Capital Region hosts global semiconductor conference

May 23, 2012

Top executives and CEOs of computer chip companies from around the world are together in Saratoga Springs this week for the 16th annual meeting of the World Semiconductor Council (WSC).

This is the first time the meeting is being held in the Albany area.

It's another sign of the Capital Region's growing importance in the world of advanced manufacturing.

"New York State, and the Albany area in particular, has become a real center for the global semiconductor industry," says Brian Toohey, president of the Semiconductor Industry Association. 

Toohey says the Capital Region has become significant because it's a hub for both research and manufacturing.

Semiconductors are crucial to many high-tech electronic devices and computers.

Just two weeks ago, President Obama came to the University at Albany's College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering and touted the area's growth in high-tech manufacturing.

The state-backed research school is in the midst of building a new clean room where companies will work on developing the next generation of computer chips.

The Saratoga Springs area is also home to GlobalFoundries' new $4.6 billion chip manufacturing plant.

Nearly 100 executives from dozens of companies will gather in Saratoga Springs to discuss issues ranging from international trade policy to intellectual property.

Lt. Gov. Robert Duffy is scheduled to speak at a dinner hosted by the WSC on Thursday night. (Originally, Gov. Andrew Cuomo was planning to attend.)

On Friday, GlobalFoundries will host a symposium to discuss the future of advanced manufacturing in the United States with leaders from business and government.