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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. Performance SoCs become Advanced Performance Multicore SoCs. Value SoCs become Value Multicore SoCs and a new category of SoC, the Basic SoC, was created. These changes reflect the new ways silicon designers are crafting their silicon solutions to meet changing market requirements and increasing design costs. The new definitions reflect the trends towards using multiple CPU cores in the end silicon to increase performance and the extensive use of on-chip Interconnects to tie these CPU cores together. The new Basic SoC category is a reflection of the increasing use of CPU cores from 3rd Party Intellectual Property (SIP) vendors on Micro Controllers that had previously used proprietary CPUs to increase performance and reduce design cycle times. These changes and many more are outlined in a new report from Semico Research Corp. entitled: ASIC Design Starts by Key End Market Applications, SC101-12, February 2012. This report looks at changes and trends in 71 end applications concentrated in the Computer, Consumer, Communications, Transportation and Industrial market categories. The report tracks the design starts and unit shipments of nine different types of ASIC products--Analog, Mixed Signal, Gate Array, Advanced Performance Multicore SoCs, Value Multicore SoCs, Basic SoCs, PLDs, FPGAs and Structured ASICs--used in each of the 71 applications. Forecasts for all end applications, ASIC design starts and unit shipments are given through 2016 using 2011 as a base year. Some of the data discussed in 145 pages with 148 tables and 78 graphs are: • Total ASIC design starts increased 11.1% in 2011 on top of a 9.8% growth in 2010. Semico is forecasting continued growth with an increase of 10.2% in 2012. • Total ASIC design starts are forecast to show a CAGR of 6.6% from 2012 - 2016. • The number of 'first time' designs in the SoC market increased 6.9% in 2011 while derivative SoC designs increased 12.0%. • The fastest growing category of silicon solution is the Basic SoC at a CAGR of 24.1% driven in part by new applications in Smart Grid and the Internet of Things. • The largest end market for ASIC design starts is the Communications market with 40.9% of the total. • The fastest growing market category is the Transportation segment with a CAGR of 9.0%. • The Industrial category also saw increased growth with the rise of Smart Grid applications with a 9.0% CAGR through the forecast period. This report is the first of a two-part series on ASIC Design Starts. The second is ASIC Design Starts: New Growth Ahead, SC102-12, February 2012, that looks at design complexity, gate counts, starts by process geometry, regional design starts and gives forecasts for design starts and unit shipments by ASIC product type and end market category. The reports can be purchased individually or together. To learn more, contact Jim Feldhan at 602-997-0337. About Semico We are a semiconductor marketing & consulting research company located in Phoenix, Arizona. Semico was founded in 1994 by a group of semiconductor industry experts. We have improved the validity of semiconductor product forecasts via technology roadmaps in end-use markets. Semico offers custom consulting, portfolio packages, individual market research studies and premier industry conferences.