Smith Market Blog

TSMC and Samsung - Capacity constraints and node challenges affecting chip manufacturing and supply

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Written by Lisa Ann Cairns, Ph.D. on Thursday, 26 March 2015

Supply and demand is the constant balance that we watch. Sitting where we do along the global supply chain, as distributors, puts us squarely in the middle of this challenge. As a result, we are keenly aware of when the (unfortunately inevitable) mismatch in supply/demand happens. Presently, we see increased challenges  now as nodes continue to shrink, as mobile chip solutions become more complex and require more steps in manufacturing, and as Industrial IoT (IIoT), which includes automotive, continues to quickly ramp up and demand older process nodes. Each of these events are adding constraints to an already tightening supply due to the reduction in the number of fabs and complexities in chip manufacturing processes. A recent article in Semiconductor Engineering explains these challenges very well. One of the outcomes of the growing manufacturing processes that we see are pricing fluctuations, additional supply constraints and shortages, and challenges to come due to interoperability issues that will lead to constraints down the road.

Read more: TSMC and Samsung - Capacity constraints and node challenges affecting chip manufacturing and supply

   

3D NAND Quickly Moving Through Adolescence

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Written by Brent Topa, International Account Representative on Tuesday, 24 March 2015

1Q15 is quickly coming to a close and it is hard to believe there are only nine months left in 2015. Keeping pace with the speed of this year is the continual progress of the 3D NAND flash sector. We all know that Samsung led the way as the first company to begin mass production of the new 3D chips. Micron is finally jumping in with the announcement this month of their first 3D samples coming soon. Together with Intel, Micron is planning to offer commercial production of their chips in 2H15 using a newly-expanded NAND fab in Singapore. The new space will allow for gradual expansion depending on market feedback plus opportunities to manufacture other memory and storage products.

Read more: 3D NAND Quickly Moving Through Adolescence

   

SXSW 2015 and Electronica China: Strong momentum driven by innovation & competition

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Written by Lisa Ann Cairns, Ph.D. on Thursday, 19 March 2015

This week closes two innovative trade shows for the industry, South By Southwest (SXSW) in Austin, Texas and Electronica China 2015 in Shanghai, China. While these are very different events that Smith & Associates' teams have attended, they highlight an important and central characteristic of the 2015 year to date: innovation and competition that is driving interest in the semiconductor and electronics industry is exceptionally strong and growing. From these events, our local teams have reported back on the number of new markets that are gaining momentum and with them the need for increased services along with new supply chain connections that are required to support innovation and improve margins in an ever-increasing competitive arena.

Read more: SXSW 2015 and Electronica China: Strong momentum driven by innovation & competition

   

Electronica China 2015: Regional market expansions are 2015+ story

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Written by Lisa Ann Cairns, Ph.D. on Tuesday, 17 March 2015

The positive market movement we are seeing for the semiconductor and electronics industry rests not just on the proliferation of the smart devices that are extending growth but importantly the regional expansion of growth across various markets and sectors including consumer, industrial, medical, automotive, automation, networks and servers. At Electronica China 2015, March 17-19 in Shanghai, regional leaders and innovators are gathering to collaborate in order to realize the growth potential that is possible this year and forward. Electronica China, now in its 13th year, has truly matured, much as the regional Asian market in which it is located, as our Smith team at Booth 3172 explains.

Read more: Electronica China 2015: Regional market expansions are 2015+ story

   

Data Support World Semiconductor Growth Continues Across Many Strong Markets

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Written by Lisa Ann Cairns, Ph.D. on Thursday, 12 March 2015

Moving into the second quarter (2Q15), there's good reason to continue the optimism for 2015 growth, and impressively, that outlook covers a wide swath of chip markets, as confirmed by leading industry and data analysts. The World Semiconductor Trade Statistics (WSTS) released today their final 2014 market figures confirming the growth of 9.9% for the year over 2013, and expectations for continued growth in 2015 and 2016.

Read more: Data Support World Semiconductor Growth Continues Across Many Strong Markets

   

Watching Wearables Take Off as New Engineering Resets 2015 Tech Stage

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Written by Lisa Ann Cairns, Ph.D. on Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Now that International CES, MWC, and yesterday's Apple event are over, we can really take stock of where the reality (vs. the dream) for device and engineering sights are set for 2015. Between the three events, we've seen pretty much all there is to see in terms of announcements and unveilings for 2015's first quarter, and probably first half. So, what's there to think about? A few things, really, in terms of broader trends that will impact how devices are targeted from an engineering and a user perspective.

Read more: Watching Wearables Take Off as New Engineering Resets 2015 Tech Stage

   

MWC 2015: Cutting the cables extends ubiquity's reach

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Written by Lisa Ann Cairns, Ph.D. on Thursday, 05 March 2015

GSMA Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2015 in Barcelona, Spain comes to a close today, but what a year this has been for the annual event. There were roughly 93,000 visitors and 2,000 exhibitors representing around 200 countries, as a result there was an immense amount of ideas, innovation, solutions and new challenges shared and discussed. Beyond the still expanding automotive sectorautomotive sector and new opportunities for in-vehicle solutions (safety, efficiency, infotainment, etc.), there was a real attention to a next step towards computing or technological ubiquity – the pervasiveness and ever-presence of technology – now with increasing the ease of connectivity through small and big steps.

Read more: MWC 2015: Cutting the cables extends ubiquity's reach

   

MWC 2015: Connecting the last mile – Mobile's maturity shines

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Written by Lisa Ann Cairns, Ph.D. on Tuesday, 03 March 2015

There is a wealth of news coming out of the GSMA Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2015 in Barcelona, Spain again this year. Attendance levels are sure to hit well into the 90,000 range of visitors as the week progresses based on the initial few days so far. MWC is absolutely proving itself to be a leading, global event for mobile and with mobile's rise in importance that is saying quite a lot. We've seen the maturing of the mobile world into what is truly a discussion of the impact of the mobile economy - access, connectivity, and devices to meet the needs of more and more people across the globe. MWC keynotes and pannelist from leading companies like Google and Facebook remind us that how we as an industry get devices and access to the mobile economy into the hands of more people will move us from a mobile economy to what Mark Zuckerberg, CEO Facebook, calls "The Knowledge Economy," and that is driven by technology and smart devices.

Read more: MWC 2015: Connecting the last mile – Mobile's maturity shines

   

Take a Drive with NAND Flash

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Written by Brent Topa, International Account Representative on Thursday, 26 February 2015

As the Asian community celebrates Chinese New Year, most companies around the world enjoy a planned respite from the busy world of electronics. However, with the growth of The Internet of Things (IoT) continuing to increase, manufacturers cannot afford to rest for too long. The number of connected devices is anticipated to reach the billions and all of these devices contain memory as a crucial part of this construction.  

Read more: Take a Drive with NAND Flash

   

Smith's Annual Global Supply Chain Survey Results – Overview of challenges

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Written by Lisa Ann Cairns, Ph.D. on Tuesday, 24 February 2015

This was the third year that Smith conducted its Global Supply Chain Survey and again we have collected results from industry professionals across a key set of companies and functions. With a comparable response rate to previous surveys, this year's analysis is looking at the changes and similarities across the years and what that tells us in conjunction with ongoing changes to the supply chain, end-device demand, regional shifts and challenges faced.

Read more: Smith's Annual Global Supply Chain Survey Results – Overview of challenges

   

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