In this video interview on weSRCH Wally Rhines of Mentor outlines why the semiconductor industry is seeing a sustained growth phase.
As background, the semiconductor is typically seen as having “boom-bust cycle”s as described by Jim Handy in this article on Forbes. Wally states that people likened the semiconductor industry to the steel industry: “Mature with arthritic growth”. However, according to Statista, we are seeing huge growth globally (from $338B in 2016 to predictions of $463B in 2018 and $483B in 2019). Wally sets out his view in the interview.
Firstly, Wally looks to reduced costs in chip development for fabless start-ups. High-level synthesis has reduced design costs and enabled companies to perform architectural performance investigations. The capability of formal tools has enabled sequential equivalence checking with the resulting RTL. T&VS freely available UVM SystemC libraries enables companies to develop test benches for such designs that can run license free. T&VS is also working with Metrics Technologies which brings a pay-as-you-go cloud-based Simulation-as-a-service, again potentially reducing costs.
Wally also identifies a demand for new domain specific processors to better support new applications such as AI where traditional Von Neumann superscalar architectures are not as performant. Wally identifies that there are a number of start-ups developing such processors and T&VS is working with such companies to verify their processors using our Instruction Stream Generator asureISG.
Finally, Wally identifies that a very large number of new start-ups in China and a strategic $20B investment by the Chinese Government. Of course, we cannot ignore the bigger picture which reminds us that the IMF puts global growth at 3.9% and that semiconductor sales are still dominated by memory.