Executive Insight: Wally Rhines

Wally Rhines, president and CEO of [getentity id="22017" e_name="Mentor, a Siemens Business"], sat down with Semiconductor Engineering to discuss a wide range of industry and technology changes and how that will play out over the next few years. What follows are excerpts of that conversation. SE: What will happen in the end markets? Rhines: The end markets are perhaps more exciting from a... » read more

Giant Auto Industry Disruption Ahead

The move to self-driving vehicles over the next decade or so will result in a massive restructuring of entire segments of the global economy that have evolved to create and support automobiles and the people who drive them. The shift will create many new jobs-particularly for semiconductors and electronic systems-and conservatively it will eliminate hundreds of thousands of existing ones. It... » read more

Hedging The Chip Industry

The chip industry has changed significantly since the last big downturn. And while there is no indication a downturn is on the horizon, analysts are beginning to ask questions about what comes next. Inventory is building at systems companies because of weaknesses in some of the key markets such as mobile phones and tablet computers, and there is a growing risk of trade wars due to recently impo... » read more

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

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