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November 2011

Is It Time to Ditch Your Cable?

If you've read any of my previous articles, you know I'm not a big fan of cable. So my short, biased answer to the question at the top of this article is yes. The more convoluted answer is "Probably, if you're willing to test out some hardware."

Luckily, even though there still isn't a "plug and play" system that fits 100 percent of our needs, the cable-free landscape is improving almost daily.

These changes in the landscape are due in part to the increased interest in mobile technology. Total OEM revenue from mobile devices is set to top $565 billion by 2015, with consumers flocking to smartphones, notebooks, and tablet PCs. The main factor in this growth is broadband access. Silicon Image Inc. expects its mobile HD technology (MHL) to be incorporated into 200 million mobile devices by the end of 2012. That's a lot of high-definition streaming, from mobile devices to TVs.

Semico Asks: Can MEMS Market Sustain Its Growth Rate?

Phoenix, Arizona November 29, 2011 - The MEMS market has shown a high growth rate which runs counter to the overall semiconductor market. In 2011 MEMS sales are expected to grow 20% reaching $9.2 billion. MEMS devices are migrating quickly into consumer electronics thanks to their use in smartphones.

In just a few years MEMS have migrated from a niche product for the automotive industry into the mainstream of the semiconductor market. In order for MEMS to continue on this high growth path there are several issues that need to be addressed.

Electric Vehicles Charging Its Way to the Future

Plug-in electric vehicles are here to stay and Semico Research believes that these vehicles will be in high demand by consumers. There are many advantages that electric vehicles provide.  A lower gas bill is just the start.  They also have fewer moving parts resulting in higher reliability, a quieter motor than internal combustion vehicles, lower maintenance costs and significantly lower operational costs.

Here at Semico we already have two employees with plug-in electric vehicles. (We only have 10 employees.)  I just recently acquired a Chevrolet Volt and our CTO, Tony Massimini, purchased a Nissan Leaf. Both cars have their unique advantages and disadvantages.

The Chevy Volt is nicely designed, well put together, with a solid feel and good crisp handling. From a performance standpoint the Volt’s electric motor is comparable to a 250HP internal combustion engine with 273 pound-feet of torque.  This rating is benchmarked at all RPMs. The single speed electric motor eliminates the transmission contributing to a simpler design.

The Chevy Volt has a 16 kW battery of which 10 kW is dedicated to the all-electric propulsion.  The remaining 6 kWs is a buffer for use during the extended range mode and for redundancy to ensure long battery life.  The battery life is rated for 100,000 miles.

Memory Wafer Demand and Capacity Analysis

Phoenix, Arizona November 20, 2007 - The most far-reaching development in semiconductor production in this decade was development of a non-volatile memory technology with manufacturing similarities and volume requirements approaching that of DRAM. This newfound opportunity to balance fab requirements between two high-volume products has permanently altered the dynamics for both of these ultra-competitive products.

Smart Money in Analog

Recently Semico released a report touting the above average growth rates in the analog market as well as the healthy revenue per wafer for analog products.  Smart money is moving into power management and other analog applications which have gained in popularity in our mobile electronic world.

Over the next five years, semiconductor units will grow at a CAGR of 9.6%.  The analog market will grow at a CAGR of 10.1%.  Specific analog product categories such as power management devices will grow even faster, logging in a 13.2% CAGR over the next five years.  Companies are gearing up for this growth by offering increased fab capacity, more efficient manufacturing and innovative materials and process advances.

Although a majority of the analog products are run on 200mm and 150mm wafers, there is still a fab running 75mm wafers and of course, there is the one 300mm fab now being operated by Texas Instruments.  The flexibility of analog manufacturing is also exemplified by the fact that many of these fabs are capable of running two different wafer sizes.

Where the Smart Money Goes in Semiconductors

Phoenix, Arizona November 16, 2011 - When you think of profitable semiconductor categories, what comes to your mind? In a good year, NAND and DRAM can be very profitable. Considering Intel's size and position in the market, Micro Logic would be another good guess. But the smart money goes to the Analog market for long-term, stable profitability. The analog segment is the subject of a new study just released by Semico Research Corp., Analog Market Trends: Fourth Quarter 2011.

Sustaining Growth in the MEMS Market

The MEMS market has shown a high growth rate which runs counter to the overall semiconductor market. In 2011 MEMS sales are expected to grow 20% reaching $9.2 billion. MEMS devices are migrating quickly into consumer electronics thanks to their use in smartphones.

In just a few years MEMS have migrated from a niche product for the automotive industry into the mainstream of the semiconductor market. In order for MEMS to continue on this high growth path there are several issues that need to be addressed.

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Analog Market Trends: Fourth Quarter 2011

When you think of profitable semiconductor categories, what comes to your mind? In a good year, NAND and DRAM can be very profitable. Considering Intel's size and position in the market, Micro Logic would be another good guess. But the smart money goes to the Analog market for long-term, stable profitability. The analog segment is the subject of a new study just released by Semico Research Corp., Analog Market Trends: Fourth Quarter 2011.

Table of Contents: 

MEMS Executive Congress 2011 Review: A High Growth Market

The MEMS Executive Congress (Nov 2 to 3, 2011) held in Monterey, CA was filled with optimistic and rosy views of the future for MEMS.  This year’s event attracted 225 attendees – a 25% increase.  There were companies in attendance that covered the breadth of the MEMS supply chain: MEMS vendors, manufacturing equipment, materials suppliers, modeling, tools, etc.  Large and small players alike were represented.

Semico Research presented on the panel featuring market analysts.  The consensus on the panel and by many in the audience is that MEMS is a high growth market being driven by high volume applications in consumer electronics, most notably smart phones.  Semico brought a fresh new perspective.  MEMS are becoming more main stream.  The market dynamics for MEMS will more closely resemble the rest of the semiconductor market.  The high volume consumer market is a commodity market.  Therefore, the MEMS market needs to develop a more cohesive ecosystem.  This would allow companies to leverage standard processes and tools for volume production.  This will reduce costs and speed up time to market.

Free Forecast PDF Download

As we head into November, Semico's forecast of a weak second half is showing to be accurate. June, July, and August all had poor performance and according to the IPI, we will see that trend continue into 1Q12. February of 2012 is still forecasted to be the bottom as OEMs are currently burning off inventory while foundries cut back on capital expenditures.

This month, we are making a section of that report available to you as a free download.  Included in the White Paper is our IPI chart along with a section of the Mobile Devices: Analog discussion.  We invite you to download this free informative report, and contact Jim Feldhan with any questions about our forecast.

Semico Forecasts 2011 Revenues will be Down 1.4%


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