AUSTIN, Tex. -- A U.S. industry group here, previous called SEMI/Sematech, has merged with the Semiconductor Equipment and Materials International (SEMI) trade group.
The merger of SEMI and the Semiconductor Industry Suppliers Association (SISA) will created a unified industry group for North American-based chip equipment and materials companies, according to officials with both trade organizations.
San Jose-based SEMI, a global trade association, said it will turn the operations of SISA into a new SEMI North America regional division, based in Austin.
During the 1980s, SISA was launched as SEMI/Sematech to provide U.S.-based suppliers with an independent organization to interface with Sematech, which was then focused on boosting the competitiveness of U.S. chip manufacturing. Several years ago, Sematech began transforming itself from a U.S.-only chip consortium to a global organization with member companies from Asia and Europe. Around same time, SEMI/Sematech began to change its focus. The group also changed its name to downplay its relationship with Sematech (see Dec. 6, 1999, story).
"The merger will strengthen the technical depth of SEMI programs and consolidate the supplier voice in the region," said Stanley T. Myers, president and CEO of SEMI.
The SEMI trade group and SISA have worked together on public policy activities in recent years. Officials said a major objective in merging SISA with SEMI is to increase influence on North America public policy and interaction of association members with semiconductor companies.
"The merger will strengthen our advocacy in North America by involving more executives in driving SEMI's public policy," said Victoria Hadfield, vice president of public policy for SEMI. "It also unifies the voice of the regional supplier community, which eliminates the potential for occasional ambiguity that might occur by the existence of two groups serving North American infrastructure companies."
Of the 120 SISA members, 103 also belong to SEMI. Directors on the board of the SISA group will joint the SEMI North America Advisory Board, which sets priorities and direction for SEMI's North American operations.
SEMI said it has offered employment to the existing SISA staff. SEMI said it will consolidate its operations in Austin with the existing SISA staff being moved to a new facility in the near future. Currently, the SISA staff occupies offices at the International Sematech site. SISA offices in Boston and Washington will also be maintained.