Turbulent times ahead, Gartner says

Gartner during it’s mid year update outlined 5 megatrends facing the industry - continued integration due to Moore’s Law, increasing cost and scale of manufacturing facilities, the role the consumer markets will have going forward, service providers of various kinds, and a set of new and potentially disruptive technologies.

One more major trend that I perceive, is increasing collaboration. Whether it is OEMs collaborating with service providers or EDA companies/Design houses with foundries, this collaboration will increase. This is especially true for deep sub micron technologies.

Fewer chip designs will also re-enforce EDA companies to rethink their strategies and biz models. They will need to address solutions. As pointed out by Robert Hum/Mentor Graphics, “it is time for a change”. For verification, for example, realization of the methodology flow within the common & open source verification environment by solutions and not just point tools should be the offerings from the EDA vendors. An open source community which leverages on the combined industry expertise is the need. However such open source platforms take time to be adopted as players approach it warily keeping their IPs and niche expertise in mind.

Technology innovations will continue, in fact grow faster. There will also be increase in the number of startups with each one of them trying to address some niche area in the market and trying to tap it in the mode they think best. However as pointed out by Gartner, the question is how many will survive the transitions.

Another outcome of fewer chip makers in the market due to increase in manufacturing scale will be the diminishing of manufacturing differentiation.

The market has moved more from standalone products to solutions. And solutions go hand in hand with service thus getting the service providers into a more prominent role. Service providers are nearer to the end customer and know their requirements which will also propel them towards a product defining role.

The growing power of the consumer market and keeping in mind its demands, will lead to more reconfigurable devices. The challenge, however, will be keeping the costs down as reconfigurability does not come with optimized silicon usage.

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