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An Insider’s View of the 2023 Global Semiconductor Alliance’s (GSA) Annual Awards

An Insider’s View of the 2023 Global Semiconductor Alliance’s (GSA) Annual Awards
by Daniel Nenni on 12-14-2023 at 10:00 am

My beautiful wife and I attended the annual Global Semiconductor Alliance (GSA) Awards event last week. Usually this is a solo event but since my wife is CFO of SemiWiki I was able to get her an invite. I go every year and she wanted to see what all of the excitement was about. She also knows quite a few industry people from attending the Design Automation Conference with me. Her first DAC was 1985 in Las Vegas.

Global Semiconductor Alliance’s (GSA)

Surprisingly she had a good time. They must have broke an attendance record this year, the place was packed. It really was the Who’s Who of the semiconductor industry. I would guess that most of the GSA events were sold out this year, the ones I attended certainly were. We have used the term Rock Star in the past but today semiconductor professionals really are Rock Stars.

The GSA was established in 1994. It was founded to address the challenges and opportunities within the semiconductor industry, fostering collaboration and innovation among its members. It really is an incredible organization and a credit to the semiconductor ecosystem. You can read more about them on their website or ask Chat-GPT.

For me the GSA is known for the events, conferences, and forums where professionals from the semiconductor industry can come together to discuss emerging trends, share insights, and collaborate on the challenges facing the industry. These events have been invaluable for me over the years, absolutely.

The theme of the networking reception was digital twins sponsored by Cadence. They did an excellent job, even my wife said so. She actually knows what a digital twin is now so bravo to Cadence. She was less impressed by the Tesla truck however and I agree completely. As my kids would say “a serious dumpster fire”. It’s digital twin must be fraternal.

Global Semiconductor Alliance’s (GSA)

The ceremony generally starts with a comedian or celebrity of some sort. I remember one year it was Jay Leno and like the rest he was not funny. They always try and tell semiconductor jokes but they have no idea what they are talking about so it just does not work. The most memorable GSA opening act for me was Steve Forbes, son of Malcolm Forbes. That man had vision (flat tax and term limits) and was very passionate and articulate.

My wife was all about the food and it did not disappoint, especially the dessert!

Global Semiconductor Alliance’s (GSA)

Then came the awards:

Dr. Morris Chang Exemplary Leadership Award

The GSA’s most prestigious award recognizes individuals, such as its namesake, Dr. Morris Chang, for their exceptional contributions to drive the development, innovation, growth, and long-term opportunities for the semiconductor industry. This year’s recipient is Dr. Rick (Lih Shyng) Tsai, CEO and Vice Chairman of MediaTek.

Back in the day Morris Chang used to personally present this award and that was worth the price of admission, even though it is free for me since I am famous. Morris now appears via video recording and did not disappoint. Morris does not pull punches. He praised Rick’s work at TSMC (1989-2014) and his time as CEO (2005-2009) but he did mention the TSMC diversion of LED and Solar under Rick. What he did not mention was Rick’s downfall, TSMC’s first and last lay-off in 2009. I was in Taiwan at the time and let me tell you it was something to see. There were protests in front of TSMC, it was that shocking for TSMC and Taiwan in general. I believe it was something like 5% of the workforce, and that was after Rick said in 2008 no layoffs were planed.

Shortly thereafter Morris Chang took over as CEO and asked all laid-off employees to return to work to make amends for what he described as “regrettable actions” to dismiss them amid the economic downturn.

I spent most of my 40 year semiconductor career orbiting TSMC so this is from memory, go ahead and correct me if I am wrong here.

Rick then reinvented himself and joined SoC powerhouse MediaTek in 2017. Under his leadership MediaTek went from a trailing edge to a leading edge semiconductor company so this award is well deserved. I saw this transformation first hand, it was exceptional.

Rising Women of Influence Award

This award recognizes and profiles the next generation of women leaders in the semiconductor industry who are believed to be rising to top executive roles within their organizations. This year’s award was presented to Thy Tran, Vice President of Global Frontend Procurement at Micron Technology, Inc.

I do not know Thy but her story was certainly inspirational. I had to look her up and found this article which mirrored her speech. It is definitely worth a read:

From Refugee to Micron VP IEEE Spectrum

Company Awards

Most Respected Semiconductor Companies GSA members identified the winners in this category by casting ballots for the industry’s most respected
companies, judged for their vision, technology and market leadership. This year’s recipients include:

Most Respected Public Semiconductor Company Achieving Greater than $5 Billion in Annual Sales

• NVIDIA

Most Respected Public Semiconductor Company Achieving $1 Billion to $5 Billion in Annual Sales
• Silicon Labs
Most Respected Public Semiconductor Company Achieving $500 Million to $1 Billion in Annual Sales
• Lattice Semiconductor
Most Respected Emerging Public Semiconductor Company Achieving $100 Million to $500 Million in Annual Sales
• Rambus

Most Respected Private Company

• Astera Labs

Best Financially Managed Semiconductor Companies

These awards are derived from a broad evaluation of the financial health and performance of public semiconductor companies. This year’s recipients are:

Best Financially Managed Semiconductor Company Achieving up to $1 Billion in Annual Sales
• Lattice Semiconductor

Best Financially Managed Semiconductor Company Achieving Greater than $1 Billion in Annual Sales

• NVIDIA

Start-Up to Watch

GSA’s Private Awards Committee, comprised of successful executives, entrepreneurs and venture capitalists, chose the winner by identifying a promising startup that has demonstrated the potential to positively change its market or the industry through innovation and market application. This year’s
winner is SiMa.ai.

As a global organization, the GSA recognizes outstanding companies headquartered in the Europe/Middle East/Africa (EMEA) and Asia-Pacific regions having a global impact and demonstrating a strong vision, portfolio and market leadership. Two awards were presented in this category:

Outstanding Asia-Pacific Semiconductor Company
• MediaTek

Outstanding EMEA Semiconductor Company
• Robert Bosch GmbH

Analyst Favorite Semiconductor Company
Two analyst pick awards were presented based on technology and financial performance, as well as future projections:
• Credo Technology Group was chosen by Needham & Company, LLC
• MACOM Technology Solutions, Inc. was chosen by Jefferies, LLC
This year’s in-person ceremony was attended by 1,500 global executives in the semiconductor and
technology industries.

All in all a very good experience. Hopefully my wife and I will see you there next year!

Also Read:

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RISC-V Summit Buzz – Axiomise Accelerates RISC-V Designs with Next Generation formalISA®

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