What’s In Store for Semiconductor Domain in 2019?

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The semiconductor industry is destined to grow over the next few years owing to technology enhancements nationally and globally. Especially areas in cloud computing, connected cars/automotive, IoT, machine learning and AI will continue to boost the requirement for chips that will need to optimize power and presentation. The semiconductor industry has been termed as one of the fastest flourishing sectors in India, and it is getting ready to augment itself with the assistance of government and the investments that are being done in this industry in the country. Numerous states have also started planning and preparing to set up their investment policy on wafer fabrication which is further boosting this sector enormously.

That is not all, the India Electronics and Semiconductor Association (IESA), the chief trade body constituting the Indian electronic system design and manufacturing (ESDM) industry, has in recent times signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Singapore Semiconductor Industry Association (SSIA). It has been done with an aspiration to establish and expand trade and technical cooperation connections between the electronics and semiconductor industry of both the nations. The government is also looking at ways to enhance the semiconductor domain and is planning to intensify local manufacturing and value-addition in electronics systems design and manufacturing (ESDM). On the other hand Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MoC & IT) and the Department of Electronics and Information Technology DeitY,) along with the government of India have rolled-out the National Policy on Electronics which has the sole aim to draw investments of USD 100 Bn and to generate employment of 28 Mn by 2020.

Growing competition

Over the last few years, India has made a changeover in the digital semiconductor domain. The area has seen a shift from embedded software and IP development, venturing towards developing derived SOCs and now to full-size complex SOC IC progressions. Given the intricacy of Fin FET based SOCs, the large staffing requirements continue to cut across international boundaries. India prolongs to focus on its present strengths embedded software, in IC design and development and supporting MNCs. Alongside analog will persist in being a growth area in semiconductors, in boosting these SOCs.

However because semiconductor design is forte and requires a specialized skill set, one can see there continues to be a talent deficiency in the industry. More organizations are venturing towards continuous design work in the country if there is the availability of sound engineers in digital design and embedded systems. According to experts, India will continue to spearhead in this area in the years to come in the complex SOC design and embedded systems. Nevertheless, owing to lower costs, Vietnam and the Philippines may pose a competitive threat to organizations that are merely in the resource augmentation arena. To maintain being competitive, Indian firms need to evolve from a pure resource augmentation focused firm in semiconductors and increase their reach towards the value chain towards becoming a solutions player.

Alongside, to build up a native semiconductor manufacturing ecosystem, there is also a requirement of assistance from the government in the form of grants to develop and maintain manufacturing, testing, packaging, and production capabilities. Organizations incorporated in the West leverage the Eastern countries like Taiwan and China for these inclinations. All though electronics and hardware industry in the country is expected to be around USD 130 Bn (ASSOCHAM), the home-grown market for semiconductor consumption has not become large as Printed Circuit boards are presently being populated in China or Taiwan and being imported.

Latest Technologies and Trends in the Field of Semiconductor

With the advent of most recent applications in Cloud, IoT, Machine Learning (ML) and AI there will be a continued push for the requirement for enforcement and power consumption. Technologies (FinFET) are fast stimulating to 7nm and FABs are starting to work on 5nm. Analog recapitulates to morph to smart analog with the arrival of simpler MCU’s incorporated with Analog; GaN will keep on to drive new efficiencies for Power applications and some most critical improvements in packaging like the Intel’s 17- qubit superconducting test chip. Following are some of the technologies that will go on to influence the Semiconductor arena:

Cloud Computing and Storage: One can expect a push to support petabytes of data used by servers and storage devices. System chip architectures will go on with the need to morph for low latency search and indexing for databases and also comprise accelerators that are more hardwired to the end application.

ML and AI: Digital architectures in silicon are experiencing a phase of fast evolution with the introduction of neuromorphic microprocessors configured more like the brains than today’s von Neumann architectures. Nvidia, Intel, Qualcomm, and the other major players are in the race and continuously pushing the boundaries here.

IoT: The maturity of smart IoT devices will go on to augment the need for smart devices that are now more mixed signal in nature. Powering this will be rapidly growing IoT connected cars/transportation which is also all set to culminate into a significant area that will drive Edge analytics with ADAS-based systems in the short run and collaborate in with cloud analytics based on V2x.

Security: Hardware security prolongs to be one of the big points of concern in IoT devices and necessitates deeper, integrated silicon hold to thwart unauthorized access.

One can also see a growing trend for custom ASICs, both digital and mixed signal from several non-semiconductor organizations, which can now influence the end to end ASIC and embedded software services. The most important reason for the ASSP’s gain is to fine-tune the performance for their end application, and the pricing can become more affordable for doing this today as compared to a few decades ago.