SEMI China Report: Getting Smart at SEMI/Gartner Industry Outlook Session
By Cherry Sun, SEMI China
On July 13 in San Francisco at SEMICON West 2017, SEMI and Gartner held a joint symposium themed “Get Smart: SEMI/Gartner, Bulls & Bears Industry Outlook.” SEMI and Gartner presented their market analyses and forecasts on semiconductor investment, equipment materials and adjacent industry sectors. During the roundtable discussion of the symposium, Wall Street analysts also had interactive discussion over the microelectronics industry the perspectives from “Bulls & Bears” analysts.
Bob Johnson, research VP at Gartner, presented his latest forecast for the semiconductor industry, capital spending and equipment outlook, as well as manufacturing technology development in the future 10 years. He pointed out that 2017 will be a prosperous period, and the trend will extend to 2018-2021. Long-term market demand is expected to be affected by technology applications necessary for achieving IOT and advanced data analysis, so new technologies will keep emerging.
Christian Gregor Dieseldorff, senior analyst and director of Market Research at SEMI, presented his analysis of development trends for fab quantity and capacity in the world, including breakdowns by regions and products. He predicted, from 2017 to 2021, 13 of 23 newly built fabs would be put into operation (including three pilot ones). Dieseldorff also anticipates that four fab plants would shut down, include an LED fab. He estimated $12 billion would be invested in equipment and around $1 billion would be in construction.
Lung Chu, president SEMI China, offered his thoughts in a presentation titled "The Rise of China’s IC industry." In recent years, China has strived to develop a stronger semiconductor industry, in an effort to improve its self-sufficiency for chip production. Chinese companies are becoming major forces in the expansion of global semiconductor industry, and the expansion of China's semiconductor industry will profoundly affect the pattern of the global semiconductor landscape. He also mentioned the promulgation and implementation of the National Integrated Circuit Industry Development and Implementation Outline and "Made in China 2025" action programs, which provided incentives for investment in China's semiconductor industry, and a series of mergers and acquisitions in China’s semiconductor supply chain.
Lung Chu also pointed out that the so-called "China threat theory," is not factual, due to China's late start in the integrated circuit industry compared with other countries. He noted that China needs stronger IC design capability and continuous innovation ability, and that lack of core technology and other issues impede progress. We should promote international cooperation and common industry progress in an positive manner, which shall be fully reflected in SEMICON China 2018 to be held in Shanghai in March next year, and believe the 30th anniversary of SEMICON China will bring more wonderful achievements!
Andy Castonguay, IoT research director at Gartner, pointed out that the ubiquitous Internet is the key catalyst for new car functions, services, and business models. He said that IoT applications will reshape automotive industry, such as vehicle platform, vehicle insurance, fleet management, finding stolen vehicle, in-car entertainment and Internet, renting/riding vehicle share, vehicle diagnosis and in-car emergency call, etc.
Sam Wang, research VP at Gartner, analyzed current artificial intelligence (AI), judging from the recognition, observation, abnormality finding, and estimation making, and explained why AI is smart from different aspects including computer power increase, IoT big data, and machine learning algorithm. Wang also shared opportunities brought by AI for semiconductor manufacturing, such as use of AI in: intelligent equipment and smart manufacturing technology, driving advanced wafer process demand, encouraging adoption of HMC, HBM, eDRAM, ReRAM, PCM, STT- MRAM memristor or memory processing, and increasing application of 2.5D, 3D, TSV and SiP technologies, and so on.
Werner Goertz, research director at Gartner, mentioned that companies who are the early responders pursue AI, but white spaces remain, such as Intel, ARM, Qualcomm, Nvidia, etc. He indicated that the applications for edge-based ML functions include voice, image processing, and data analytics. Goertz offered suggestions, including exploring new customer relationships, and providing digital business value through software, integration and service partners.