Recent Earthquakes Highlight Risk To Semiconductor Manufacturing Sites


On July 4, 2019, southern California experienced a 6.4 magnitude earthquake followed by a 7.1 earthquake the next day. Both earthquakes occurred near the town of Ridgecrest, but they were not related to the San Andreas fault, an 800-mile fault zone in California where two tectonic plates meet. The San Andreas fault is generally considered to be where “the big one” could occur in California,... » read more

Automotive Semiconductors Boost MCU, Analog Markets


Auto sales are expected to experience a slowdown in 2019, and even with the continued increase in electronics per vehicle, automotive semiconductor sales are also expected to experience a slowdown. Similar to prior years, 2019/2020 car models will include more automotive semiconductor devices to provide higher degrees of safety, comfort and convenience, driver assist capabilities, in-cabin ente... » read more

Q1 2019 Unit Drop Impacts Wafer Demand For 2019


The Semico Wafer Demand Model update for Q1 2019 now results in a 5.9% decline in wafer demand for 2019. Along with process technology and productivity, Semico’s Wafer Demand Model is highly dependent on semiconductor unit sales. In the Q1 2019, total semiconductor units dropped by 7.4% compared to Q4 2018 and 3.8% compared to Q1 2018. The drop in units is significant because of the broad spe... » read more

Slow And Cautious Start To 2019 For Memory Manufacturers


Both NAND and DRAM prices began dropping in the second half of 2018 after a couple years at record highs. Product oversupply and excess inventories are signaling a bleak outlook for the memory market in the first half of 2019. With these conditions in mind, SK Hynix and Samsung have slowed or put on hold their plans for capacity expansion in 2H18 and 2019. The chart below shows DRAM capacity... » read more

Trade Disputes Increase Market Uncertainty


The World Semiconductor Trade Statistics (WSTS) organization held its bi-annual forecast meeting in Scottsdale, Arizona last month, and one of the topics that seemed to be on everyone’s mind is the impact of tariffs and the trade tensions between the United States and China. The need to impose tariffs on U.S. imports of semiconductors is perplexing and frequently confusing. President Trum... » read more

Market Trends For Large Volume Semi Products


Material and capacity shortages typically prompt changes in normal operating procedures, especially purchasing strategies. If the uncertainty regarding world trade policies and tariffs are added on top of the shortages, the impact results in unusual gyrations in industry sales data and possible misleading signals. Discretes, analog and opto are the three largest semiconductor product categories... » read more

Automotive Electronics: Driving The Semiconductor Market


Automotive electronics is the fastest growing end application in the semiconductor market, but what systems will see the highest penetration rates? Currently, self-driving cars grab much of the media attention, and for good reason. Semico estimates that today’s self-driving car has $21,525 of additional electronics. However, recent tests of ADAS vehicles produced less than stellar results. II... » read more

Can AI Alter The Burgeoning Design Cost Trend?


Everyone in the semiconductor design arena has experienced or at least observed the impact of increasing costs for complex SoC silicon. Semico’s recently released report entitled "Silicon and Software Design Cost Analysis" reveals the cost associated with a first time design effort for a high-end, advanced performance multicore SoC using 7nm process technology can top $195M for both the silic... » read more

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

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