a solid software platform.

This relationship we are establishing will provide confidence to other semiconductor equipment suppliers keeping a close eye on our progress. Cimetrix had a chance to visit with all equipment suppliers during the show identifying several new projects as we start our penetration in China. Cimetrix also stopped by Electronica, a trade-show that is co-located with SEMICON China in Shanghai.

Cimetrix plans to open an office in Shanghai during 2017 and equipment suppliers at the show expressed strong support for this move. More information about the Cimetrix plans in China will be coming soon.  

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Topics: Semiconductor Industry, SEMICON

Semicon Europa 2016 is in the books!

Posted by Cimetrix on Nov 10, 2016 11:30:00 AM

SEMICON Europa was held in Grenoble France this year from October 25-27, 2016.  Grenoble is a hot point for semiconductor technology in France with fabs and technology centers located close by.  Typically, this trade fair moves between Dresden and Grenoble each year with attendance of about 6000. 

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The Cimetrix team consisted of Dave Faulkner, EVP Sales & Marketing; Bruce Febvret, Business Development,  Europe; and Kimberly Daich, our new Marketing Manager.  Cimetrix brought our new double wide booth with new branding and was located next to our integration partner Agileo Automation.  

IMG_3302.jpgWe highlighted our CIMPortal Plus software demonstrating the benefits of the SEMI E164 standard.  Attendance seemed light this year which allowed the Cimetrix team ample time to meet with various equipment supplier customers who had exhibits at the show. Of particular interest to our customers was our advice on when and how to add Interface A to their control systems, and what impact Industry 4.0 and smart manufacturing will bring.  The evening networking event was very well done; congrats to the SEMI team.IMG_3326.jpg

SEMI made an importance announcement that starting next year, SEMICON Europa will no longer move back and forth between Grenoble and Dresden; and will move to Munich in mid-November.  This allows one large show featuring SEMICON and Productronica.  SEMICON Europa will focus on semiconductor related activities and Productronica will focus on electronics assembly technologies.  This decision works very well for Cimetrix as we share customers in both industries. See you next year in Munich!

 

Topics: SEMI, SEMICON

Another Exciting Visit to SEMICON Taiwan

Posted by Cimetrix on Sep 27, 2016 10:30:00 AM

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Exhibiting at SEMICON Taiwan for the second time in as many years, Cimetrix significantly expanded its presence at the show with a booth in the Smart Manufacturing Pavilion. Like last year, we shared an exhibit with one of our Taiwan partner companies, Flagship International.

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Since the semiconductor industry is one of the most important economic engines in Taiwan, this year’s Gala Dinner at the Grand Hyatt featured an excellent and supportive speech by the country’s new President, Dr. Ing-Wen Tsai. Taiwan’s tech industries have had a solid year thus far, leading other regions of the world and capturing additional market share.

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In recent years, SEMI has increased its emphasis on focused “educational” forums at its SEMICON shows, and set a new high-water mark at SEMICON Taiwan with 20 of these events ranging from Design to Materials to Packaging to Overseas Investmen. Cimetrix was privileged to be named as one of the speakers at the Smart Manufacturing Forum, which included presentations by a variety of thought leaders from UMC, Rockwell Automation, ASE, and others. Alan Weber represented Cimetrix with a presentation entitled “Realizing Smart Manufacturing in Semiconductor Industry with SEMI Standards,” making the case that the industry’s factories already embody many of the characteristics of a Smart Manufacturing environment by virtue of the latest generations of SEMI Standards that support the required connectivity and control capabilities.

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As a specific example, the UMC “Big Data to Manufacturing Excellence” presentation by Mr. James Lin described the “Wait Time Waste” analysis application, which is directly enabled by the SEMI E168 (Product Time Measurement) standard and the underlying detailed equipment event data called for in the E164 (EDA Common Metadata) standard.

To support the level of ongoing activity at the show and elsewhere in Taiwan, the Cimetrix contingent also included Derek Lindsey and Kerry Iwamoto, shown here during one of quieter moments in the booth.

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Another highlight of the week for Cimetrix was participation in the eMDC (e-Manufacturing & Design Collaboration Symposium), now in its 10th year in Taiwan. Alan Weber made a presentation entitled “The Role of Models in Semiconductor Smart Manufacturing” that echoed a number of the messages shared at the Smart Manufacturing Forum but with heavier emphasis on the manufacturing applications that are enabled.

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The basic idea is that most of the information required to support generic process monitoring and calculation of productivity KPIs is now mandated by the latest generation of equipment model standards, and this promises to drastically reduce the factory cost of developing and integrating these applications.
 
