Follow The Moving Money


Semiconductor economics are changing by market, by region, and by product node and packaging type, adding new complexity into decisions about which technology to use for which products and why. Money is the common denominator in all of these decisions, whether it's measured by return on invested capital, quarterly profits, or long-term investments that can include acquisitions, organic growt... » read more

Will Fab Tool Boom Cycle Last?


Fab equipment spending is on pace for a record year in 2017, and it now appears that momentum could continue into 2018. Fab tool vendors found themselves in the midst of an unexpected boom cycle in 2017, thanks to enormous demand for equipment in [getkc id="208" comment="3D NAND"] and, to a lesser degree, [getkc id="93" kc_name="DRAM"]. In the logic/foundry business, however, equipment deman... » read more

Good Solutions Create Problems


I am amazed at the array of products available these days – products that I had no idea existed or needed. And yet, globalization has made it possible for anyone with an idea to get the product made cheaply and can sell it on amazon, even giving it lots of attention by claiming it is worth 10 times the cost to produce and then discounting it 80%. When 3D printing becomes a little more afforda... » read more

China’s Ambitious Automotive Plans


China has big plans for cars—and other related markets. After years of trailing behind Japanese, European and U.S.-based carmakers in automotive technology, reliability, status, and even market share within its own political borders, the country is making a concerted push into internally developed and manufactured assisted- and self-driving vehicles. The strategy plays out well for China o... » read more

Chiplets Gaining Steam


Building chips from pre-verified chiplets is beginning to gain traction as a way of cutting costs and reducing time to market for heterogeneous designs. The chiplet concept has been on the drawing board for some time, but it has been viewed more as a possible future direction than a necessary solution. That perception is beginning to change as complexity rises, particularly at advanced nodes... » read more

Faster Commoditization In Cars


Sensors are at the heart of assisted and autonomous driving, but even before these devices hit the road the average selling prices of these components will have to fall far enough to be affordable to a mass audience. Achieving economies of scale is what has made the semiconductor industry successful over the past half century. It has enabled semiconductors to proliferate and for electronics ... » read more

MCU Sales Up in 2017 And 2018


Microcontroller (MCU) sales are expected to grow over 9% this year while units increase over 16%. IoT and automotive are the major reason for the growth in general MCUs; however, the product group has been transitioning into several distinct segments that are being buried within the data of the broad MCU market. Over the past five years total MCU revenues have essentially remained flat; however... » read more

How To Build A Trillion Connected Things


A trillion is a big number. A broadcaster reads about 1,000 words in a five-minute newscast. At that rate, it would take 6,000 years at that rate to finish a trillion-word newscast. We’re on a path in the technology industry to build and connect a trillion devices in the coming years. How are we going to do that, given the scale and sheer size of the task? Is it achievable in the time f... » read more

The Great Skills Race


The next phase of the technology race will be fought with qualified people—but not necessarily the same people in the same markets or with the same skill sets. For the past half century, technology wars have been won and lost with inexpensive labor and increasing amounts of automation. This can be traced from the United States in the 1960s to Japan in the 1970s, Korea starting in the mid-... » read more

The Future Of Human/Machine Interaction Is Personal


What comes to mind when you think of a human/machine interface? Something close at hand like your smartphone’s GPS and the ATMs at your bank? Something futuristic like flying cars and jetpacks? Something dangerous like menacing cyborgs? As technology becomes more pervasive in our everyday activities, there are a growing number of human/machine interfaces. They also are becoming more personal.... » read more

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