Semico is a semiconductor marketing & consulting research company located in Phoenix, Arizona. We offer custom consulting, portfolio packages, individual market research studies and premier industry conferences.
Jim Feldhan, President of Semico Research, will speak at the Critical Materials Conference on May 5, 2016. The conference will be held at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Hillsboro, Oregon. Jim will kick off the second session, titled Immediate Challenges of Materials & Manufacturing, and will be talking about device and application trends. Jim is also a session chair for the first session, Global Strategic Initiatives.
The EDA Consortium (EDAC) has launched a new name and mission; the organization will now be called the Electronic System Design (ESD) Alliance. The group will now address the larger design ecosystem, including semiconductor intellectual property (IP), embedded software, advanced packaging for system scaling and service companies that provide design resources. The ESD Alliance hosts DAC, the Design Automation Conference, each year. For more information, download this presentation or visit the ESD Alliance at www.esd-alliance.org.
Steady demand in existing end markets and growth from new end applications are pushing ASIC design activity to new levels. This increase in growth is based on very good growth in the Mixed Signal ASIC market and in the Basic SoC market. The Basic SoC market is being driven by the emergence of the Internet of Things (IoT) and the need for silicon solutions for this segment. Mixed Signal ASIC designs have been growing for the last few years as more systems seek to interface to analog 'real world' functions.
3D printing is an additive manufacturing process. In recent years, 3D printer prices have dropped substantially, and a wide variety of printable materials is available. You don’t need to be a CAD expert to create a 3D-printable file. Media attention has helped further accelerate the industry’s momentum.
published by Tony Massimini on Tue, 2016-03-22 23:39
On March 18 to 20, 2016, the first ever Silicon Valley ComicCon (SVCC) (http://svcomiccon.com) was held in San Jose, CA. The event was the brainchild of Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak and Stan Lee of Marvel Comics. This ComicCon, like those held in other cities, is a convention for comic books, science fiction and fantasy, TV and movies. These are usually tied in with comics, animation and gaming. Some of these conventions, such as the largest one in San Diego, CA, have become inundated with popular culture. However, it was Steve Wozniak’s goal to have more technology at SVCC, most appropriate for Silicon Valley. Some of you have read my past posts about San Diego’s ComicCon International. Going to a ComicCon gives me the opportunity to mix business and pleasure. Yes, I actually did go to San Jose on vacation. And, no, I was not in costume. I can honestly say that Steve Wozniak, known affectionately as the Woz, was as big a draw as any other figure appearing at SVCC; as big as Nathan Fillion, Michael J. Fox, Stan Lee or even … William Shatner. The Woz is highly regarded and respected in the high tech world. A native of San Jose, he wanted a show in the heart of Silicon Valley. So many scientists and engineers have been inspired by sci-fi. Most important for this event was the emphasis on technology in addition to entertainment. Quite often these go together. This was the first SVCC. Every event has growing pains.
The end-use markets in this study offer high growth opportunities for IC manufacturers. The market segments include computer, consumer, communication, industrial and transportation. The end-use applications are a mix of mature and emerging devices. Some of these products are convergent products that combine features from multiple market segments.
As the rate of growth for smartphone sales slow, questions arise regarding the impact that slower growth will have throughout the semiconductor supply chain. Over the past decade, the 1 billion-plus smartphone market has driven the need for more advanced manufacturing process technologies, new input materials and the need for more fab capacity. It has even legitimized new players into the supply chain.
Does a slower growth rate mean a change is on the horizon? What portion of the growth is due to semiconductor content versus smartphone unit growth? Semico looked at the change in smartphone silicon content over the past 10 years and the impact on wafer demand.
Although there were smartphones well before the Apple iPhone, it was the iPhone, introduced in 2007, that set the smartphone on the path to the mass adoption that we see today. Between 2005 and 2010, smartphone sales grew at a compound annual growth rate of over 50%. In addition, over that time period, silicon content in a high-end phone doubled. The amount of silicon necessary to produce all the smartphones worldwide has grown from less than 1% of total wafers in 2005 up to over 18% of wafers this year.
Semico's Inflection Point Indicator is a model we have developed which has a history of accurately predicting semiconductor revenue inflection points four quarters in advance. After analyzing current trends, it seems the semiconductor industry is repeating the pattern from 2011-2012, albeit at a muted level. Just in the past 4-5 years, the major end markets served by the semiconductor industry--tablets, notebooks, smartphones--have matured, causing growth rates to slow.
The only semiconductor market segment that has not been taken over by the foundries and still remains dominated by IDMs is the memory sector. The memory market is the last bastion for true IDM manufacturers who must be savvy in the changing trends in end market applications, advanced technology development , and must still determine how much and when to invest in additional capacity.
With only four major players, the decision of when to add capacity should be more straightforward; instead, it’s just as challenging as ever. Large memory fabs are inherently more expensive and riskier than ever.
At their Winter Analyst Meeting on February 12th, Micron’s executives touched on a number of trends that memory manufacturers are addressing.
The semiconductor industry has always utilized manufacturing assets and technologies longer than originally projected. Although the most advanced products continue to transition to new technology nodes every two to three years, manufacturing capacity—including the equipment and infrastructure—stays productive for decades.
More than just a means of producing cheap MEMS and sensors, used equipment has been the vehicle to deliver cost effective solutions to expand electronic applications, provide connectivity and enable the control and quantification of everything.