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Semiconductor Industry Outlook Continues to Brighten

Comments(0)Filed under: FinFET, Wally Rhines, EDA vendors, semiconductor design, EDA software, semiconductor forecast

Earlier this week I tried to read the tea leaves to see how 2014 might shape up for the global semiconductor industry. Since then, some other data points have percolated up that suggest even more positive trends for the months ahead for semiconductor vendors as well as EDA and IP companies.

The World Semiconductor Trade Statistics released numbers forecasting 4.1 percent growth in semiconductor sales in 2014 (to $317 billion) and another 3.4 percent rise in 2015 to $328 billion. Those numbers will pile on top of last year's solid results, which are expected to come in at $304 billion, up 4.4 percent. These are encouraging numbers, although they're more conservative than we heard from Semico President Jim Feldhan.

EDA, IP Surges Ahead

For EDA and IP, there is strong momentum coming into 2014, although we've seen cautionary news coming out of big semiconductor vendors such as Intel and Qualcomm.

The EDA Consortium (EDAC) released its latest numbers this week. Third quarter global revenue for EDA and IP totaled $1.72 billion, up 6.8 percent from the year-ago period.

global eda and ip revenues for Q3 2013

Here's a look at various EDA segments and how they fared during the period: 

EDA Revenue by Product Category


Q3 2013 $

YoY Change




IC Phys. Design/Verif.






Semiconductor IP






For some perspective, industry blogger Pradeep Chakraborty talked to Cadence Corporate Vice President and Managing Director Jaswinder Ahuja and Mentor CEO Wally Rhines.

Cadence Corporate Vice President Jaswinder Ahuja

Application Expansion

Ahuja (leftsees broad growth in a number of application areas around the world below 20nm, mobile computing and consumer devices as well as Internet of Things applications. This will put a premium on tools and methodologies that can enable and optimize power, performance and area constraints, he said.

Added Ahuja:

"In this market, you must support different standards, the device must be really fast, it must have Internet access, and all this must be done at lower power so the that it does not drain the battery. We're also seeing interest for advanced nodes in other segments such as computing and graphics processors."

Mentor Graphics CEO Wally Rhines

For both Ahuja and Rhines (right), 2014 will be a huge year for the impact of 16/14nm FinFET processes. And this will lift EDA sales, Rhines said:

"Whenever you create new technologies, you will need EDA. So, EDA will grow. New designs will also need EDA. There will be new EDA tools. EDA is now addressing thermal and stress issues in verification and design. Caliber PERC is our main product here. The upgrades are good for EDA. There are new things they have to adopt, in these tools."

 For Rhines, his top five semiconductor trends in 2014 are:

  • Move to 14/16nm and cost
  • Growth in hybrid functions is another trend
  • Basic IoT
  • Security – how you verify designs
  • Continued commoditization of wireless apps. 

How do these views track with your own feelings about 2014? 

Brian Fuller

Related stories:

--Electronics Outlook 2014: New Paradigm Takes Hold?



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