Clearly, this action tends to cast doubt on the validity of all future data published by WSTS. That sort of uncertainty has a huge ripple effect. It will impact chip companies doing planning and forecasting, market research analysts who depend on WSTS numbers — interpret them and predict market trends, and broad-spectrum media outlets like EE Times.
But beyond these obvious implications, Intel deserves censure for its wrongheaded, short-sighted and arrogant desertion of WSTS – for two reasons: “disclosure” and “bargaining power.”
In my opinion, any industry, whether it’s automobiles, semiconductor or veeblefetzers, will begin — once it stops collecting data within the industry — to lose a significant measure of its economic and political power in the greater world. Without a credible trade association backed up credible industry data, the industry has no legitimate representation beyond its own membership, this compromising its bargaining power.
OK. You may say that this is just about WSTS; it’s not like Intel is leaving Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA). True. And yet, the WSTS activities do go hand in hand with SIA’s mission. In fact, we are also hearing some disturbing stories about a few companies beginning to leave SIA. (But that’s for another story)
Rank-and-file members of an industry that does not publish and distribute credible data that demonstrate its size, sales and social significance — the semiconductor industry, for example — place themselves at the mercy of the largest, loudest and most powerful companies within the industry. This usually means that only the interests of the largest, loudest and most powerful companies end up being served.
Disclosure of data among members is the basic, first step in building an industry association. Once shared, these vital statistics allow members to see where the industry is going. They help members take the necessary actions. That often forestalls problems and assures a higher level of mutual prosperity.
Without trusted data, every company is left to its own devices, to fend for itself. Of course, if your company is already the largest and the richest, you probably don’t care about that.
I can’t help recall the time of trade disputes – in the 1980’s and early 1990’s – specifically the Japan-U.S. semiconductor negotiations.
As EE Times’ Washington correspondent George Leopold called it, this was “the defining moment” for Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) in the United States. Without all the monthly book-to-bill ratios and other stats put together by WSTS, the SIA had virtually no ammunition for the U.S. government’s negotiations with Japan.
No credible industry data and no credible industry representation equal no bargaining power.
The enemy for the U.S. semiconductor then was Japan. As Leopold said then, a trade association always needs a good enemy to thrive, and right now no “good enemy” is evident. But who’s to say that the U.S. industry will never see another enemy in the future?
Of course, in an age of “globalization,” and in an era when almost everyone is either “fab-lite” or no longer interested in “manufacturing,” the industry association seems increasingly to be a thing of the past.
I beg to differ. We are standing at a crossroads for U.S.-based companies and American policymakers, where the way lies open to restore a measure of our historic manufacturing growth. Possibly, the chip industry isn’t interested in joining such a revival. Perhaps, as I’ve heard suggested, it’s already too late for the semiconductor industry to come back.
In the face of such pessimism, however, I offer this assurance. With the first sight, on the horizon of any viable new nano-technologies, the chip industry — aided by the U.S. government and academia — is going to seize the opportunity. When that golden goose hatches, this industry will need, more than ever, a good effective trade association — rather than one big, rich, winner-take-all company — to negotiate the resulting deals and spread the wealth.
AMD & Intel pull data?
AMD losing share blowing antitrust case. Knows Intel market rigging and model for determining supply into future time.
Intel’s gaining share. Does not want to attract attention surpassing 81% including embedded.
Last time I observed such silencing 1989. Computer Supplier’s ad spend went dark in CRN. Right before Intel Inside morphed into metered price discrimination.
Intel expansion toward foundry seems another reason likely urgent.
Discontinuous memory innovation is a concern. Micron is a more efficient fabricator. Yet this leading memory, materials, fabrication aspect at inflection of physics goes beyond Micron.
Some picked up WSTS to project Intel revenue; since 1997. SEC is investigating use of analytics.
Intel supply data is used for projecting procurement of product routes for margin values into future time. So at inflection point in physics why doesn’t Intel want to report data?
Masking data makes Intel hard to see. Except for those who own a pair of special glasses which is the quantitative model. Not having WSTS data will not stop savvy QUANTA players on their investment in Intel analytics.
Intel foundry targets a physical space others
have been competing at for a long time. For Intel to leap frog on 20 years monopolization speaks poorly for industrial social values and democratic capitalism.
I'm for Intel expanding their business. So long as Intel does not anoint, step on, infringe, limit, restrain, shift revenue among those who invest organically on best practices to compete there.
So the big challenge is not AMD and Intel report to WSTS, but defining how to govern, regulate command, control, monitor INTEL as process saturates to new competitive potentials.
Intel strategy is to push through molecular at process saturation so they own quantum on long time monopoly gaming. That can't happen. It would destroy what's meant to come naturally.
Join our online Radio Show on Friday 11th July starting at 2:00pm Eastern, when EETimes editor of all things fun and interesting, Max Maxfield, and embedded systems expert, Jack Ganssle, will debate as to just what is, and is not, and embedded system.