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“Collaboration” Has a New Nuance

You hear it everywhere you go. Press releases crow about it. People dedicate entire press briefings to congratulating themselves on it. Heck, entire conferences are built around it. And what is this concept that captures so many breathless brain cycles?

Collaboration.

“Oh boy, lookit, Mom: we’re working together!”

Seems an obvious thing; businesses have always had to cooperate. No business can completely go it alone (even if they sometimes act like they think they can).

I was in another such briefing just the other day, listening to the usual “look how well we worked together” thing and was struck by a word that came up way too many times.

Trust.

And I thought, “Why does he keep saying that? Of course collaboration requires trust, at least on some level.”

And then it hit me. When you’re in the hot water with the temperature changing slowly, you don’t notice that the temperature has changed (a fact rumored to have contributed to the premature demise of a frog or two). I thought back a few years ago, when I was just new at doing this reporting thing. And I remembered the frustration on the part of many that the foundries wouldn’t release any data for fear of exposing valuable manufacturing information to competitors.

Contrast that to the more recent iXXX activities by TSMC and the ongoing OpenPDK projects – all going on with the express cooperation of the foundries, not to mention some IDMs – and yeah, things do feel different.

Granted, it’s a bit late to the game, but heck, it’s happening, so might as well give credit where due.

It’s not that collaboration has changed; it’s just that It’s actually happening in action rather than words to a far greater extent than before.

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