On a final note, in discussing the use of the SEMI EDA standards for critical production applications with a number of the leading chip makers during the week, it seems that we are now very close to an industry tipping point for the adoption of this technology. This has been a long time in coming, and opens up a realm of exciting new possibilities for consumers of detailed equipment and process data!

 

Topics: SEMICON

Don’t Miss this Webinar – Industry 4.0, IIoT, and the Semiconductor Industry

Posted by Cimetrix on Sep 20, 2016 1:11:00 PM

Wikipedia graphic putting Industrie 4.0 in historical context (Figure 1)

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If the attendance at the most recent SEMICON West and SEMICON Taiwan trade shows are any indication, the terms “Smart Manufacturing”, “Industry 4.0” and “IIoT” (Industrial Internet of Things) have indeed gained recognition and momentum as the rallying cry for the 4th industrial revolution (see figure 1).

In order to reach an even broader audience, the folks at Extension Media will host a free Webinar next week (September 27, 2016 at 1:00 p.m. EDT) with the provocative title “Is the Semiconductor Industry Ready for Industry 4.0 and the IIoT?”

Cimetrix’ VP of New Product Innovations, Alan Weber, is one of the presenters, and will make the case that the industry IS in fact ready for Industry 4.0 and the IIoT by virtue of the latest generations of SEMI Standards that support the kind of connectivity and control required by components of a Smart Manufacturing environment. He will not only show how the evolution of these standards has kept pace with the industry’s automation requirements for almost three decades, but also describe a number of concrete factory application examples that directly leverage the model-based aspects of the latest standards to achieve “plug-and-play” status across multiple process areas.

Sharing the agenda for the Webinar is Tom Sonderman, the VP and General Manager of Rudolph Technologies’ Software Business Unit. Tom has over 20 years of direct experience in the world-class Advanced Precision Manufacturing organizations of AMD and GLOBALFOUNDRIES before joining Rudolph, so there are few people in the world more qualified than he to talk about our industry’s automation capabilities.

The link for this webinar was published in Solid State Technology’s September 19 edition of “The Pulse,” but in case you missed it, you can register now by clicking below.

Register Now

This Webinar promises to be an exciting and informative session – don’t miss it!

Topics: Events, SEMICON, IoT

SEMICON China 2016 was the Largest Semiconductor Trade Show of the Last Five Years

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On March 15-17 in Shanghai, SEMI hosted its annual SEMICON China and PFD China, which was the world’s largest semiconductor trade show of the past five years. With an increase of 20% over last year, the show had more than 2,600 booths from companies based all over the world. Many theme pavilions at the exposition demonstrated the strength of the industry. In addition, the series of concurrent conferences and programs brought the global industry knowledge sharing to exhibitors and attendees alike.

Starting Tuesday morning, the Grand Opening Keynote was delivered by world-class industry leaders including Dr. Zhou Zixue—the Chairman of SMIC, Ding Wenwu—the President of China National IC Fund, along with the CEOs from TSMC, Applied Materials, Amkor Technology, TEL, STATS ChipPAC, and Lam Research. The presentation explored global business and technology trends, market opportunities, and shared the panel’s ideas supporting the development of China’s semiconductor industry.

The rapid rise of China’s semiconductor industry has been driven mainly by an increasing market and investments. Chinese companies and funds have been active in the recent cross-border merger and acquisition deals. On Wednesday at the “Tech Investment Forum – China 2016,” leaders of China’s IC Investment Fund and leading global investment institutions discussed investment hot-topics within the Chinese semiconductor industry.

Also on Wednesday, SEMICON hosted a “Build China IC Manufacturing Ecosystem” forum that discussed establishing a full integrated circuit (IC) manufacturing supply-chain and building manufacturing core competencies that are vital for China’s semiconductor industry. The forum included speakers from China and leading global companies from the IC design, manufacturing, equipment, and materials fields. A wide range of topics was  covered including innovation and cooperation in leading-edge frontend processes, advanced packaging technologies, eight-inch production line, and more.

Other concurrent technology sessions included “China Memory Strategic Forum,” “Technology Shape the Future – Senor Hub Solution for Wearable and IoT,” “LED China Conference 2016,” “Power Semiconductor Forum 2016,” “SEMI-JEDEC Mobile and IoT Technology Forum,” and “China Display Conference/ASID 2016.” These sessions illustrate how the Chinese semiconductor market is interested in exploring industrial developments, share its visions for the future, and to work cohesively to grow the industry within China.

This was the first year Cimetrix exhibited at SEMICON China. We were able to make some valuable connections, visit with existing customers, and establish that Chinese companies have a definite interest in our product lines as well as how we can help them find greater success. We featured our complete SECS/GEM and EDA product lines with in-booth demonstrations and presentations.

