This Week; Chip markets pick up, ARM shares quiver, CMOS keeps on keepin’-on
The worldwide market for industrial electronics semiconductors ended 2013 on a strong upbeat note, with overall revenue up convincingly from the previous year and reversing the disappointing decline of 2012, according to a new report from IHS Technology.
Global industrial electronics chip revenue for 2013 amounted to $33.7 billion, an 11% rise from $30.4 billion in 2012. After final figures are confirmed for the fourth quarter, the double-digit increase expected in 2013 will show that the market recovered from the 5% loss of 2012. Growth will continue in the next few years, and industrial-related semiconductor revenue will reach some $45.0 billion by 2018, as predicted in the graph.
“The market’s persuasive bounce-back is due to a strengthening global economy, coupled with higher purchasing confidence across all geographical regions,” said Robbie Galoso, principal analyst for industrial electronics at IHS. “While the field may not sound as sexy or attention-grabbing as some of the more popular markets around, like wireless or consumer, there is no underestimating the power or sheer breadth of its applications, ranging from home automation to the medical field, to energy, to aeronautics and military purposes, and much more.” Overall, the turnaround for the year sets the stage for a robust 2014, Galoso said, with annual revenue forecast to grow 9 percent to $36.8 billion.
IHS authors add that, “Even a beleaguered Europe, still disentangling itself from the recent financial turmoil, was a happy contributor, with 13 of its countries figuring among the top 20 global industrial electronics markets. Those nations included the likes of Germany, France, Switzerland, Sweden, Italy and Finland.”
Elsewhere This Week;
ARM shares took a hit after the firm reported its latest results, which reflected some backing-off of demand from the high-end Smartphone sector, which led the investor community to take fright. By Friday, however, the shares had largely recovered the lost ground, perhaps because the investor community read as far as the bit where it says that ARM is Everywhere, not just in Smartphones. Readers of this site will say, “We knew that,” but don’t be surprised if you see renewed efforts by ARM to tell the world so.
CMOS goes all the way for LTE-A
This week we reported that Peregrine Semi had produced a chipset to do the whole front-end of a world-wide-all-bands smartphone – in CMOS (SoI, in fact.) It seems not so long ago that alleged experts would pronounce that you would not be able to build (even) a 3G phone without, for example, MEMS switches in the RF paths. Peregrine (and other sources) proved that one wrong and now they will be hoping to capitalise on a one-stop-shopping offer for the complete RF side of the phone. CMOS continues to show that it’s capable of being pushed far beyond what many thought possible.
Thsi week, Cadence bought Forte Design Systems; Forte has been around for a while (since the late ‘90s) but then, so have the EDA concepts it promotes; high-level synthesis (HLS) software products, otherwise called electronic system-level (ESL) synthesis or behavioural synthesis – aimed at enabling design at a higher level of abstraction. Cadence’s statement hints at a renewed push in this area.
Software-defined radio raised its head a few times this week, aside from the Peregrine product release; Ettus Research, part of National Instruments, announced an SDR platform with lots of programmability to carry out DSP right after you capture the RF, and full flexibility to capture that RF in any way you please. Ettus is a user of Analog Devices’ AD9361 SDR RF chip, which ADI told us generates more potential designer interest than a patient technical sales support team can easily deal with.
You can also read Pentek’s Software-Defined Radio Handbook, filed on our White Papers pages, here.