GSA 2022 EU Exec Forum: Facing New Realities

By Neil Dickins


IC Resources’ founder Neil Dickins travelled to Munich to attend the GSA Executive Forum on June 2nd. Here are his summary of this fantastic event!

What’s the Event?

The Global Semiconductor Alliance is the industry’s biggest and most prominent design-centric membership organisation. They run multiple international executive forums; the annual Munich meeting is their European flagship event.

Was there a theme?

This year the theme was ‘Facing New Realities’. In a nutshell, it was an opportunity to look at the post Covid landscape, which is currently defined by supply chain shortages and unprecedented global demand.

Who was there?

The attendance at the GSA Exec forum is always excellent. Circa 200 senior executives from with the design and supply communities were there, with about 15 exhibitors ranging from assembly and test to …. a truly elite recruitment organisation. The big European IC design companies are always well represented. Infineon, NXP, ST, and more, were there alongside a range of international attendees. A senior technology expert from Meta was spotted. And he spent very little time on social media!

Why attend?

I’ve been going to the exec forum for the last 15 years. It’s always one of the most collaborative and collegiate events that I attend. There’s plenty of cooperation and discussion, even among ‘competitors’, because everyone has the same fundamental goal: for the wider semiconductor industry to thrive, grow, and solve some of the world’s most complex problems. For example, one presentation was from Giorgia Longobardi, the CEO of Cambridge GaN Devices. The company is developing technology that will reduce power consumption and have an enormous positive impact on global CO2 emissions.

Any thoughts and take-aways?

First and foremost: it was great to see so many familiar – and new – faces after the restrictions of the last two years. Zoom is fine for ‘tactical’ discussions, but face to face is the only way to really bounce strategic ideas around and learn from others’ perspectives. 

The industry is embarking on a wave of post-Moore’s-law innovation. One example is a scale-up company called Atlant 3D Nanosystems, which is developing atomic-layer advanced manufacturing equipment. I was very impressed with their CEO, Maksym Plakhotnyuk; it sounds as though received funding in record time from impressive investment partners, including Sony.

I’ll take this opportunity to give a shout-out to Sandro Grigolli, who does a fantastic job of running the event. Over the years he has become a true master Master of Ceremonies.

Helpful hints to future attendees?

Save room for dessert! The food on offer at the Sofitel Munich during the networking breaks and lunch is always excellent - the highlight is the selection of desserts.  You’ll definitely need to save space to sample at least three!

Full Details

The Global Semiconductor Alliance (GSA) “has an impressive global footprint representing over 25 countries and 250 corporate members, including 100 public companies.  As a result of our unique, neutral platform, our membership ranges from the most exciting, emerging companies to semiconductor industry stalwarts and technology leaders.  Our members now represent 70% of the $450B plus semiconductor industry.” 

This year's topic of the GSA European Executive Forum was ‘Facing New Realities’ and an elite line-up of expert speakers explored the themes of: 

  1. The World Ahead looking at the future of medicine, AR, XR and the Metaverse: silicon challenges, global technology and competitive landscapes, semiconductor landscape over the next decade, the big macroeconomic, geopolitical trends in semiconductors, resilience in a global semiconductor world, the novel semiconductors that will power our future and technology convergence for successful enterprises. 
  2. The New Chip Design Paradigm where discussions included, from IC to systems: new opportunities for the semiconductor industry, the new chip design paradigm in the world where chops drive sensing and thinking and computer architecture in a post Moore’s Law world. 
  3. Sensing and Analysing the World discussing emerging IoT use cases, managing the industrial IoT ecosystem, Lidar 2.0 and Open Lidar API and Ultra-wideband sensing use cases. 
  4. The Future of Automotive looking at the role of data and the future of automotive electronics, an automotive market overview and update, the future of automotive computing: cloud vs edge and that everything that moves will be autonomous. 

Some of this year's speakers included: 

  • Dag Wisland, Co-Founder and CTO of Novelda 
  • Dexter Thillien, Lead Analyst, Technology and Telecoms for The Economist 
  • Fritz Ferstl, SVP of Software for Altair Engineering 
  • Gal Carmel, GM Automotive of proteanTecs 
  • Giorgia Longobardi, Founder and CEO of Cambridge GaN Devices 
  • Jo De Boeck, EVP & Chief Strategy Officer & GM of imec Netherlands 
  • Johannes Deichmann, Partner of McKinsey & Company 
  • Joseph Sawicki, EVP & GM for Seimens EDA 
  • Kamal Khouri, VP & GM of Automotive Business Line for GlobalFoundries 
  • Luca De Ambroggi, Chief Analyst of Automotive Technologies and E/E Architectures 
  • Malcom Penn, Founder, Chairman and CEO of Future Horizons 
  • Mario Morales, VP of Program Research for IDC 
  • Marko Bertogna, Professor of High-Performance Real-Time Lab from the University of Modena 
  • Michael Saine, SVP of Enterprise Marketing and Communication Group for Synopsys 
  • Mustapha Bouraoui, VP of Strategic Marketing – EMEA Region for STMicroelectronics 
  • Ofer Shacham, VP & Head of Custom Compute Platforms for Meta (Facebook) 
  • Oliver Wolst, SVP of Automotive Semiconductor Integrated Circuits at Robert Bosch 
  • Ondrej Burkacky, Senior Partner of McKinsey & Company 
  • Ron Black, CEO of Codasip 
  • Sam Heidari, CEO of Lumotive 
  • Sam Jonaidi, VP of Enterprise Software Solutions and Transportation for NI 
  • Svein-Egil Nielsen, CTO of Nordic Semiconductor. 

Alongside the speakers, at the event the exhibitors that attended were: 

  • Eurofins MASER, an independent engineering service provider for Reliability Test and Failure Analysis of micro-electronic components and systems 
  • Flex Logic, a reconfigurable computing company providing leading eFPGA IP and AI inference chip solutions. 
  • Imec, a world leading R&D centre in nanoelectronics and digital technologies. 
  • Menta, an eFPGA pioneer for applications in A&D, edge computing, 5G/6G, cryptography, AI, motor controls, smart sensors etc.  
  • Micon, the local office suppliers in the semiconductors, electronics and software industries. 
  • OpenFive, who offer end-to-end expertise in Architecture, IP Integration, Design Implementation, Software, Silicon Validation, and Manufacturing to deliver high-quality silicon in advanced nodes down to 5nm. 
  • Rambus, a provider of industry-leading chips and silicon IP making data faster and safer. 
  • Siemens EDA, who are breaking down the barriers between electronic, software and mechanical engineering disciplines.  
  • And finally, saving the best till last, IC Resources (that’s us!), who have built a reputation for delivering insightful and relevant recruitment solutions to the semiconductor industry. 

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