The Semiconductor IP Difference
In electronic design, an IP core is a unit of logic, integrated circuit, or cell that can be reused. The IP core can be used and owned by a single party or can be licensed to another party. The IP cores are the building blocks within the field-programmable gate array (FPGA) or application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) designs.
Also, a lot of industries are experiencing technology convergence, resulting in increased complexity of their systems. This convergence is evidenced in numerous devices such as automotive, smartphones, wireless communication, and smart factories. Such trends, along with increasing complexity in consumer electronics design and growing automotive expertise is also expected to drive the demand for semiconductor IP worldwide.
The Semiconductor IP (SIP) Market is a highly consolidated market, with a small chunk of leading semiconductor manufacturers, foundries and players accounting for a substantial share of total market revenue. It is anticipated that the market will become even more intense in the coming years with the acquisition of smaller semiconductor market participants by the prominent players in the market, and progression in the corporate restructuring of business. Therefore, to grow in the industry, companies will have to obtain or increase their orders for customers doing large volume production.
However, the semiconductor IP market is going through instability, thereby plunging the CAPEX spending. This is due to persistent inventory adjustments in the Chinese smartphone industry.
However, a noteworthy growth has been witnessed in the automotive industry’s semiconductor demand amid the progression of advances in automotive electronics. Furthermore, dynamic rise for the demand for semiconductor in IT & Telecomm industry continued, especially for processor IP, triggering memory semiconductor IP manufacturers to invest in expanding production capacity actively.
Manufacturers striving for a higher share
Arm Holdings PLC, Synopsys Inc., Imagination Technologies Group PLC, and Cadence Design Systems, Inc. had acquired a significant share of the market. The consumer electronics industry is evolving at an exponential pace, and the pressure of demands from the consumer side has been compelling suppliers to provide differentiated products and be the first movers in the market.
Fierce competition with peers in the consumer electronics industry has resulted in price wars leading to decreasing profitability for the manufacturers. As a result of these factors, manufacturers strive continuously for innovations in their product offerings. More often than not, manufacturers have been curious about becoming the pioneers of new products in the market.
The analog-to-digital conversion brought about many new standards in audio and video, which improved the quality and affordability of the digital multimedia experience.
Further, with the rise of broadband, accessing media has become easy and rewarding for consumers. Due to the easy access to media and the rich quality enabled by the digital revolution. The proliferation of smart products is elevating the need to improve electronic product design and focus on delivering lower cost, lower power, and higher performance through the integration of discrete functions.
In a highly competitive scenario, the time-to-market of any product plays an extremely critical role. Lesser is the time-to-market for the product; the higher is the possibility of the company taking a competitive advantage in the market.
What more is trending?
Presently, smart products contain complex electronic systems that require a flawless operation. Device miniaturization, faster data rates, support for multiple wireless technologies, and longer battery life, demand rigorous analysis. Further, demand for numerous feature integrations onto a single device has led to intricate the circuit board designs.
For instance, a smartphone today includes features such as camera, calling function, torch, storage drives, and connectivity with other devices, compatible ports for connections, a multimedia player, and many other, etc. Likewise, other consumer electronic devices have been improving on similar lines propelling the semiconductor manufacturers for more miniaturization of the chips and integration of more functionalities.
The trend of miniaturization in the consumer electronics industry has driven package component sizes down to the design-rule level of pioneering technologies. The technology of crucial in integrated circuit (IC) package needs to deliver higher lead counts, reduced lead pitch, minimum footprint area, and significant volume reduction. As a result, this has led the semiconductor manufacturers to develop a small outline package (SOP), surface-mount memory packaging.
Furthermore, apart from the individuals, businesses across almost all industry verticals have realized the importance of IoT, communications, and sensors, and have, therefore, paved the way for the integration of sensors.
Business functions such as supply chain planning & logistics, and manufacturing across multiple industry verticals such as consumer electronics, automotive, healthcare, and aerospace & defense can be optimized and enable increased profitability.
The positive impact on the balance sheet of the companies as a result of the integration of sensor-enabled devices into the business processes have led to the enormous demand for more such devices.
Steady progress in the development of autonomous vehicles is being witnessed in past years. As a result, some of the renowned car manufacturers have collaborated with the technology leaders for it to be conceptualized. Autonomous vehicles have evolved on the platform built by ADAS.
Companies like Ford, General Motors, Nissan, Tesla, Mercedes, Honda, and other major manufacturers have been investing billions of dollars in the research & development of these cars. Also, technology giants like Apple, IBM, and Intel have further collaborated with the leading auto manufacturers to remain competitive. It is expected that autonomous cars would hit the roads on a large scale in the coming years.
One of the key enabling technologies required in the autonomous vehicles is the presence of sensor fusion, whose function would be of integrating data from an array of sensors to make quick and appropriate decisions. Fusion sensor allows manufacturers to use inexpensive and less powerful sensors, and also save battery life of the car whereas provide maximum functionality. These attributes make the fusion sensors an ideal choice in integration to the autonomous vehicles.
All these vital technological developments and other advancements in the field of the semiconductor industry, along with standardization on business models and licensing requirements will help the industry to grow globally in the near future.