Foundry Roadmaps: Real Solutions, Or Just Hedging?


Major semiconductor foundries have revealed their advanced technology roadmaps for the next few years. They’re all investing billions of dollars into the development of process technologies and packaging options. The number of alternatives has been described as ‘dizzying’. How can all the foundries remain profitable? How does the customer decide which ‘route’ to take? For the 2... » read more

Will Higher Production Costs Hamper IoT Growth?


No question, 2017 is expected to be a good year for the semiconductor industry. Semiconductor revenues for 2017 are expected to increase more than 9% this year. A 6% increase in unit sales, as well as higher average selling prices for memory products, will help drive the revenue growth rate to its highest level since 2010. Wafer demand is forecast to grow by almost 8%. The higher revenue growth... » read more

Impact Of Rising SoC Design Costs On Innovation


If there is one truism in the semiconductor market, it is that rising costs will impact unit demand at some point if they continue long enough. The subject of this blog deals not with device ASPs; but rather with rising SoC design costs, and their effect on the number of designs at the advanced nodes. Even though the mechanism governing each set of numbers is different (device ASPs vs. design c... » read more

2017 Off To A Good Start, January Up 10.6% Year Over Year


January 2017 semiconductor sales exceeded $29 billion, representing a 10.6% increase over January 2016 and a decline of 10% from December 2016. The average weekly industry ship rate for January was $7.3 billion. Extending this ship rate for the year would produce an annual revenue of $380 billion or 10% growth. Semico is forecasting a couple of slow months and some price degradation on a few ke... » read more

Semiconductor CapEx To Increase 4.3% In 2017


Semiconductor capital expenditures are an important bellwether for the industry. Based on preliminary findings, Semico Research predicts 2017’s total will increase 4.3% to $69.7 billion, a record high, and a slightly larger increase than in 2016. Semico tracks more than 80 companies for CapEx and R&D spending, although many of those companies have merged, have been acquired, or gone ba... » read more

Power Management Vs. State Machines


In the last several years, contemporary SoCs (systems-on-a-chip) have become very complex silicon solutions. They now consist of hundreds of millions of gates, 100 or more discrete Semiconductor Intellectual Property (SIP) blocks, high-speed data channels, megabytes of volatile and non-volatile embedded memory, increasing amounts of analog/mixed signal functionality, multiple CPU cores and mult... » read more

Watch Out: Reality Is Set To Explode


Walk into any store right now (December 2016), and you can probably find a VR headset for $20. These will be a popular gift item this holiday season, but ultimately it may hurt the market if consumers have bad experiences with these bargain-basement VR headsets. There exists a considerable amount of confusion regarding the virtual reality, augmented reality, and mixed reality industries. Sem... » read more

Printed Cars, Smart Stints, Personal Breathalyzers


The MEMS and sensor market continues to be a hotbed for innovation, new opportunities and, as with most new frontiers, there are also some disparate views on market dynamics and strategies. All this was evident at the 2016 MSIG Executive Congress last week in Scottsdale, Arizona. First, I’ll cover the pioneering and fun subjects. In addition to the Technology Showcase demos and member pres... » read more

IP Market: CPU Still The Largest But Security Leads In Growth


The 3rd Party Semiconductor Intellectual Property (SIP) market has seen great innovation in the products it offers to System-on-a-Chip (SoC) designers over the last ten years. If any market segment in the semiconductor industry typifies the intense evolutionary pressures that the entire electronics market has undergone, it is the 3rd Party SIP market. Most of these evolutionary forces are dr... » read more

Smartphone Security: For Your Eyes Only


Fans of the Olympics here in the United States were treated to a great Samsung commercial throughout the broadcast. The commercial stars the genius, multi-award-winning actor Christoph Waltz, showing how Americans can multitask with the amazing new Galaxy Note7. Yes, THAT Galaxy Note7. The 90-second long commercial is a delight to watch, but it must have cost Samsung some serious bucks to produ... » read more

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