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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.

ASIC Design Starts 2017: Consumer and Industrial Lead the Way

Many of the traditional end-use applications are experiencing slower semiconductor unit growth rates due to market saturation and reduced demand.  In addition, growth rates are more moderate when the sheer volumes of a market reach levels that make it difficult to continue experiencing double-digit growth rates.  While there are new applications such as those associated with the IoT (Internet of Things) and the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) which are expected to follow a higher growth curve over the next few years, in general, growth rates for traditional markets such as PCs and cell

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Semico Wafer Demand: Q3 2017 Highlights

The Wafer Demand Summary and Assumptions is a quarterly publication. It includes an excel spreadsheet with annual wafer demand by product by technology from 2010-2021. Product categories include DRAM, SRAM, NAND, NOR, Other Non-volatile, MPU, MCU, DSP, Computing Micro Logic, Communications, Other Micro Logic, Programmable Logic, Standard Cell, Gate Array, Analog, Discrete, Optoelectronics, Sensors and Digital Bipolar. In addition, there is a summary write-up providing the major assumptions behind the forecast and changes from the previous quarter.

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ASIC Design Starts for 2017 by Key End Market Applications

There is a great deal of design activity around emerging AI applications both at the Cloud level and for adding this type of functionality to edge devices in the form of Voice Activated Devices like the Amazon Echo and the Google Home Assistant among others.  Initially, limited AI functionality is being added to SoCs in the form of Convolutional Neural Networks (CNNs).

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Semico Wafer Demand: Q2 2017 Highlights

The Wafer Demand Summary and Assumptions is a quarterly publication. It includes an excel spreadsheet with annual wafer demand by product by technology from 2010-2021. Product categories include DRAM, SRAM, NAND, NOR, Other Non-volatile, MPU, MCU, DSP, Computing Micro Logic, Communications, Other Micro Logic, Programmable Logic, Standard Cell, Gate Array, Analog, Discrete, Optoelectronics, Sensors and Digital Bipolar. In addition, there is a summary write-up providing the major assumptions behind the forecast and changes from the previous quarter.

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Semico Fab Database Update Summary First Half 2017

Semico tracks over 900 semiconductor fabs in its Fab Database.  The database includes detailed information about the fabs, including the operating status of the fab, its location, process and products, wafer size and capacity, and more.  The other document included with the database is a Word file containing a summary of updates made to fabs by company type:  Memory, Foundries, and Other.  

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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 twenty-year period from the mid-1980s through the mid-2000s, process technology nodes were relatively easy to segment.  Semico forecasted wafer demand into very clear process technology categories.  Starting with the 45/40nm node in 2007, the two major logic manufacturers (Intel and TSMC) along with competing foundries began taking different paths.  But the paths were still relatively clear.  Intel rolled out their 45nm technology, and then TSMC rolled out their 40nm process.  The foundries began to focus on low-power processes first.  Then they followed up with their high-performance process several months to a quarter later.

Today, in addition to the number of different nodes, the challenge includes Intel’s claim that their 10nm process is comparable to the 7nm offered by other foundries. Semico believes the matching of product needs with process performance and cost will dictate market acceptance, not the marketing claims of technology-naming convention.  

Rich Wawrzyniak to Speak at DAC 2017

Semico Research would like to announce that Rich Wawrzyniak, Senior Analyst, will be speaking at DAC 2017 in Austin, Texas.  The Design Automation Conference will be held June 18-22, and Rich will be speaking on Wednesday, June 21.  He will participate in the panel "Have Third Party IPs Killed Internal IP Development?", led by Ann Steffora Mutschler from Semiconductor Engineering.  

Jim Feldhan to Speak at Semiconductor Summit, Saratoga, New York

Semico Research is pleased to announce Jim Feldhan, President of Semico Research, will speak at the Center for Economic Growth's premier 87/90 Semiconductor Summit in New York on June 8.  Mr. Feldhan will present a keynote talk about economics and forecasts for end markets.  

Best Practices for Power Management in SoCs Today

Interview with a Power Management Architect
 
by Richard Wawrzyniak: Principal Analyst; ASIC and SoC
Semico Research Corp.
 
Dynamic Power Management has become a 'must-have' in Systems-on-a-Chip (SoC) design today because of tightening power budgets and rising transistor counts. These increases mainly stem from evolving market requirements for more device functionality and richer feature sets being made available to meet changing market requirements. The semiconductor industry has responded with a plethora of different solutions to these issues.
 
Semico Research Corp. conducted an interview with Jawad Haj-Yihia, a Power Management Architect formerly of Intel Corp. in Israel.
 
The following article represents key aspects of that interview delving into many of the issues that confront Power Management Architects in the industry today.
 
Market Requirements Drive Power and Energy Targets
 
Today, there is a constant evolution in market requirements for silicon solutions targeted at mobile applications. This is primarily driven by user demands for more functionality while delivering greater ease-of-use to the end user. All these advanced features and increased functionality come at a price; greater power consumption and rising device complexity.
 

Impact Of Rising SoC Design Costs On Innovation

(Originally published at semiengineering.com)

If there is one truism in the semiconductor market, it is that rising costs will impact unit demand at some point if they continue long enough. The subject of this blog deals not with device ASPs; but rather with rising SoC design costs, and their effect on the number of designs at the advanced nodes. Even though the mechanism governing each set of numbers is different (device ASPs vs. design costs), the overall impact can be similar. In this case, the number of design starts is impacted by the climate of rising design costs.

Following are a few of Semico’s findings.

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