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2014 Semiconductor Health Viewed from the IC Market and Sector Growth

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Written by Lisa Ann Cairns, Ph.D. on Friday, 19 September 2014

Year to date there are signs of sustainable growth for the semiconductor and electronics industry in general. Consumer confidence, while always open to vacillation, has generally improved as witnessed by demand for consumer electronics (CE) devices, such as the most recent offerings by mobile device OEMs. CE is not the only source of this year's growth, industrial automation and communication both are driving increases in equipment spending as the IC market continues to see demand grow globally.

Read more: 2014 Semiconductor Health Viewed from the IC Market and Sector Growth

   

Smartphone Architecture – Exploring competitive strategies in an ocean of similarities

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Written by Lisa Ann Cairns, Ph.D. on Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Both Samsung and Apple are releasing their latest flagship smartphones over the next week and both are spearheading the global, leading-edge, smartphone device category. Both OEMs are using 20nm System-on-Chip (SoC) architectures in their leading devices as a feature differentiator. Interestingly, as EETimes highlights, "these companies used the new process node in different ways." Other smartphone OEMs, such as ZTE, are also releasing new devices this month with similarities in features, begging the question, what is it that consumers are seeking in smartphones?

Read more: Smartphone Architecture – Exploring competitive strategies in an ocean of similarities

   

Revisiting the CE Demand Market – What does the iPhone 6 mean for smartphones?

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Written by Lisa Ann Cairns, Ph.D. on Friday, 12 September 2014

How can we not stop to ask this question? I have to admit that I have been part of the bell-ringers tolling the moment at which high-end (meaning high-priced) smartphones really have met their saturation points and that the global consumer audience is really demanding other devices than the one-upping components, features, displays, and the still next greater dose of memory. The global consumer market is not just about developed market purchases that broach or exceed US $500 for a smartphone, particularly when options for similar (not the same) devices at half or less than half the price are available and service options are broad.

Read more: Revisiting the CE Demand Market – What does the iPhone 6 mean for smartphones?

   

Apple Changes Everything – Again: It's not just about components but unique experiences

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Written by Lisa Ann Cairns, Ph.D. on Tuesday, 09 September 2014

The anticipated event of the fall just came to a close; Apple's biggest unveiling since the landmark products of the Mac PC with a mouse, the iPod, iPhone, and iPad. Not only has Apple entered the wearables consumer electronics (CE) market with the new AppleWatch, due out in early 2015, but they have changed the way that CE devices, and especially wearables, will be evaluated going forward.

Read more: Apple Changes Everything – Again: It's not just about components but unique experiences

   

Is Bigger Smarter? IFA opens intense round of global CE competition

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Written by Lisa Ann Cairns, Ph.D. on Friday, 05 September 2014

The unveilings are coming in at record pace this week with IFA 2014 in Berlin being the global stage for these announcements.

In the top-tier device category, we've seen Samsung's latest Galaxy S5 and Galaxy Note 4 (Forbes review) unveilings as well as very long list of other leading OEMs: Lenovo (ComputerWorld review), Microsoft (MobileWorld review), HTC (PCWorld review), Sony (MobileWorld review), ZTE (MobileWorld review), among numerous others.

Read more: Is Bigger Smarter? IFA opens intense round of global CE competition

   

European Semi Growth Continues – Prospects gain for 2014+

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Written by Lisa Ann Cairns, Ph.D. on Wednesday, 03 September 2014

Emerging and developing markets grab headlines because of opportunities for rapidly boosting profits and gaining marketshare. Meanwhile, the mature European (EU) market tends to be seen as one of the more slower-moving markets with ongoing challenges flowing from the global recession of 2008. Certainly, all this is true, but to cast the EU semiconductor and electronics market as a slow-moving market would be a serious error and would overlook the source of regionalized, double-digit gains for the industry this year. Notable also is the EU strength during what has been a global high-point in semi sales, as the SIA recently reported.

Read more: European Semi Growth Continues – Prospects gain for 2014+

   

Smartwatch Competition Begins – Diversification opp for component supply chain?

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Written by Lisa Ann Cairns, Ph.D. on Friday, 29 August 2014

September will be here next week and the summertime rumors will now be put to the validity test: who was right and what tantalizing features and capabilities will OEMs present with the much anticipated release of smartwatches for the fall? Samsung kicked off the official (versus rumored) announcements yesterday providing information on the Samsung Gear S wearable (smartwatch) with 3G capability. Apple is rumored to follow with an iWatch unveiling on September 9th.

Read more: Smartwatch Competition Begins – Diversification opp for component supply chain?

   

Will September's Smart Releases Open Medical Electronic Doors?

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Written by Lisa Ann Cairns, Ph.D. on Tuesday, 26 August 2014

We all know the industry buzz right now: What will who come out with over the next few weeks? The anticipation (and rumor mill, especially about the iPhone6) is quite heated around what will and won't be featured in the latest round of smart devices, ranging from watches to phones and tablets from the leading (and those focused on becoming global leaders). Among the developments gaining ground along the sidelines is the important question of how will these latest devices and applications drive medical electronics for consumers and for the medical community?

Read more: Will September's Smart Releases Open Medical Electronic Doors?

   

New Skin Layers for New NAND

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Written by Brent Topa, International Account Representative on Friday, 22 August 2014

The big news in NAND this month is all about layers. Chip sizes are constantly revised, especially when it comes to going smaller. However, more problems arise in planar (or 2D) construction as the chips shrink. The closer the cells are to each other, the higher the failure rate. This year, we have seen several announcements from NAND manufacturers regarding their plans for smaller chips. In April, Toshiba and SanDisk announced plans for a 15-nanometer (nm) chip and Micron announced a 16-nm triple-level-cell (TLC) chip for their cost-effective, consumer SSDs through Crucial. Production volumes of the 15-16-nm chips should continue to ramp up through the end of 2014.

Read more: New Skin Layers for New NAND

   

IoT Fueling the Smart Home Race

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Written by Lisa Ann Cairns, Ph.D. on Wednesday, 20 August 2014

The "smart home" market is quickly picking up pace as this year we have seen a handful of important acquisitions by leading OEMs signaling their strategic goals in this still emerging market place, and more recent activity is signaling continued momentum.

Read more: IoT Fueling the Smart Home Race

   

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