SAN JOSE – It’s been a month since Intel Corp. confirmed its withdrawal from the World Semiconductor Trade Statistics (WSTS), a non-profit service that publishes monthly reports about global chip sales that are distributed by the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA). The decision, which Intel made only after Advanced Micro Devices Inc. exited from WSTS late last year, has stirred anixiety among analysts and industry insiders. The move threatens to make WSTS data less reliable and valuable, while diluting the credibility of the SIA, which sponsors WSTS.
When asked about the WSTS/SIA dilemma, Rich Beyer, Freescale Semiconductor CEO serving as SIA’s Chairman this year, told EE Times, “We will fix it.” Beyer was here this week attending the EE Times/EDN ACE Awards ceremony, where he received the Executive of the Year award.
Beyer said, “I already phoned Rory [Read, president and CEO of AMD], and we talked. Brian Toohey, president of SIA, meanwhile, called Intel.” Beyer expressed confidence in SIA’s ability to regain Intel’s participation. Beyer also explained that AMD’s decision to exit from the WSTS program was made “at a lower level,” rather than originating with AMD top management.
Beyer, without naming names, also revealed that the SIA got a call from “a government agency,” with instructions to correct the situation. Beyer explained that the last thing you want, if you are representing the SIA based in Washington D.C., is to get this sort of interference from the government.
Serving as SIA’s new chairman appears to be no vanity position. Beyer said “I am expected to know everything, when I am asked questions while in the same room at the White House with the head of Commerce Dept., or Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke. They expect SIA to have a single voice, and the SIA chairman is expected to be the voice.”