Welcome to Semiconductor Digest, a new business-to-business publication focused on the dynamic semiconductor manufacturing industry. I’ll be using my 37 years of publishing experience – 25+ years at Semiconductor International and 11+ years at Solid State Technology – to deliver useful information to a worldwide audience of engineers and executives. We’ve been working hard on our new website (www.semiconductordigest.com), this magazine, a variety of newsletters – including a show daily at next month’s Semicon West – videos, blogs, webcasts and other types of interesting content.
Joining me on this new journey is Kerry Hoffman, whom I’ve worked with at Solid State Technology for the last 7 years. Together, we have co-founded a Massachusetts based company called Gold Flag Media LLC. Kerry’s role will be that of publisher and I’ll be the Editor-in-Chief. Also on board is a top-notch team of editors, including Shannon Davis, Ed Korczynski, John Blyler, Dave Lammers, Lynnette Reese and Dick James.
Through a mix of news, contributed articles and staff-written articles, Semiconductor Digest is dedicated to providing information about the design, manufacturing, packaging and testing of semiconductors and other types of electronic devices, including MEMs, LEDs, displays, power electronics, optoelectronics/photonics, biomedical devices, solar cells, thin film batteries and flexible electronics. Our focus is on the unique requirements of each of these devices in terms of the design tools, process equipment and materials, and test equipment.
The timing for this new launch is near perfect. The semiconductor industry is in a new era of growth, driven by a diverse array of applications and new computing architectures.
Much of this growth will come from the need for better connectivity and more intelligent data analysis using artificial intelligence (AI). AI represents a market opportunity $2 trillion of on top of the existing $1.5-2B information technology industry.
Making AI semiconductor engines will require a wildly innovative range of new materials, equipment, and design methodologies. Moore’s Law seems to be slowing, so chips designed for AI and more traditional applications will likely include advanced packaging/heterogeneous integration (think chip stacking) and silicon photonics.
The market for semiconductor manufacturing equipment and materials is huge. Worldwide sales of semiconductor manufacturing equipment surged 14 percent from $56.62 billion in 2017 to an all-time high of $64.5 billion in 2018, according to SEMI. The market for materials is roughly equivalent.
In addition to AI chips from traditional IC companies such as Intel, IBM and Qualcomm, more than 45 start-ups are working to develop new AI chips, with VC investments of more than $1.5B — at least five of them have raised more than $100 million from investors. Tech giants such as Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Amazon, Baidu and Alibaba are also developing AI chips.
AI will be paired with new computational methods (non Von Neumman), such as neuromorphic methods that mimic how the brain works, and quantum computing.
Faster communication with higher bandwidth will be required. 5G wireless communication is coming, as is improved WiFi, near-field communication, Bluetooth and satellite communication.
Huge opportunities exist in automotive electronics, as autonomous driving moves closer to reality.
I’m looking forward to working with you on this exciting new journey. Please feel free to contact me at email@example.com or at 978-470-1806.