We have already made plans to attend next year’s show to further explore how we can fit into the expanding Chinese market. We are hopeful that China will open new possibilities for the continued growth of Cimetrix.

Topics: SEMI, Doing Business with Cimetrix, SEMICON

SEMICON Korea Proves to Be a Fruitful Business Opportunity for Cimetrix as it Moves into this New Market

Korea5.jpegKorea4.jpgKorea2.jpegKorea1.jpegKorea3.jpegCimetrix and our new distribution partner, Linkgenesis, participated in a joint booth at SEMICON Korea last week in Seoul. With over four exhibit halls located in the COEX Convention and Exhibition Center, SEMICON Korea is the largest SEMICON in terms of number of visitors—about 40,000—and included over 1,870 booths in 36,000 sq. meters of show space. The theme of the show was “Connect to Future, Market, People and Technology” with keynote speakers from leaders at Synopsys, Texas Instruments, and Audi. The show was co-located with LED Korea. Included in the schedule was also a meeting for the Information and Control Technical Committee, Korea Chapter, to work on SEMI standards.

Korea remains the second largest equipment market for the second year in a row, and represents the largest region of installed 300mm fab capacity in the world. This show has more equipment manufacturers, in my opinion, than most SEMICON shows. So, because of the show’s location, it made it an ideal opportunity for us to meet with our current worldwide equipment manufacturing customers who seemed to be present in every row, and to meet the growing list of Korean equipment manufacturers as they build volume and increase their expertise. We already have several customers in Korea and expect this number to grow over the next few years.

Our new partnership with Linkgenesis was founded on providing EDA/Interface A solutions in Korea; currently Samsung and Hynix are both looking at incorporating this technology into their manufacturing systems. As the world leader in EDA/Interface A, Cimetrix can provide superior expertise to make the adoption process efficient and successful. Linkgenesis already has business with most Korean equipment manufacturers, so, by combining forces, we bring strong local engineering support together with our world-class EDA solution, CIMPortal™ Plus.

To accelerate our penetration into Korea, we have hired Mr. Hwal Song (+82 (0) 10-5058-0895) as our Korean General Manager to accelerate our customer introductions and partnership with Linkgenesis. Song has a long history in the semiconductor software industry.

We met with several new potential customers during the show setting a strong foundation for our continued growth in the Korean market. We left the show feeling very positive about Cimetrix’ entry into Korea.

At the Information and Control Technical Committee meeting, David Francis, Director of Product Management, represented Cimetrix. In the meeting there was an introduction to work being done by SEMI Japan related to Role Based Access Control (RBAC); however, this effort is still under development by the Japan Task Force. The North America DDA Task Force is starting discussions about Freeze 3 of the EDA Standards. Tom Salmon, Vice President Global Member Services and Standards, introduced information about the SEMI Automation Technology Committee that is working on the Smart Manufacturing initiate in support of efforts coming out of Industrie 4.0 and Industrial Internet Consortium. There was also an information share on the status of efforts around standards for Recipe Management Systems that address some of the concerns with the existing standards such as Recipe and Parameter Management (RaP).

SEMICON Korea 2016 as a whole was a success for both Cimetrix and the Korean semiconductor industry. Seoul was a great backdrop for the show and we look forward to returning next year with greater market penetration and the chance to catch-up with even more clients.

To be contacted about Cimetrix' CIMPortal Plus or any of our products and/or services, please click here.

Topics: SEMI Standards, Doing Business with Cimetrix, SEMICON

SEMICON Europa 2015 Offers Insights into Upcoming Trends in the Semiconductor Industry in Europe

This week Cimetrix exhibited at SEMICON Europa 2015 along with about 400 other companies in the semiconductor industry in Dresden, Germany. The leading trade fair offered a chance for members of the industry to learn about new topics, information, and opportunities to help support and further develop the semiconductor industry across Europe.

An estimated 6,000 were in attendance at this SEMI-sponsored event. Some of the highlights of the three-day event were:

  • The Industry 4.0 Session: The term "Industry 4.0" has been established to describe the penetration of information science into manufacturing forming the next industrial revolution. The TechArena provided information about different aspects of this process.

  • The Emerging Research, Materials and Processes Session: The nanoelectronics research community is continuously exploring a range of new materials to enable further scaling of semiconductor devices and associated technologies, as well as many potential methods to create these materials with methods that allow utilization for future technology nodes. In this session several of these new materials and process developments were discussed by experts in their specific fields. Focus was on the unique properties of the materials or processes, what makes them specifically suitable for targeted applications, how they are characterized and/or how they can be fabricated. Among the topics that were presented were the newest developments for GaN processing, two-dimensional semiconductors devices and fabrication, metal organic frameworks as low-k materials, advanced memory materials such as FeRAM or MRAM Spintronics, and Selective Atomic Layer Deposition.

