Over the last few decades, the advancement of the global semiconductor industry has been propelled by the need for world-class electronic devices such as laptops, wireless communication products, desktops, and the growth of cloud-based computing. The development will be on the up with fresh application drivers for the top-performing compute market segment.
Semiconductors will empower pixel-heavy, high bandwidth, and low latency world soon to be initiated by the extensive implementation of 5G but will necessitate a series of industry resets involving new business models, materials, and architectures. The challenge would be to manage massive volumes of data a lot faster using a lower power draw per bit stored, processed, and moved.
The Industry Growth
Progress is powered by notebooks, mobile phones, servers, smart home automotive, gaming, wearables, and Wi-Fi access points, with enhanced memory pricing. Also, IC shortages are going to ease through in the coming years as capacity additions accelerate.
The future of the semiconductor industry is bright and is poised for substantial growth in 2022 and beyond. According to recent reports, regardless of the economic downturn and global pandemic, the global semiconductor industry remained robust with revenue growth of above 7% to cross the $450 billion mark in 2021.
According to IDC Reports, the semiconductor market is expected to grow by 17.3% in 2021 and achieve excess numbers by 2023. Meanwhile, the industry is going to see the rise of the memory chips segment that is going to be the fastest-growing segment.
Main Technologies that Will Drive the Industry
The semiconductor industry symbolizes swift technological innovation, but the ongoing technological revolution in everyday things continues to challenge the industry for solutions that provide a better performance, superior productivity, and lower operating costs. The semiconductor industry is progressively more solution-centric, and decreasing time to market has become one of the most critical priorities.
For any proposed endeavours in emerging technologies, semiconductors such as memory chips are a mainstay and an essential requirement. From the adoption of the Internet of Things (IoT) to Artificial Intelligence (AI) reliant smartphones, 5G, or the automotive segment – there has been no stone left unturned by the semiconductors. The chip or semiconductors fuels technologies that enrich the lives of individuals and make businesses run effectively, smarter, and faster. Below are some of the important growth drivers of the industry:
Latest Advancements in the Industry
New technological applications are driving the demand for more powerful, lighter, and smaller semiconductors. They are now an essential part of consumer electronics such as televisions and smartphones, not only that they exist in other variety of items including refrigerators, dishwashers, washing machines, aeroplanes, and automobiles. The increasing demand from efficient housekeeping to safer travel and more attractive entertainment are impacting the semiconductor industry. Below are some of the key emerging technologies that will improve the semiconductor industry:
Internet of Things (IoT)
The gains of IoT for the semiconductor industry will help both augment revenues and reduce costs for innovative companies. The giant wave of real-time data pushed out by the IoT will force considerable research into new chip architectures, materials, along with silicon photonics. Also, there will be an increasing number of IoT devices armed with analytics and microcontrollers to make them less susceptible.
Not to forget that IoT would drastically improve semiconductor revenues by accelerating demand for sensors, microcontrollers, memory, and connectivity.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Algorithmic Chips
Artificial Intelligence or deep learning has applications in almost every sector. For businesses operating in the semiconductor industry, the benefits are doubled.
- Boosting profits and growth through the rising demand for chips and parts that will run neural networks
- Reducing costs linked with manufacturing by using AI to enhance the manufacturing process, automating the QA process
AI systems need to manage large amounts of data quickly. While the performance of general-purpose chips has increased sufficiently to jump-start a new generation of AI technology, they cannot keep up with the rampant increase in the volume of data that AI systems process. This has resulted in the introduction of hardware-based acceleration via algorithmic-specific chips.
RISC-V is here to stay and will overthrow traditional dominant players such as the most popular ISAs are CISC (Complex Instruction Set Computing) and RISC (Reduced Instruction Set Computing). Currently comprising of over 300 active members, the RISC-V Foundation members are discovering the opportunity for developing open-source, license fee and royalty payment-free RISC processor templates for a variety of applications.
Independent and private foundries will be given a helping hand from the abundance of design-only companies and the tech giants designing their in-house and own chips. The world is estimated to spend more than $50 bn on new foundry projects in the coming years. However, foundries will continue to be tested by the growing height of 3D stacked architectures deployed beyond flash memories, dwindling size of transistors, and traditional functional chipsets being created into application-based chipsets.
The implementation of IoT devices drastically increases the prospective attack surface for increasingly complex private and state cyber attackers. The recent Spectre and Meltdown scandals threw light on the chips’ flaws against cyberattack. Telecom companies could gain from the association of 5G and virtual reality (VR).
However, there might be only minimal progress towards this end. The industry must strengthen security across the supply chain, including testing and packaging services, equipment makers, foundries, and electronic design automation (EDA) suppliers.
Post its recovery from a redundant downturn, the embedded and semiconductor industry is primed for substantial growth in the next few years. Technology variations and innovations such as AI, 5G cloud computing, IoT and machine learning are driving up the long-term requirement for the chip industry. Moving forward, better government funding and incentives remain crucial for its widespread growth.
With our technological innovations in the design and development of embedded and semiconductor solutions, you can depend on ACL Digital for an extensive set of full-flow IC design services focused on assisting semiconductor and systems companies in the delivery of ASIC, IC, FPGA or SoC projects. The solutions we provide are ideally designed to accelerate time to market, improve productivity, and optimize cost for businesses across industry segments.