Recently I have been trying to describe how semiconductor companies differ from all other companies. What is their core attribute? I have sometimes said it is their following Moore’s Law, but it is much deeper than that. So how can I explain it better?

Last week SiTime’s CEO, Rajesh Vashist, described it perfectly: “If cars were made by semi companies then Ferrari’s would cost $25.” And that is it, that is the whole thing.

First, it’s about performance; always striving for more performance. Second it’s about value; always striving for more value. It is not necessarily about price. In semiconductors we do lower costs, but it is much more than that. We make things better at the right price.

Would you buy a Ferrari for $25? No! If you wanted to go fast you might buy a McLaren F1 for $250. And what would Ferrari do? They would enhance their “low end” machines. Their new cars would be so good, so well appointed, so fast, so safe, and use so little fuel that you would surely prefer them to today’s F1’s.

That is the core belief we hold in the semiconductor industry, that everything must offer higher performance and better value, and we are continuously extending what we mean by performance and value, we are continuously moving the goalpost. This is the core of what SiTime is doing, and we are bringing this to the quartz timing industry.

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