Semiconductor Engineering Article: Mostly Upbeat Outlook For Chips

2019 has started with cautious optimism for the semiconductor industry, despite dark clouds that dot the horizon.

Market segments such as cryptocurrencies and virtual reality are not living up to expectations, the market for smart phones appears to be saturated, and DRAM prices are dropping, leading to cut-backs in capital expenditures. EDA companies are talking about sales to China being put on hold in the shadow of a trade war between the United States and China. And there appears to be a slowdown in consumer electronics, as evidenced by Apple’s recent earnings and guidance.

Alongside all of that, there are several areas to be excited about. The rapid adoption of, artificial intelligence (AI) is fueling advancements in fields such as automotive and IoT. 5G, another important enabler, is being readied for significant deployment. Plus, the number of design starts is growing, spurring a resurgence in ASICs and the emergence of embedded FPGA structures.

Another big issue for IoT is security. “While we saw the beginning of collaboration in 2018 around the growing challenge of securing connected semiconductors, more companies will work together and provide stronger and easier to deploy products and solutions in 2019,” says Martin Scott, CTO and senior vice president and general manager of Cryptography at Rambus. “One avenue for such collaboration will be the use of Open Source hardware and software. The Open Source nature of the RISC-V ISA can encourage innovation and widespread use, and result in the sharing of best practices. We can’t stop at hardware though, as there is a real and present need to improve software security and connectivity solutions to help provide end-to-end solutions.”

 

To read more, please visit: https://semiengineering.com/mostly-upbeat-outlook-for-chips/.

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