  • The Semiconductor Technology Conference (STC): This conference explored the efforts of our industry to ensure productivity enhancements for future advanced technology nodes, considering both a wafer size transition, and a continuation of current state of the art and smaller wafer sizes. Updates from around the world on wafer size transition activities were heard and there was a dedicated focus on “beam-based” metrology activities from METRO450 in Israel. SEMI invited their partners to share with attendees their insights, activities, and results in the preparation of future offerings of process equipment, materials, IT/fab automation systems, facilities and fab infrastructure, in order to rise to the challenge to ensure a continued economic manufacturing of state of the art semiconductor chips.

This year we exhibited as part of Silicon Saxony's Industrie 4.0 booth that consisted of about 40 kiosks representing companies with varying focuses within the industry. On Wednesday night, Silicon Saxony played host to all of the booth's exhibitors in a "Countries of Europe"-themed party. The event gave the Cimetrix team a chance to catch-up with friends and colleagues, and discuss new business opportunities. We'd like to thank Silicon Saxony for the great networking opportunity.

We are looking forward to SEMICON Europa 2016 in Grenoble, France next October and hope to see you there. If you didn't get a chance to meet with Cimetrix in Dresden this week and you would like to learn more about our complete line of factory connectivity and equipment control software solutions, please click here

Topics: Semiconductor Industry, SEMI, SEMICON

2015 SEMICON Taiwan Recap

Posted by Alan Weber: Vice President, New Product Innovations on Sep 8, 2015 9:41:00 AM

The 2015 SEMICON Taiwan was held at the Taipei Nangang Exhibition Center in the Nangang District of Taipei City, Taiwan September 2-4.  The event drew over 30,000 visitors from all over the world for the three-day event with nearly 1,500 exhibits from a diverse array of companies and organizations across the semiconductor industry.

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Cimetrix exhibited at SEMICON Taiwan trade show for the first time, in conjunction with its newest Asian partner, Flagship International.

This turned out to be the 20th Anniversary of SEMICON Taiwan, so the mood was especially buoyant and the attendance brisk. SEMI also commemorated the event with a Gala Dinner at the Grand Hyatt on Wednesday night, and we were privileged to attend courtesy of our Flagship colleagues.

The president of Taiwan, Ma Ying-jeou, even made a guest appearance to thank the semiconductor industry for its contribution to Taiwan’s economic health. 

Shortly after the exhibition opened on Wednesday (Sept. 2), a couple of visitors from UMC showed up, and shared the latest work they’ve been doing with the Wait Time Waste (WTW) concepts that we had presented two years earlier. C.Y. Tiao and James Lin of UMC even made two presentations at the eMDC conference on this topic. 

From a standards perspective, this has now taken the form of SEMI E168, Specification for Product Time Measurement (PTM), and has been defined at the “time element” and supporting GEM/SECS message level for process equipment, automated material handling systems (AMHS), and material control systems (MCS). With the advent of SEMI E164 (EDA Common Metadata), these concepts are especially easy to implement, because all the events necessary to calculate the full suite of time elements are required by standard… but more on this is a later blog!

Since much of the world’s foundry capacity is in Taiwan, the equipment industry was well represented at the show, which included many of Cimetrix’ current customers as well as a few local prospects. As a result, Dave Faulkner and Kerry Iwamoto had a chance to visit a number of these firsthand.

Another highlight of the week for Cimetrix was participation in the eMDC (e-Manufacturing & Design Collaboration Symposium), where I made a presentation entitled “Data Fusion at the Source: Standards and Technologies for Seamless Sensor Integration” that addresses the challenges faced by process engineers in effectively using data from an increasing number of sources to analyze process behavior.

The basic idea is to handle the association of necessary context information (lot, substrate, product, layer, process, recipe, step, chamber, etc.) with the raw collected data as close to the source as possible, using a single, integrated model of the equipment and all related data sources. The equipment model that forms the foundation of the EDA/Interface A standards serves this purpose perfectly.

 

On a final related note, in visiting and talking with a number of the leading chip makers during the week, it seems that the adoption momentum for EDA is now building steadily, so we look forward to supporting this initiative across the value chain. Stay tuned for a late September post that will shed more light on this process!

Topics: Semiconductor Industry, SEMICON, SEMICON Taiwan

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