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Average Design Cost for Advanced Performance Multicore SoCs to Reach $12.2M by 2027, says Semico Research

The semiconductor industry is faced with several substantial issues—the continuing rise in design costs for complex SoCs, the decrease in the incidence of first-time-right designs, and the increase in the design cycle time against shrinking market windows and decreasing product life cycles. An additional factor has now been added to SoC design costs with the emergence of complicated software applications intended to run on SoC silicon. A new Semico Research report, SoC Silicon and Software Design Cost Analysis (SC103-23), forecasts the average design cost for Advanced Performance Multicore SoCs across all geometries will reach $12.2M by 2027.
"Although design costs for complex SoCs have increased, respins and long design cycle times are not optimum conditions for the SoC market; however, their effect on market growth has been minimal," says Jim Feldhan, President, Semico Research. "One bright area is the rise of the 3rd Party IP industry and its positive impact in helping to supply better and more varied solutions to designers at reasonable cost. This helps keep the design cycle time from ballooning and allows designers to highly differentiate their products from their competition with a fraction of the effort."
Additional key findings include:

  • For the first time, software design costs were roughly equal to silicon design costs at the 28nm node, and for each subsequent node software costs are significantly higher than silicon costs.
  • Designs at 28nm remain reasonably popular in 2023, but they are expected to decline starting in 2024.
  • The average design cost for Basic SoCs across all geometries is forecast to have a -3.0% CAGR by 2027.
  • The average design cost for all SoCs across all geometries is forecast to increase to $6.7M by 2027.

The SoC Silicon and Software Design Cost Analysis (SC103-23) examines the primary forces and integration pressures that are driving this market today in 126 pages, with 42 tables and 73 graphs. This study analyzes many important questions facing the semiconductor industry today including:
 What is the current cost for a complex System-on-a-Chip (SoC) design, and what will it be in the near future?

  • Is it possible to do SoC designs without maximizing the costs for these designs?
  • What is the incidence of 'first-time-right' for these designs today and in the future?
  • How is the design cycle time for these designs changing?
  • How do complicated software applications impact the design costs?
  • How fast are IP integration costs rising, and how high will they go?
  • What strategies are designers using to cope with rising design costs?
  • What is the average silicon design cost today for each process geometry and SoC type, and how quickly is it rising?
  • What impact will EDA tools that include some artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) functionality have on design costs for complex silicon?

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