Author's Latest Posts


AI Accelerating Discovery


In early April 2018, the Materials Research Society held their spring meeting and exhibit at the Phoenix, Arizona convention center. With more than 110 symposium presentations, it was difficult to select which sessions to attend. But one forum caught my eye, “AI for Materials Development”. These days AI seems to be everywhere. As we all speculate about the impact of AI on autonomous driv... » read more

Wafer Demand: Under Pressure But Still Growing


Wafer demand grew 10.7% in 2017 while total semiconductor units grew 13.4%. Due to the tight supply of silicon wafers and increased prices, most manufactures placed an even higher priority on improving yields. The industry’s focus on yield improvements is relentless but especially important when the cost of key input materials is on the rise. In 2017 the semiconductor products that con... » read more

Memory Market: Will History Repeat Itself?


While updating the Semico Fab Database and capital investment projections for 2018, China's investment in memory capacity sparked a lot of discussion at our weekly Semico roundtable. Will China's investment in memory production capacity be successful, or will it just ruin the party for all memory players? Here are some of the highlights of our discussion. Additional data and insights are includ... » read more

Semiconductor Wafer Demand: Growing Pains


Semico Research is forecasting total semiconductor unit growth to exceed 13% this year, the first double-digit growth year since 2010. The exceptional unit growth is what the industry hopes for, but it does come with some growing pains. MOS logic, optoelectronics, MEMS and sensors, and even analog and discrete products are experiencing more than 10% unit growth in 2017. The challenge is that... » 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

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

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

Are We Looking At The IoT Through Rose-Colored Glasses?


There’s been a lot of anticipation and promise associated with the explosive growth expected from the deployment of the Internet of Things. The prospect of 30 billion to 50 billion connected devices and all the associated electronics brings rosy visions of a return to double-digit semiconductor industry growth rates. Let’s take a look at the realities of the impending impact. MEMS, ... » read more

Wafer Shortage? Reality Versus Perception


The promise of explosive growth associated with IoT has semiconductor unit forecasts growing at double-digit rates for key product categories. Anything with the word ‘sensors’ seems to be in vogue today. Sensors, image sensors, sensor hubs are all expected to benefit from the billions of connected devices that are forecasted to be in place by 2020. Semico agrees. Unit growth for key product... » read more

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