Another Semiconductor fab for NY – ams!

On August 20, 2015, New York’s semiconductor cluster grew yet again, with the announcement that ams, AG would be building a new fab at the Marcy Nanocenter, investing $4 billion and creating 1,000 new jobs. AMS product graphic
AMS is an Austrian integrated device manufacturer that produces analog devices and ASIC’s for the communication, medical and automotive markets. Their 2014 revenue was $464MM and they have fabs in Austria and Plano, TX. AMS has a cool video that you can view here.

Here at Zone 5, this is great news, as the folks developing the Marcy Nanocenter, Mohawk Valley EDGE, have been close friends and clients for almost a decade now.
In fact, when EDGE first decided to go all in on the semiconductor industry, we helped build the MNC brand, developing the logo, MNC_SUNYPoly_logowebsite and collateral and providing strategic support and guidance on business development.

As with any project like this, there will be many people that claim credit, but we saw firsthand the work put in by Steve DiMeo and Mark Reynolds at EDGE to tell the semiconductor industry why Upstate NY was the right place for semiconductor manufacturing. Behind the scenes, we watched Lamar Hill advise Steve and Mark and introduce them to all the right people in the industry as they built out a world-class site for manufacturing.

And for a long time early on, Zone 5’s own Tim Dunn was VP of Marketing and Business Development for EDGE, guiding both the brand development and global marketing efforts for Marcy Nanocenter.

So we’re awfully excited and proud that our friends at EDGE can claim a huge victory by landing AMS as the anchor company at Marcy Nanocenter. Tonight, we raise a glass to you guys! (I’m guessing it should be a Saranac?)

SemiZone: Dan Hutcheson of VLSIresearch

We’re sitting down with industry experts through the week at SEMICON West to cull their best business, trends and marketing insights. Here’s what Dan Hutcheson of VLSIresearch had to say.

You’re the CEO of VLSIresearch – tell us a little about the company.

We track the semiconductor markets. We follow the data, trying to figure out where the next twists and turns are going to come in this crazy industry.

VLSIresearch's Dan Hutcheson

VLSIresearch’s Dan Hutcheson

We’re seeing a lot of talk this week with the challenges of 450. What are you hearing on the ground from companies regarding 450 integration?

Realistically, the push for 450 has slowed down since SEMICON last year because there wasn’t a strong industry consensus. No one is worried about building the next 450 fab; instead, they are moving forward in a long step fashion. With the industry turning up, they need capacity so there has been more investment. Between new demand and the fact the 450 question seems to be over, that’s what’s driving the industry this year.

Great point about capacity. Where do you see capacity and decision points right now?

Capacities are really important right now. Every (industry) cycle I’ve been through, I see companies making the same mistake and that’s companies looking at the capacity they have based on the products they are producing today and think we have tons of capacity. And, next year when new designs are hitting the fabs and they need completely different capability and they find that they didn’t have the capacity they thought they did. It’s a really dynamic game they wind up scrambling into.

Where do you see numbers landing through the end of the year?

If we look at the semiconductor market in the 1st quarter, it ended about 11% above where it’d been the year before.  It’s coming in about 12-13% ahead this quarter – it’s a pretty hot growth year. The other thing that’s really new is there’s a lot more growth for silicon demand. That’s driving a need for more capacity.

As branders we’re always looking at is how people are telling their story.  What do you see as the great branding story in the industry this year?

The big story is the new Applied Materials and Tokyo Electron Limited. That’s the big branding story of this show. Eteris stands for eternal innovation for society. It’s naming something that has a real meaning to it. One really good thing about this new brand is it’s a clear communication to every employee in that organization to focus on innovation.

How has marketing landscape shift affected your company?

It’s really changed. Conventional media has been flipped on its head by social media. The impact of it for us is, we do a lot more social media marketing. We do SEO. We publish weekly e-newsletters.

FUN FACT: Dan has a passion for photography. He bought a digital camera in the late 90s and quickly found himself doing more with the medium. As he traveled, his customers caught glimpses of his work and encouraged him to integrate his photography into his business. Today, he incorporates these visuals into his presentations, adding a different flare to his industry take.

