The semiconductor business sits at the crossroads of numerous high-growth industries nearing commercialization. The electrical components produced by the many industry participants are required to produce the billions of devices that comprise the Internet of Things and mobile device ecosystems.
Chips that power our smartphones and complicated servers that enable cloud services are in high demand. The push for machine learning is also fuelling significant growth for established firms and appealing potential for new entrants. All of this points to strong development in the semiconductor business, with a 12% increase forecast for the following year in June 2017.
What is Semiconductor?
- It is a silicon-based substance that conducts electricity more than an insulator like glass but less than a pure conductor like copper or aluminum.
- Semiconductors are critical technological components for emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and internet of things applications, 5G communications, cloud computing, automation, and electric vehicles, with a broad range of applications ranging from simple consumer electronics and automobiles.
The Importance of Semiconductors
- Semiconductors are used in producing electronic products such as televisions, computers, and high-quality medical equipment, as well as the fabrication of microprocessors and microcontrollers in the industrial sector.
- Advances in Artificial Intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), automotive, consumer electronics, and wirelessly linked gadgets have resulted in unprecedented worldwide demand for semiconductors. With the global objective of lowering carbon dioxide emissions and progressing toward a green economy, the electric vehicle sector, and semiconductors with it, will acquire strategic importance in the near future.
- As a result, there is little doubt that semiconductors have transformed the technology sector.
Challenges and Opportunities
Sensor, wearable, and networking technology digitalization raise demand for semiconductor devices. To begin with, as the speed of IoT growth continues, semiconductor businesses will profit from emerging breakthroughs across the technological value chain. They can acquire momentum by offering holistic solutions beyond semiconductors, such as hardware design, software, and systems integration for products and applications.
As the cloud economy grows more prevalent in the IoT age, semiconductor firms must continue to develop in order to drive connectivity throughout the IoT value chain. Furthermore, processors with an ultra-small form size, low power consumption, and wireless connection options will be required for IoT-connected goods and applications.
The semiconductor industry is driving MEMS/NEMS sensor platforms with the power advantages of lower technology nodes and increased functionality on a single small form-factor die with the increased adoption of IoT sensor products such as smart watches and glasses as smartphones and other wearable devices.
Engineers have been attempting to determine how to manage placement density and high memory count as the technology node decreases. Lower geometry design and tape-outs using advanced technology has become a major focus. Chip size has yearly reduced from 90 nanometers to 65, 40, 28, 14, and 7 nanometers.
Another key worry during functional testing is power consumption, especially when dealing with older design technologies. As chip size decreases, density increases to over a million gates on a single chip, and power consumption in the semiconductor due to leakage becomes considerable. Several leakage power reduction approaches have been developed to limit power loss.
The above listed are some of the trends and challenges semiconductor firms face in IoT transitions.
Future opportunities in the semiconductor sector
While academics argue for the termination of Moore’s Law, the semiconductor sector still has a bright future. The semiconductor industry has repeatedly proven that it can overcome economic and scientific constraints.
Semiconductor leaders should position themselves to capitalize on advances in AI, IoT, and 5G. Furthermore, researchers should concentrate on novel approaches to develop semiconductor technology inside and outside Moore’s Law.
Aside from the Internet of Things, the automotive industry, and artificial intelligence, it can benefit from a variety of other technology trends, such as increased digitization and the emergence of mobile devices, or infrastructure requirements for the global rollout of 5G networks, which is set to begin soon.
Semiconductors set the way for today’s accomplishments. And they will do so in the future as well.
Initiatives launched by India
Semicon India program
- It offers $10 billion in fiscal support as well as various non-fiscal initiatives.
- The Semicon India Program intends to provide appealing incentive assistance to firms and consortia involved in Display Fabs, Silicon Semiconductor Fabs, Compound Semiconductors / Silicon Photonics / Sensors (including MEMS) Fabs, Semiconductor Packaging (ATMP / OSAT) and Semiconductor Design.
- India Semiconductor Mission: o It has been established as an Independent Business Division within Digital India Corporation, with administrative and financial autonomy, to formulate and drive India’s long-term strategies for developing semiconductor and display manufacturing facilities, as well as the semiconductor design ecosystem.
Production-Linked Incentive Plan
- The government also recently announced the PLI and DLI schemes as key efforts toward developing the country’s semiconductor ecosystem.
- The recent Cabinet approval of 76,000 crores spread over six years for developing the semiconductor and display manufacturing ecosystem is expected to be a shot in the arm.
- This decision is expected to attract1.7 lakh crore in private investment in India.
Since its foundation, the semiconductor industry has been a digital pioneer, providing digital services and exploring innovative digital business models.
In terms of digitization, other industries, most notably automotive, have clearly surpassed the semiconductor business. That’s paradoxical, given that the chip industry’s goods have enabled automakers’ digitization success.