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On a Date Today – Future & Electronics!

driverless cars

A fairy-tale somewhat stated in the 1950s feeding more electronics is what today underlined as Industrial Revolution with Automation and Digitization drawing itself more than a perspective. With content wooing the Young Minds, do those non-theoretical electronics design schematics can still be fallen in love with?

From being a gig to develop usual circuits using breadboard to the world of migrating and simulating in the world of cloud. Traditionally, an assembled PCB was needed to run the hardware design to test it for reliability, to program it, and to verify it works as desired. While Moore’s Law might fade away, experts think that silicon will still play a prominent role well into the foreseeable future.

Less Power and More Love

Researchers alongside semiconductor companies are looking for new ways of achieving higher performance in computers while using less power. Power consumption has emerged as the prime directive in chip and system design. Be it any smart devices intending to automate or be hybrid and resilient, chips and electronic designers are paving new milestones in producing.   IBM, Google, Intel, and others are in a race to create quantum computers with enormous processing power that would dwarf silicon transistors, using quantum bits. Just hope giving more power to human intelligence and their capabilities to explore the computer world we keep power as more love than friendly. So while this is still about power, performance and area, the balance has shifted.

M&A – Metaphor & Affair in a Rapid World

The microelectronics industry will continue to advance in providing solutions for embryonic smart-electronic products for self-driving or driverless cars, smart city infrastructure, Internet of Things, and related products. These products will require essential competencies in manufacturing smart and durable electronic systems, advanced packaging materials, and packaging technology for extreme environmental and high-performance conditions.

Accenture last year reported, Traditional organic growth is dead in the semiconductor industry, due to the rising cost of R&D, the speed of technology turnover and a more demanding, diverse customer base. Instead, leaders are turning to M&A as a growth strategy.

Total value of M&A deals reached in the last year was still nearly more than twice the annual average during the first half of this decade.  Acquisition agreements reached in 2018 for semiconductor companies, business units, product lines, and related assets had a combined value of $23.2 billion compared to $28.1 billion in 2017, based on data compiled by IC Insights.

The two largest acquisition agreements in 2018 accounted for about 65% of the M&A total in the year.  In March 2018, fabless mixed-signal IC and power discrete semiconductor supplier Microsemi agreed to be acquired by Microchip Technology for $8.35 billion in cash. Fabless mixed-signal IC supplier Integrated Device Technology (IDT) agreed in September 2018 to be purchased by Renesas Electronics for $6.7 billion in cash.  In October 2018, memory maker Micron Technology said it would exercise an option to acquire full ownership of its IM Flash Technology joint venture from Intel for about $1.5 billion in cash.

Will P&L ‘Hinder’ T&M in 2019

All good companies are both predicting and responding to customer needs, the industry is well into a hyper-test environment with extreme pressure toward lower cost on one end, while pushing the outer limits of system performance on the other.

Major drivers of this market are the growth in demand for wireless technology in the aerospace and defence sector because of the growing security concerns. The latest trend gaining momentum in the market is the increase in demand for automotive wireless technologies owing to the increasing implementation in vehicles.

Another interesting dynamic from the vendors’ perspective is the consolidation of the semiconductor market, which narrows their potential customer base, and is pushing an emphasis on excelling in manufacturing and production test. All told, the changes and pressures hint at a reshuffling of leaders, with a more flexible approach to test clearly coming to the fore.

Keysight Technologies last year reported a $114 million loss for its fourth quarter but still exceeded Wall Street expectations, sending its stock upward. Keysight said its losses rose to 61 cents per share, up from a loss of $38 million, or 20 cents per share, in the fiscal fourth quarter of 2017. Fourth-quarter (Q4) revenue was $1.05 billion, up 19 percent from a year before. The company is projecting revenue for the first quarter of its fiscal 2019 to be $962 million to $982 million.

Test company, Rohde & Schwarz surpassed the two billion euro ($2.33 billion) mark for revenue for the first time in its most recent fiscal year (July 2017-June 2018), reflecting growth of 6.7% year-over-year.

Today, designers urgently need to streamline their verification methodology just as much as they need to streamline their design methodology. System-on-a-chip (SOC) design teams need a comprehensive system-level verification environment. To gain a time-to-market advantage, design teams need verification models for the most popular processor, memory and peripheral devices used in today’s SOC designs.  The electronics love affair will tranquillize the next-gen belief of the industry getting faster, rapid, integrated, miniaturized and more affectionate for the world.
As the fate of the world is in the lab of the designers!

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Niloy Banerjee

A generic movie-buff, passionate and professional with print journalism, serving editorial verticals on Technical and B2B segments, crude rover and writer on business happenings, spare time playing physical and digital forms of games; a love with philosophy is perennial as trying to archive pebbles from the ocean of literature. Lastly, a connoisseur in making and eating palatable cuisines.

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