Uncork SEMICON: Where the Players Play

SEMICON West is always a nonstop blur of meetings, tech lectures and social events. Because of the frenetic nature of the week, it can sometimes be tough to stand out and host events that people actually want to attend. Last night, I think we did just that at the Sixth Annual Zone 5 Uncork SEMICON Reception.

Hosted at Restaurant Lulu in San Francisco, just about a block from the Moscone Center, this event always has the feel of a gathering of friends rather than a formal trade show reception. We’ve strived to make this event unique by featuring really interesting and varied wines and keeping the event relatively exclusive.

Uncork Wine

We selected a mix of new and old world wines, hitting several of my favorite regions and grape varities. Here’s a look at the list:

Allimant Laugner Cremant D’Alsace Rose Sparkling
‘Cuvée A’ Anne Amie, Müller-Thurgau, Yamhill-Carlton, Oregon
White Hart Pinot Noir 2011, Santa Lucia Highlands, CA
Château du Hureau ‘Tuffe’, Cabernet Franc, Saumur-Champigny, Loire, France
Andrea Oberto Barbera D’Alba 2012, Piedmont, Italy
Baron de Ley, Rioja Reserva 2008, Rioja, Spain

We were really excited to have a partner in this year’s event, as we shared hosting duties with the crew at Marcy NanoCenter. Since they’re from the Utica, NY area, we were able to feature an assortment of interesting beers from the Saranac Brewery, one of the oldest family-owned breweries in the US.


But the beverages are just one draw to Uncork. Obviously, the exclusive nature of the event attracts the right people in the industry and entices them to come back year after year. I was thrilled to have leaders in the industry attend – C level execs from AMAT, Western Digital, and GlobalFoundries, among many others. In fact, we had around 100 really high quality attendees from all facets of the industry, including the supply chain, R&D, manufacturing, and tooling.

Now that we’ve finished our hosting duties, it’s off to jump into the fray of those exhibits, lectures and events. Keep an eye on Twitter and here on the SemiZone to stay plugged in to the big topics and trends.

Going Global, Thinking Strategic

As we’ve learned from Tom Friedman, the world is getting flatter (and hotter and more crowded, but that’s for another time). That means we’re all trying to be more nimble globally than ever before – whether your supply chain emanates in Korea or San Jose, and whether your customer is in Germany or Schenectady.

Building a global marketing communications strategy can be challenging for any organization, regardless of size. At Zone 5, we’re always looking to improve our capabilities to perform for customers across the globe, helping them to tell their stories in a strategic, impactful manner.

That’s why I’m excited to announce a new member of the Zone 5 team who’s going to help us do just that. Tim Dunn joined Zone 5 today as our new Vice President. I’ve known Tim for almost 10 years and have collaborated with him on a number of projects, so I know the value he’ll bring to our team. He’s going to be providing us with a healthy dose of strategic guidance and business development leadership, particularly in the high tech and energy sectors, as well as health care.

Until recently, he wore a few hats at GE, guiding internal communications, marketing communications and digital strategy for the Power Generation Products business. Prior to his time at GE, Tim was a leader in global marketing and business development efforts in the semi-conductor industry, selling to the C-suite throughout Asia, North America and Europe.

That background served Zone 5 very well recently, when we were tasked with guiding GE Power & Water’s social media launch of their new Distributed Power business. Making a seamless transition from the client side to agency world, Tim provided strategic counsel and creative guidance to drive excitement and traffic for this new business launched in Jakarta, Indonesia. The results were impressive.

We’re really excited to have Tim as part of our team. Click here to read his full bio, or feel free to contact him directly at

The Birth of Social Media

Take your best guess for when social media was born. With MySpace in the 90s? With America Online in the early 80s? Try 1978. All of today’s social networks are descendants of the Computerized Bulletin Board System, or CBBS.

From those distant beginnings, social media has grown into an undeniable force in the broadcast of information. So much so that the success and impact of different social media engines can be found with a simple search. What is less readily available is the impact on corporate growth as opposed to other marketing strategies.

Bridge Ratings recently published their research study “Social Network Hierarchies and their Impact on Business,” giving the breakdown of different target demographics and how they use social media. The study not only shows where these different groups gather their information but discusses the methods and volume of their contributions and participation. Read more about their study here.