Last Friday I attended a breakfast seminar organized by SEMI in Hillsboro, Oregon with fascinating speakers from several high-tech companies: Qorvo, Intel, Oregon Angel Fund, Kimera, Moonshadow Mobile and Yole Development. I recalled that Qorvo was created from the merger of TriQuint Semiconductor and RF Micro Devices back in 2014. Glen Riley fro Qorvo talked about how their RF chips power the 5G and IoT devices through a variety of wireless communication protocols in this $15B RF market. My favorite quote from Glen was about the IoT devices and their sensors, “A sensor without a service is useless”. Think about a Fitbit device for a moment, what makes it valuable is the analysis on health when using analytics.
I could relate to the value of analytics in the cloud for IoT devices as my cycling rides are posted on Strava.com where I can view my GPS maps, compare my times on segments, set goals, analyze heart rate and view my power curve.
Claire Troadec from Yole shared about the RF front-end modules and components for cellphones. She sees emerging markets in Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), IoT, Smart Cities, wearables and autonomous vehicles. Smartphone growth is slowing, China is driving the highest volumes, Samsung sells more units than Apple, however Apple continues to enjoy higher revenue than Samsung. Comparisons between RF front-end modules showed how varied the engineering approaches are with smart phones today, and I was surprised to see how small the Xiaomi Mi5 boards were.
From Intel we had Dr. Geng Wu talk about 5G technologies and how the market is moving from just Smart Phones into Smart Things like: cars, power grid, trains, virtual reality, drones, smart home, wearables. Intel has a mobile trial platform for mobile devices that uses sub-6/28GHz range and is about the size of a Dime.
Jon Maroney from the Oregon Angel Fund introduced us to three companies:
- Kimera doing Artificial General Intelligence (AGI) with an algorithm called Nigel based on quantum physics that does unsupervised learning.
- Moonshadow Mobile has a database engine (DB4IoT) for the Internet of Moving Things.
- SENRIO does enterprise security for the IoT.
I learned that our local bus system in Portland called TriMet is using the Moonshadow technology to save on their preventive maintenance and fuel costs for their fleet of buses which are moving IoT devices. The AGI approach used by Kimera is learning how to read, much like a child would, so how far away is the HAL 9000 computer from the famous 2001: A Space Odyssey movie? SENRIO is helping medical equipment companies make their healthcare devices hacker-proof.
My head is still spinning from all of the ideas raised in this breakfast seminar which I thoroughly enjoyed attending, and am looking forward to the next SEMI event here in Oregon.