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Semico is a semiconductor marketing & consulting research company located in Phoenix, Arizona. We offer custom consulting, portfolio packages, individual market research studies and premier industry conferences.

Semico Summit 2015: Taming the IoT

The Semico Summit is an executive conference focused on strategic issues of major concern within our industry. Widely revered as the semiconductor event of the year, the Summit has been in existence since 1997.  There are ample opportunities for interaction with top-level leaders in a casual setting.  Traditionally, the event kicks off with golf & a welcome reception.  A well-attended president’s dinner follows the Day 1 sessions where the industry's best and brightest gather for keynotes and lively panel discussions. Hot button issues are pressed with featured presentations delivered by internationally recognized leaders followed by informative Q&A sessions.  The Summit also includes an overall semiconductor outlook delivered by Semico’s president, Jim Feldhan.

In order to obtain the full benefit from your Semico SUMMIT experience we recommend participating in one of our sponsorships.  Check out more information about sponsorship opportunities here.

April 27th - 29th, 2015
Hyatt Regency Reort & Spa @ Gainey Ranch
7500 E. Doubletree Ranch Rd
Scottsdale, AZ

Register early here! Early bird registration ($1,395) goes through December. Regular registration is $1,795.  

For press, please register here

IoT Security: At What Cost?

Connectivity and interoperability are key elements for the IoT. The goal is to generate data from many end nodes in products and devices. These are physical objects with unique IP addresses. Consumers want products and services that will enhance and improve their lifestyles. The forecast for the number of connected devices is expected to reach 36 billion units by 2020.

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Jim Feldhan to Speak at SEMICON Japan on Internet of Things

Semico Research's Jim Feldhan will speak at SEMICON Japan on Thursday, December 4.  The title of his talk is "Market Dynamics Driving the Internet of Things."

Sensor Fusion and New Sensor Interface Developments Open Up Innovation

Last week at the MEMS Executive Congress in Scottsdale, Arizona (Nov. 5-7, 2014) two separate announcements were made that will have long term impact on sensors. The MEMS Industry Group announced the first open source algorithm community for sensor fusion and the MIPI Alliance introduced a new sensor interface specification.

MIPI I3C

The I2C, also known as I Squared C, standard has been used extensively for sensor interface.  Many sensor hub controllers, mostly microcontrollers, use I2C for connecting to sensors.  But I2C has its limitations in terms of power, speed and scalability. SPI is another interface standard that is used for sensors, but this requires more pins. 

MIPI is addressing the interface fragmentation and scalability issues with a new sensor interface specification, MIPI I3C. As that name implies it is backward compatible with I2C. But the new standard provides data throughput capabilities comparable to SPI. According to MIPI “the name MIPI SenseWire℠ will be used to describe the application of I3C℠ in mobile devices and the use of the I3C interface for mobile devices connecting to a set of sensors, directly or indirectly.”

This new standard has been developed because of the steadily growing proliferation of sensors in smartphones. A new standard was needed that could be scalable. MIPI has developed I3C with the participation of sensor vendors and other companies in the mobile ecosystem.

Semiconductors are Key to Better 3D Printing

The 3D printing world is an exciting place to be right now.  For do-it-yourselfers with an artistic or engineering bent, 3D printing delivers a whole new toolbox, enabling designs that were not possible before with exciting new materials.  These DIYers will often build their own 3D printers from scratch.  The RepRap movement was formed with the goal of creating a self-replicating manufacturing machine. 

The first self-replicating 3D printer was built in 2008 by mechanical engineers at the University of Bath. Since then, the hobbyist 3D printer movement has blossomed from a grad school project to thriving hobbyist community. A 3D printer can be built from scratch using almost any building material (plywood, laser cut acrylic, machined aluminum, LEGO bricks, etc.), however all printers need at least one type of commercially manufactured hardware: electronics. 

Example of a RepRap Printer

Source: www.reprap.org

Tony Massimini Coaching at MEMS Industry Group Executive Congress

The MEMS Industry Group is holding its annual Executive Congress in Phoenix, AZ this week, November 5-7. Tony Massimini, Chief of Technology of Semico Research Corp. will be coaching two companies participating in the Elevator Pitch session on Thursday, Nov. 6.

Wafer Demand Summary and Assumptions 3Q14

The Wafer Demand Summary and Assumptions is a quarterly publication. It includes an excel spreadsheet with annual wafer demand by product by technology from 2002-2018. Product categories include DRAM, SRAM, NAND, NOR, Other Non-volatile, MPU, MCU, DSP, Computing Micro Logic, Communications, Other Micro Logic, Programmable Logic, Standard Cell, Gate Array, Analog, Discrete, Optoelectronics, Digital Bipolar. In addition, there is a five-page summary write-up providing the major assumptions behind the forecast and changes from the previous quarter.

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Analog Forecast, Products, Suppliers and Foundries

As electronic systems evolved to mobile devices the importance of analog has grown.  Interfacing with the real world via cameras, touch, gesture controls, audio and video applications all require analog functionality.  In addition, power management ICs are critical to the success of these devices.  These growing applications have added significant volumes to the analog unit sales. 

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FinFETs 2014: Shaking up the Mobile and Foundry Markets

Rolling out a new semiconductor technology always has its challenges, and it’s also usually accompanied by speculations and surprises.  In 2011, at the 22nm process technology node, Intel surprised the semiconductor industry by introducing a three dimensional transistor structure, which Intel calls Tri-Gate, but is more commonly referred to in the industry as FinFETs.  Most of the speculators were expecting FinFETs to be rolled out at the 14nm node. 

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Printing Your Own Semiconductors

Much of the look and feel of today's PCs, tablets and smartphones was developed at PARC (Xerox's Palo Alto Research Center).  Is PARC now on the track of an innovation that could revolutionize semiconductor manufacturing?

With financing from DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects), PARC has developed a method of programmable electrostatic assembly, inspired by xerography.  Tiny chiplets are produced and mixed into a solution-based “ink.”  The chiplets, which have an electrical charge pattern on them, are subjected to dynamic electric fields which are used to orient and position them with micron-level accuracy.  Once assembled, the chips are put onto a final substrate with interconnects.  The technology used is similar to laser printer technology, which is essentially the assembly of large numbers of micron-sized toner particles, a Xerox development from the 1970s.    The resulting circuits can be microprocessors, memory or any other desired semiconductor chip.  Although production quantities will not be feasible for several years, could this be leading to desktop printing of almost any semiconductor?

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