" But a more appropriate moniker might be something like, "Oh what a relief!" After three crummy years, the semiconductor manufacturing business has gone from a few signs of life to running flat out, in the space of just 12 months.

If the expanding book-to-bill ratio is any indication, the more than 1,500 companies showcasing their latest products and services at this year's event should be happy and will have a lot to talk about. Keynoting Semicon is Intel Director of Technology Strategy Dr. Paolo Gargini. Gargini is an Intel Fellow and chairs SEMI's International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors.

Also on tap is a two-day event called the Technology Innovation Showcase which features innovative new products as picked by a committee of 10 highprofile technical experts. Selection was based on the impact each innovation will have on the industry. Attendees will hear descriptions of the most important innovative products for the semiconductor and related industries and will be able to meet face-to-face with the inventors.

Education has always been a big component of Semicon and this year is no exception. SPIE courses at the show cover topics that include How to Successfully Manage New Product Introductions, Polysilicon Surface Micromachine Technology and Devices, Dry and Immersion Lithography for Non-Lithographers, Strategic Planning During Times of Deep Uncertainty and Complexity, Forecasting Techniques for the SEM Industry, Nano The Next Technology, Materials, Processes, Lead-Free Soldering, Advanced Packaging Technology Solutions, Pushing the Limits: Optical Enhancements, Polarization and Immersion, Semiconductor Processing Technology, EUV Lithography Masks, Failure Mode Analysis of Flip Packages, Functional Safety in Compliance with SEMI S2, Integrated Measurement Module Communications, The Fundamental Limits of Optical Lithography, Introduction to Flip Chip Technology, Developing and Implementing Intellectual Property Strategies, and Designing MEMS for Reliability.

A forum for fab managers features a keynote by Steven Appleton, chairman of the board, president and CEO of memory supplier Micron. Another keynote by Bruce Freyman, president and COO at Amkor Technology in Chandler, Ariz., will deal with test and packaging issues.

Another part of the exposition is the SEMI Technology Symposium: Innovations in Semiconductor Manufacturing. It draws innovators from around the world to present on significant technical advances of interest to materials and equipment users and suppliers. The papers and presenters for each session have been selected by a committee of experts in areas of front-end wafer processing. Technical sessions will feature papers that address practical solutions to real problems. Individual sessions will focus on strained silicon technology, advanced wafer processing, interconnect technology, planarization processes, in-situ metrology, contamination-free manufacturing, MEMS technology, and EHS issues.

In the San Jose portion of the show can be found the International Electronics Manufacturing Technology. This joint effort of SEMI and the IEEE CPMT society features technical papers on research, development, and applications of manufacturing technology for electronic components, assemblies, and systems selected by a committee of experts. Individual sessions will deal with reliability, green manufacturing, MEMS packaging, design for manufacturing, the effects of using low k materials, wafer-level and stacked-die packaging and testing.

The Wafer Processing portion of the show starts July 12 and runs through July 14 in San Francisco's Moscone Center. The Final Manufacturing exhibits and events start July 14 and go through July 16 at the San Jose Convention Center. Registration information can be found at the SEMI Web site, wps2a.semi.org/wps/portal. Leland Teschler