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JULY 2020       TAP TIMES          -4-                                Francisco, WESCON,
                                                                                      which pulled thousands
                                                                                      of attendees, took place
                  SEMICON West (from 3)                                               at the odiferous Cow Pal-
                                                                                      ace, so named because
        SEMI, which recently celebrated its 50th                                      it was traditionally used
        anniversary, has decided to make this                                         for cattle auctions, and
        year’s show a virtual one in deference to                                     often smelled of bovines.
        the virus.  The show has traditionally run                                     (William B. Hugle, circa 1976)
        in July at Moscone Center in San Fran-
        cisco. That means this year no visitors, no
        exhibits and no human contact.                          Wide exposure, but not the right kind
                                                                Although WESCON provided lots of expo-
        Reflections on history                                  sure, it was not the right kind of exposure.
        The Golden Anniversary of the industry’s                Most of the exhibitors were PC board mak-
        most important trade group, SENI, de-                   ers or electronic parts suppliers.  A small
        mands some reflection and some history.                 number of semiconductor tool makers
                                                                completed the roster.
        In 1970, the semiconductor industry and
        the equipment makers that furnished it                  In March 1970, Dr. William Hugle, founder
        were a small, but hardy band, with no ac-               of Hugle Industries, gathered a group
        cess to a trade organization to help them               of like-minded chip equipment mak-
        expand.  To put it another way, the indus-              ers together to discuss ways to promote
        try and its providers were barely out of                semiconductor equipment.  Hugle, a well-
        swadling clothes.                                       known entrepreneur, was also a founder of
                                                                chip maker Siliconix.
        The major semiconductor makers of the
        time, companies such as Intel and Ad-                   IEEE Meeting
        vanced Micro Devices, were only one and                 This group met at the Hugle Industries
        two years old, respectively, and much of                booth during an IEEE meeting in New York.
        Silicon Valley was still flush with cherry              They decided to ask IEEE to dedicate a
        and peach orchards.                                     section of its annual event to semiconduc-
                                                                tor equipment.  Apparently, this proposal
        Meeting the market                                      failed for reasons that are not clear.
        The few existing semiconductor equip-
        ment makers--such notables as Applied                   According to several sources, however,
        Materials--were left to meet the market on              including a memoir by Hugle, a second
        their own terms without organized indus-                meeting was called in July 1970, this time
        try help.                                               in Palo Alto, Calif.


        During the ‘60s and ‘70s, members of the                In “SEMI--the Early Years,” Hugle and Fred
        burgeoning semiconductor industry were                  Kulicke, co-founder of equipment maker
        forced to seek non-specific ways to place               Kulicke & Soffa, conceived SEMI and SEMI-
        their merchandise before their specialized              CON as the proper showcase for the indus-
        buyers.                                                 try’s tools and equipment.


        One such venue for providers of electron-               The Palo Alto meeting convened 55 com-
        ics was the hugely popular WESCON show,                 panies to discuss SEMI and the trade
        held annually in  either Southern or North-             show.  At this meeting, Hugle was named
        ern California.  Up north, just outside San                                                    next page
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