While 2011 was generally a year of growth for the global semiconductor industry, 2012 promises to be more volatile, thanks to new macroeconomic issues that will weigh on consumer and IT outlay. The upside is that long-term business trends for semiconductors seem positive, with revenue projected by some industry analysts expected to grow more than twice as fast as global GDP over the next few years.
Global business drivers in 2012
According to Jaswinder Ahuja, corporate VP and MD, Cadence Design Systems (India) Pvt Ltd, the major semiconductor market drivers in 2011 have been apps, video, mobility, cloud computing and green technology, and they will continue to be so into 2012.
As seen over the past year, apps are driving new generations of products. Traditional devices have more functionality than ever before – mobile devices such as smart phones or tablets have the ability to email, tweet, text, browse the web, stream video, take pictures, calendar appointments, and manage your contacts. The pervasiveness of apps are changing the demands on electronic design – this is the basic tenet of the EDA360 vision that Cadence announced in May 2010.
Video drives development of both devices and networks. It is expanding from the television to the smartphone, to media tablets, to your wristwatch. Video is not just used for recreation or entertainment – witness business applications such as videoconferences, surveillance systems, and professional video blogs.
Over the past few years, we have see the consumer’s need for mobility with all their electronic devices – whether a tablet or a gaming console or even in a car. This continues to challenge electronics designers – the need to stay connected all the time is still driving cutting-edge semiconductor design.
Along with mobility, we also want long battery life, light weight, small size, and lots of communications options. This, along with the demand for green technology, is a market driver that makes lots of demands on designers.
National Electronics Policy in India
Closer to home, 2012 promises to be an interesting one for India with the National Electronics Policy expected to be passed in Parliament. It has the potential to be a game changer for the country which promises to have far-reaching consequences for all of us.
Ahuja added that the Policy will have a huge impact on the semiconductor ecosystem in India as it aims to take a holistic view of developing the ESDM ecosystem with the aim of addressing the demand-supply gap. Its provisions are wide ranging and cover diverse areas such as manufacturing, R&D, IP creation, manpower and training, standards, e-waste management, investments, and the setting up of a National Electronics Mission.
With the support and funding promised in the NPE, home-grown innovation will finally have the wherewithal to really take off in a way that is bound to have wide-reaching impact and establish India’s leadership in emerging markets.
The opportunities presented by the National Electronics Policy coupled with the vast potential of the underserved and underpenetrated market in the country suggest a promising 2012 for the Indian semiconductor ecosystem.