STMicroelectronics NV (NYSE: STM) is one of those companies that back up corporate social responsibility statements with firm actions. And it's been doing it for years, first under former chairman and CEO Pasquale Pistorio and continuing even now, years after he left the job.
At the recent Semico Summit, STMicroelectronics presented its view on shaping the semiconductor future, and -- no surprise -- it involved also helping to shape our social future. Bob Krysiak, executive VP and general manager of the Americas for the company, spoke on how STM and the semiconductor industry have been "doing well by doing good."
Krysiak pointed out the demographic changes that are occurring in our society, noting that most of the world's population growth is in non-Western countries. By 2050 there will be nearly 10 billion people in the world, 3 billion more than today. In addition we will have quite an aging population. These factors will add to pressures on many resources.
The theme of Krysiak's presentation, "doing well by doing good," presents the Internet and connectivity as key elements in addressing these issues. He noted that the Internet and connectivity have become the plumbing of our world and industry. There are a growing number of online users, many in China, for instance, and this has positive implications for our society.
We will depend more on the Internet and connectivity for increases in productivity and security. Human productivity will depend more on mobility and wireless. Banking will be transformed by this, but then security becomes more important. This will lead to growth in brand authentication, protection, and trusted platform security.
With aging populations, countries need to deal with healthcare management. Krysiak pointed out that in developed countries 12 to 18 percent of GDP is spent on healthcare. Much of this is for the management of chronic diseases, such as diabetes. Remote monitoring and wellness are the next big explosion of content. Connectivity will play a major role in this, and semiconductor technology, including MEMS, offers more affordable solutions, with greater reliability and precision.
The so-called "smart grid" also applies IT and networking expertise to deliver energy efficiently. This includes smart meters, photovoltaics, electric vehicles, and home-area networks (HANs) working together for energy efficiency by balancing supply and demand. Network security plays an important role.
The semiconductor industry offers the intelligent control and high-performance analog technology to make all of this happen.