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March 2012

Semico IMPACT Conference: Will IP Subsystems Help Reduce Complexity? At What Cost?

Phoenix, Arizona March 27, 2012 - With rising SoC complexity, silicon and software design costs are rising. Further, the cost to integrate 100 or more discrete IP blocks into a complex SoC silicon is also rising. With the evolution of complex SoC architectures, the need for better, more comprehensive, higher performing IP has never been greater. In the search for better solutions, does the IP Subsystem have a role to play, or is there a better, more efficient path the industry can take?

ASIC Design Starts: New Growth Ahead

Phoenix, Arizona March 20, 2012 - The ASIC Design Start landscape has changed since 2006 to accommodate increasing design costs, rising design complexity and lengthening design cycle times, especially in the System-on-a-Chip (SoC) market. These changes are having an impact on the ASIC Design Start market as the broader semiconductor market has mostly recovered from the financial meltdown that occurred in the 3rd quarter of 2008 and into the first part of 2009.

Wafer Demand Summary and Assumptions 1Q12

The Wafer Demand Summary and Assumptions is a quarterly publication. It includes an excel spreadsheet with annual wafer demand by product by technology from 2002-2016. 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 five-page summary write-up providing the major assumptions behind the forecast and changes from the previous quarter.

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Join IP Industry Leaders at the May 16 Semico IMPACT Conference

Phoenix, Arizona March 14, 2012 - From IP providers to foundries to end customers, the entire IP ecosystem will be represented at the May 16, 2012 Semico IMPACT Conference. We are proud to announce participation from ARM, Sonics, Synopsys, Cadence, Analog Bits, Mentor Graphics, TSMC, Tabula, Atrenta, and Memoir Systems. Register today to ensure you don't miss this event!

ASIC Design Starts: Communications Dominate but Smart Grid and Transportation Growing Faster

Phoenix, Arizona March 6, 2012 - The ASIC design start landscape has seen dramatic changes as end market demand rose and fell due to the financial meltdown in 2008, recovery in 2009 and 2010 and more uncertainty due to natural disasters and financial market fluctuations in 2011. Rising consumer spending for mobile and portable electronic devices helped mitigate some of the impact of these fluctuations on the ASIC design start landscape. Another result of this tumult is the repartitioning of the System-on-a-Chip (SoC) market into three categories instead of the traditional two categories.

Intel Leaves WSTS: Is It Really a Big Deal?

This week Intel confirmed that it has left the WSTS organization and, as such, will not be participating in the industry monthly data collection. Additionally, AMD pulled out of WSTS late last year. These are two significant players whose information will not be part of the official survey results.

Is this really a big deal?

It is disappointing to hear that these two companies do not see the value in participating in data collection for the semiconductor industry. As an analyst firm, Semico Research utilizes the monthly, quarterly and annual data as one of many reference points to triangulate our forecasts.

But Intel and AMD are not the only significant semiconductor companies that do not participate in the WSTS reporting structure. Other non-reporting members include:

Capex Disconnect

Most semiconductor companies have completed their 4th quarter 2011 earnings calls and announced their capital expenditure budgets for 2012.  Current capex plans indicate a weaker spending year for the industry compared to 2011.  Based on current announced plans, capex spending would fall 4.5% to $59.8 billion in 2012.  Semico believes some companies may be miscalculating the market. In 2011, semiconductor capex reached a record $62.7 billion, an increase of 25.6% over the 2010 level.  The growth was not nearly as high as the over 140% increase in capex that was spent in 2010. Top Ten Spenders in 2012:  Announced Capex Plans

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Robots get a little scarier

If you've been following the robot arena, it all started with an innocent looking robot to learn how to flip pancakes.

And then scientists taught the robots to limbo.

May 16th: Focus on the IP Ecosystem

Phoenix, Arizona March 1, 2012 - In the past, much of the limelight has been given to semiconductor process technology and development. While process technology advancements continue at a blistering pace, other challenges have bubbled to the surface. The ability for chip and system designers to fully utilize the ever increasing number of available transistors has become an arduous task. Pressures to have the product designed on schedule and within budget have created enormous challenges.