Yesterday’s SEMICO IP Ecosystem Conference was well worth the time. Everybody was there: ARM, Synopsys, Cadence, Mentor Graphics, GlobalFoundries, TSMC, MIPS, Tensilica, AMD, Atrenta, Sonics, and Tabula, everybody except Intel of course. What do Intel and I have in common? We don’t play well with others…
First up was Jim Feldham, President of Semico Research with some interesting industry forecast slides. Semiconductor revenue grew 1.3% in 2011 and is predicted to grow 9% in 2012, very believable, even with 28nm wafer allocation. Tablets (+46%) and Smartphones (+34%) lead the way with the SoC market reaching $85B. I agree with this assessment 100%.
Second up was Warren East, ARM CEO. I like Warren, he is a humble man (like me) and has the traditional British dry sense of humor (unlike me). Warren’s presentations pack the most content you will see from a semiconductor CEO. Since ARM owns 99.99% (exaggeration) of the mobile business their customer surveys are very relevant. Here are some interesting takeaways from Warren’s slides:
- 5B+ People Connected
- $10 Mobile Phones
- Mobile Devices Outsell PCs
- Always On, Always Connected
Warren didn’t mention “He who must not be named” (Intel) but clearly this is a clean shot at them:
- Fabless Model Lowers Costs
- IP is Key: 100+ Blocks Per Chip
- $200M Cost for 14nm SoC
- Design Costs = 52.8% Software + 47.2% Hardware
- Standards Reduce Costs
Taking a “systems” view:
- A vibrant ecosystem is maintained through collaboration and aligned investments
- Tweaks to current models will not solve big challenges or drive significant growth
- Boundaries will need to shift and change, enabling broader IP and services that spread development costs across the chip ecosystem
Bottom line: It’s all about the ecosystem. Linaro is one example as I blogged in Intel Versus ARM (Linaro).
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ARM has a landing page on SemiWiki now which you can find HERE, ARM related blogs are organized there. The theme you will notice is ecosystem and SoC. SemiWiki blogger Don Dingee has a series of blogs on Smart Mobile SoCs including NVIDIA, Apple, Samsung, TI, and Qualcomm. He even did one on Intel: Smart Mobile SoCs: Intel. Don will go to China for the next one so stay tuned!