The buzz from the tradeshow floor in Taipei centers on the positive momentum in the industry that is being propelled by IoT growth opportunities. Whether individual components, wearables, mobile devices, PCs, white boxes or accessories, IoT growth is upon us and with it the outlook for the semiconductor and electronics industry is forecasted to rise as well. IDC research recently underscored, "[…] a transformation is underway that will see the worldwide market for IoT solutions grow from $1.9 trillion in 2013 to $7.1 trillion in 2020."
IoT driving market opportunities
Market growth for IoT is significant, as IDC notes, but behind those very strong numbers is the cause for the excitement in Taipei this week as innovation gains momentum. The opportunities are opening for IoT and that means a very broad supply chain impact because of the stretch across devices, components, and solutions for myriad market sectors. Unlike with the smartphone and tablet market splashes, IoT covers a much wider territory which means that niche is not part of the current positive disruption. In turn, that means that the entire supply chain is open to seeing gains from IoT adoption and uptake.
As the Intel keynote reminds us, the ability to provide leading IoT solutions rests on the ability to leverage components that enable these device solutions coupled with software at a much more pervasive level to cohere and coordinate devices, functionality, and the level of computing now possible though 64-bit technology and embedded component solutions. We are seeing not only significant advances in processors and ICs, as discussed in yesterday's blog, but also in SSD drive advances both in devices as well as in data centers – the end results are not only improved capability and functionality but importantly cost reductions which is critical to supporting real market growth and uptake by enterprises and by consumers.
IoT and Big Data solutions go hand-in-hand
Considering the "Big Data Forum" series that kickstarted Day 1 here at COMPUTEX, the excitement is around the new opportunities for Big Data solutions in demand to handle IoT. As Brendan Collins, HGST VP for Product Marketing, reminded the audience, smartphone and tablet growth with their data management solutions have already given many people inroads to IoT. The next phase is the expansion of data solutions to handle the massive data and connectivity onslaught that IoT is bringing with it. Collins pointed out that solutions are best developed when thinking about and dividing data storage based on "different frequencies of accessed data, divided into cold storage and hot storage […]."
Of course the connecting threads between IoT and Big Data storage is the cloud and the network infrastructure and connectivity solutions that will drive cloud computing (and cloud servers) are directly linked to the rate of expansion for IoT, just as is the case wedding Big Data solutions with IoT growth. In this manner, we begin to understand why the buzz is so loud and pervasive (and positive) for IoT as a truly global market driver that is underway: IoT reaches far and wide and includes the full semiconductor and electronics industry.
Is the growth potential real or hype?
The sober question to ask is whether the excitement is the product of an amazing event and the energy that comes from the world's leading companies and supply chain partners being together? The quick answer is, this is a real opportunity grounded in the convergence of solid macroeconomic strength and a positive disruption in our industry. On the global economic side, which tells us what the consumer confidence and spending (hence enterprise confidence) is likely to be, we note the International Monetary Fund's recent forecast for 2014-15 as growth acceleration years that will minimally match the recent couple of years, if not exceed current levels.
Using global GDP as a marker of growth has been shown over the years to directly parallel with semiconductor and electronics industry growth in CAPEX which directly trickles down into production capacity for the industry and therefore manufacturing production levels, as SEMI underscored.
Meanwhile, in Taipei, the design unveilings, the many solution possibilities are adding to the positive buzz, particularly in our hall alongside of the many module builders and smart card manufacturers – we are all seeing the opportunities for growth along the global supply chain and with positive economic outlooks, the second half of 2014 and beyond looks exciting and busy!