Archive for June, 2007

SIA slashes 2007 semi outlook

Thursday, June 14th, 2007

The Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) has downgraded its forecast for 2007 global microchip sales growth to 1.8%. 

Forecasts are always tricky. The uncertainty is compounded with the rapidly changing market conditions. However such a big change i.e. 10% forecasted in Feb this year down to 1.8% 3-4 months down the line is quite dramatic.

Reasons cited for this forecast change: rapid price attrition in three key market segments – microprocessors, DRAMs and NAND flash memories. Incidentally, another news item, “Intel plans 50% price cut for Core 2 Quad chips” was reported on the same day.

Does provide fodder for thinking………………….

EDA & Foundry

Wednesday, June 13th, 2007

Ron Wilson, executive editor of EDN makes an interesting take on the low power SoC trend. He writes about the change in significance of low power design. Pre 90nm, low-power design was something you did in response to a specific application requirement. Post 90nm, according to tool vendors at least, low-power design is something you do so that the chip can work at all. This suggests that tools for invasive low-power design will be a gating factor in the industry’s migration to 65 nm and certainly beyond. And if there’s one thing that increases the–shall we say—intimacy of the relationship between the foundries and the EDA industry, it’s an obstacle to wafer shipments. 

I refer to this as yet another example of the expanding role & growing prominence of foundries. To fill their billion dollar fabs, they have to catalyse solutions for issues which may deter new design starts. So, if low power tools is a gating factor, they will “collaborate” with the EDA vendors. As I noted in an earlier post, Virtual vs. Vertical, it is the same for DFM; here too foundries started working together with the EDA vendors with information & data that was once under wraps. 

As they say, it is the economics!    


OEM - Foundry Direct model??

Tuesday, June 12th, 2007

Slowing growth in semiconductors will drive new rounds of consolidation and partnerships as chipmakers seek creative strategies, according to Bryan Lewis from Gartner.  As reported in an article in EE Times, he talked about some systems makers experimenting with direct links to foundries, cutting traditional chipmakers out of the picture.

While the couple of examples cited in the article are by no means a sure indicator for this possible trend, there does seem to be a few signs leading to this path:

- Growing importance of DFM, and thus links between design & foundry

- TSMC’s growing role in developing IPs

Just moved…

Tuesday, June 5th, 2007

Hi folks, welcome to my new blog address; I’ve just moved my blog from blogger ( to here ( Whilst I moved, I re-titled the blog too! Have managed to move across all old posts; however could not carry across the comments.

Hope you like the new look.