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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 2019: New Applications and AI Become Market Drivers

Many of the traditional end-use applications are experiencing slower design start growth rates due to maturing markets and high design costs.  The unit volumes associated with all applications remain healthy, exhibiting an 8.5% CAGR through 2023. However, removing the unit shipments attached to the new, emerging applications drops the CAGR to only 4.3% through 2023.

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ASIC Design Starts for 2019 by Key End Market Applications

Semico Research's new report, Design Starts for 2019 by Key End Market Applications, SC106-19, offers a comprehensive analysis of the ASIC design start landscape today and into the future.  It provides excellent data for product planning, marketing and sales activities at fabless semiconductor companies, 3rd Party IP vendors and major OEMs and IDMs.  The report includes:
 

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Semico Wafer Demand: Q2 2019 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 2010-2023. Product categories include DRAM, SRAM, NAND, NOR, Other Non-volatile, MPU, MCU, DSP, Computing MOS Logic, Communications MOS Logic, Consumer MOS Logic, Automotive MOS Logic, Other MOS Logic, Programmable Logic, Standard Cell, Gate Array, Analog, Discrete, Optoelectronics, Sensors and Digital Bipolar.

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Semico Wafer Demand: Q1 2019 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 2010-2023. Product categories include DRAM, SRAM, NAND, NOR, Other Non-volatile, MPU, MCU, DSP, Computing MOS Logic, Communications MOS Logic, Consumer MOS Logic, Automotive MOS Logic, Other MOS Logic, Programmable Logic, Standard Cell, Gate Array, Analog, Discrete, Optoelectronics, Sensors and Digital Bipolar.

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Artificial Intelligence: Powering the Next Generation of Growth

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is anticipated to be the next big market driver that will create new or additional semiconductor demand for a wide spectrum of semiconductor devices.  We believe that AI will be integrated in devices from the cloud to factories, homes, offices and vehicles.  The application must accommodate mobile and IoT products.  The second publication in Semico’s series of AI-related reports and presentations, this report addresses two large markets for AI:  the smart home and the automotive markets.  Fifteen smart home end-point devices, as well as 15 automotive systems are

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Facebook Acquires Sonics

This week, Facebook announced it had acquired Sonics, Inc., a 3rd Party Semiconductor Intellectual Property (SIP) vendor. Sonics is one of the mainstays of the SIP market for Interconnect SIP, which is used to tie together the multiple tens or hundreds of SIP blocks found on contemporary System-on-a-Chip (SoC) silicon solutions today. Sonics was founded in 1996 and was at the heart of the emerging SoC market in its early years along with ARC, ARM, MIPS, Analog Bits, Virage Logic and many others.
 
It is no surprise that a company like Facebook, who is designing their own AI-focused SoCs, would purchase a company like Sonics.  While no details of this acquisition have been released, some reasoned insights are possible. 
 
Implications for the Market
 
This acquisition removes a major player for Interconnect SIP from the market. Sonics’ customers must now determine how long Sonics will support them and at what level. It is reasonable to expect these customers will look to other suppliers for their interconnect requirements.
 

Semico Wafer Demand: Q4 2018 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 2010-2022. Product categories include DRAM, SRAM, NAND, NOR, Other Non-volatile, MPU, MCU, DSP, Computing MOS Logic, Communications MOS Logic, Consumer MOS Logic, Automotive MOS Logic, Other MOS Logic, Programmable Logic, Standard Cell, Gate Array, Analog, Discrete, Optoelectronics, Sensors and Digital Bipolar.

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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 presentation with the most insightful information on this topic was provided by Falan Yinug, Director, Industry Statistics and Economic Policy, at the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA). 

The need to impose tariffs on U.S. imports of semiconductors is perplexing because as of 2017 the United States maintained a semiconductor trade surplus of $2.1 billion with China. In addition, most of the U.S. imports of semiconductors from China are products from U.S. semiconductor companies that are either designed and/or have undergone front-end fabrication outside of China.

SoC Market Analysis and Forecast: The Emergence of Artificial Intelligence

With the artificial intelligence trend emerging, the semiconductor market has gone from lamenting the lack of innovation and new applications to seeing an explosion of new possibilities opening before it.

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Low-Power Atmosic Technologies' Bluetooth 5.0 Chip

Many IoT (Internet of Things) applications will be untethered, not connected by physical wires for power or communications. They will use batteries, and battery life will be critical. Atmosic Technologies, a Bay Area startup of ultra-low power wireless for the IoT, has developed a chip ideally suited for these applications. 

This week, Atmosic Technologies launched the M2 and M3 series, touting it as the industry’s lowest-power wireless Bluetooth 5.0 chips. It offers improved battery life in three ways. First, the chip was designed from the ground up to be a low-power chip. It has intrinsic design features that offer five to 10 times more battery life than other Bluetooth 5.0 chips. Second, it has on-demand receiving. The chip can be in a sleep mode until it receives a Bluetooth signal including specific codes to wake it up. That feature can improve battery life by up to 100 times. Third, it includes an RF Power Harvesting Section. By harvesting RF energy, the chip offers what can be essentially infinite battery life. The chip can use any of these three methods of battery life improvement on its own or in any combination. 

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