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May 2017

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.

Metamaterials Show Promise in Providing Solutions to the SoC Market

The SoC market has become the largest segment of the worldwide semiconductor market and is expected to reach $169.8B by 2021, a 7.7% CAGR.  The adoption of the SoC design methodology has allowed the creation of very complex silicon solutions with rich feature sets and functionality.  However, the predicted end of 'Moore's Law' is looming over the industry as improvements, once taken for granted through process geometry gains, start to become much harder to achieve at each new process node.
 

Will Higher Production Costs Hamper IoT Growth?

No question, 2017 is expected to be a good year for the semiconductor industry.  Semiconductor revenues for 2017 are expected to increase over 9% this year.  A 6% increase in unit sales, as well as higher average selling prices for memory products, will help drive the revenue growth rate to its highest level since 2010.  Wafer demand is forecast to grow by almost 8%.  The higher revenue growth compared to units and wafer demand is a welcome change compared to the last two years.  But there are a couple clouds on the horizon.
 
The strong unit growth over the past several years has been at the expense of falling average selling prices.  New MEMS and sensor products, the driving forces behind IoT, have experienced steep declines in ASPs.  The industry is very familiar with the declines in DRAM cost per bit and how that drives increased applications and demand for memory.  Comparing MEMS and sensor ASP declines to that of DRAM, there is a close correlation between the two.  In fact, between 2010 and 2016 sensor ASPs fell faster than DRAM cost per bit over the same timeframe. 

Semico Wafer Demand: Q1 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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