2012 and onward for semiconductor fab managers at The ConFab May 16, 2011 — Bill Tobey, ConFab advisory board member since the event’s inception, and president of ACT International, discusses the role of fab managers in today’s semiconductor manufacturing environment. After the 2008 financial fallout, and 3 years of recovery, 2012 and onward present challenges and opportunities for research and development, collaboration, etc. He speaks with senior technical editor Debra Vogler at the event. What are the issues with collaborations? "Who hands off to whom? Who has the ultimate responsibility for the product of a collaboration?," suggests Tobey. Today and in the near future, IDMs, foundries, packaging houses, and frontend equipment suppliers are all collaborating together. While it is still an imperfect process, Tobey notes several collaborations that are working quite well. Wafer processing equipment and materials suppliers need to figure out how they will be involved in developing new products and commercialization/manufacturing process improvement. Handoffs and costs sharing are very difficult in these partnerships. Session 2 of The ConFab will help define this collaboration issue, with different models presented.