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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.

Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) Will Be Major Component of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, says Semico Research

Traditionally, the Industrial sector has represented only a small portion of total semiconductor sales.  According to SIA/WSTS End Use data, semiconductor sales to the Industrial market comprise only 12% of total semiconductor revenues.  In addition, the Industrial sector traditionally grows at a comparably slow, steady rate.  From 2010 to 2015, the Industrial sector experienced a 4.8% CAGR from $31.9 billion to $40.3 billion.  But all that may change.  Many futurists are espousing a worldwide transition into the Fourth Industrial Revolution.  A new report from Semico Research,

Industrial IoT: Smart Factories and Cities

Traditionally, the Industrial sector has represented only a small portion of total semiconductor sales.  According to SIA/WSTS End Use data, semiconductor sales to the Industrial market comprise only 12% of total semiconductor revenues.  In addition, the Industrial sector traditionally grows at a comparably slow, steady rate.  From 2010 to 2015, the Industrial sector experienced a 4.8% CAGR from $31.9 billion to $40.3 billion.  But all that may change.  Many futurists are espousing a worldwide transition into the Fourth Industrial Revolution.  A new report from Semico Research,

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ADS Processor Royalty TAM to Make Up Over Half the Automotive Market by 2020, says Semico Research

As the semiconductor industry matures, market growth rates have slowed from historic double-digit rates to single-digit compound annual growth rates (CAGR). The overall semiconductor market will grow at a CAGR of 3% over the next 5 years. This trend is anticipated to continue through the next ten-year period as well.  One segment of the market that will exceed the expected industry growth is Automotive.

Semico Fab Database Update Summary Second Half 2016

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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Making Vehicles Smart: Auto CPU and IP TAM

The automotive semiconductor market will exceed the overall industry growth as semiconductor content expands with added features and functionality.  The desire to put self-driving vehicles on the road is creating most of the increased interest in the automotive market and the growing automotive semiconductor demand.  Connectivity is a necessary feature for autonomous cars and is growing as a percentage of new cars produced.  

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Our Future Reality is Virtual

The 2016 holiday season brought virtual reality to the masses.  Shoppers were treated to a variety of options, from $20 smartphone headsets at discount stores, to high-end gaming headsets costing hundreds of dollars from Sony, Oculus Rift and HTC.

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CES Technology in the Driver’s Seat

What a show! Not sure if it’s the weekend attraction of Las Vegas, but CES managed to retain the crowds through Saturday.  Most booths were bustling with curious attendees trying to get a better understanding of the new products and underlying technologies. Once again, the automotive section was quite busy with autonomous driving and electrification of vehicles front and center. While Level 5 autonomous driving is still several years away from reality, all manufacturers are equipping cars with some type of enhanced driving autonomy or assisted driving. In the Ford booth we saw the Ford Lincoln (pictured below) equipped as an autonomous driving car.

The first thing one might notice is that the radar, lidar, and other electronics are nicely incorporated into the body, unlike what you would see in the Google car. The current generation of autonomous driving electronics is quite bulky. It’s somewhat analogous to the mainframes from the ‘70s, when one computer required a large dedicated room.  Clearly, miniaturization needs to happen on the automotive side as the picture below shows the trunk completely packed with electronics.  It looks like we could barely fit one bag of groceries into the trunk. 

Semico Wafer Demand: Q4 2016 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 2010-2020. 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, 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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Increasing Lithium Ion Safety with Semiconductors

As the world’s devices get smaller and lighter with increasing power requirements, we need batteries that can provide more power for more time. Modern lithium ion batteries are reaching incredible energy densities enabling devices and vehicles to be more efficient than ever before. All energy storage devices have some risk, however these high energy densities come with increased danger. The dangers of lithium ion batteries have garnered national media attention with the explosions of Samsung smartphones, “hoverboards”, e-cigarettes, and other consumer electronic devices. While manufacturing error contributes to battery failure, many cases of battery explosions are the result of insufficient battery management technology built into the device.
 
Previous generations of portable devices and vehicles have used nickel cadmium, nickel hydride, or lead acid batteries. These chemistries are inherently less volatile than lithium chemistry packs and do not require constant monitoring. Lithium battery packs are much more finicky, requiring protection from overcharge, over-discharge, temperature, and physical shock. While all batteries can be damaged by these factors, lithium ion batteries become volatile and will overheat, catch fire, and explode.
 

Debate in the Desert on MEMS Capacity

The MEMS and sensor market continues to be a hotbed for innovation, new opportunities and, as with most new frontiers, there are also some disparate views on market dynamics and strategies.  All this was evident at the 2016 MSIG Executive Congress last week in Scottsdale, Arizona. 
 
First, I’ll cover the pioneering and fun subjects.  In addition to the Technology Showcase demos and member presentations there were a couple of “outside-the-box” topics such as 3D-printed cars.  Co-create was the buzzword on Day 2 and was used by Local Motors General Manager, Philip Rayer, as he showed off several 3D-printed vehicle designs which reduce manufacturing time while integrating a totally digital process and open sourcing options such as an OS battery management system.  The company is co-creating an autonomous, electric car with partners such as IBM Watson, Siemens, NXP and Meridian.  Rayer challenged the audience to consolidate the MEMS and sensors into a simplified suite of assemblies and reduce the wiring necessary. 
 
Figure:  Local Motors Strati 3D-Printed Car

Source:  Local Motors
 

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