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2011 sales estimate could vary between $303.8 billion and $311.9 billion: Cowan LRA model

October 20, 2011 4 comments

This is a continuation of my coverage of the fortunes of the global semiconductor industry. I would like to acknowledge and thank Mike Cowan, an independent semiconductor analyst and developer of the Cowan LRA model, who has provided me the latest numbers.

It’s that time of the month again; namely, time for an advanced showing of next month’s global semiconductor sales forecast updates for both 2011 and 2012 as gleamed from September’s “actual” sales expectation range by exercising the “look ahead” forecasting capability of the Cowan LRA forecast model.

September’s upcoming global semiconductor sales result should, therefore, be instrumental in determining the sales growth expectation not only for the third quarter of 2011 but also for the full year of 2011. In particular, one can ascertain whether 2011 will exhibit positive yearly sales growth for the industry or will it turn negative as a number of market researchers have recently forecasted based upon downward third quarter sales guidance recently announced by many semiconductor suppliers?

Therefore, presented here is a “snap shot” of 2011’s global semiconductor sales and sales growth forecast prospects as a function of September’s “actual” sales forecast estimate range as derived via the Cowan LRA forecasting model. Moreover, the model has been extended in order to include a view of what 2012’s sales growth prospects might look like, thereby, providing a six quarter look ahead horizon that allows the model to also capture the four quarters of 2012.

It should be mentioned that September 2011’s “actual” global semiconductor sales number is scheduled to be released by the WSTS via its monthly HBR (Historical Billings Report) on or about Friday, November 4th.

Source: Cowan LRA model.

Source: Cowan LRA model.

In advance of the WSTS’s release of its September HBR, here is the monthly outlook analysis leveraging the Cowan LRA forecasting model, which projects worldwide semiconductor sales for 2011 (as well as 2012); namely, by providing a “look ahead” scenario for year 2011’s sales forecast range as a function of next month’s (in this case September’s) assumed range of “actual” global semiconductor sales estimates.

The output of this “look ahead” modelling analysis is detailed in the scenario analysis matrix displayed in the table.

In order to facilitate the determination of these “look ahead” forecast numbers, an extended range in assumed Sept. 2011’s “actual” sales is selected a-priori. In this month’s scenario analysis outlook, a Sept. 2011 sales range from a low of $27.028 billion to a high of $33.028 billion, in increments of $0.250 billion, is pre-selected as listed in the first column of the table. Read more…

Game changers: New paradigms for future of electronic product realization

October 20, 2011 Comments off

The Cadence Executive Forum, titled, ‘Game Changers: New Paradigms for the Future of Electronic Product Realization’, was held this evening in Bangalore, India. The speakers were Lip-Bu Tan, president and CEO, Cadence, and Bhaskar Pramanik, chairman of Microsoft India.

In the opening address, Tan remarked that there is likely to be challenging next 12 months in the USA and Europe. It may also impact the Asia Pacific region. However, from an EDA perspective, there will be new design, as companies would be involved in designing next-generation products and killer applications. There will also be more consolidation, which will continue. Another trend is that the number of start-ups has dropped.

There are two main drivers — technology and market. The cloud is starting to present a big opportunity. Other key areas include green technology and power management. Video will be driving a lot of traffic. The impact on the electronics industry will be new product development, with the IP having expanded beyond processor cores, an increase in collaborations and a changing EDA landscape — Cadence is investing on its decision to deliver the on the EDA360 vision.

Some of the recent highlights include Cadence’s new software development suite that addresses the hardware-software design gap, expansion of the Palladium XP, and releasing the industry’s first DDR4 solution, which includes controller, soft and hard PHY, drivers, verfication IP (VIP) memory models and signal integrity reference designs.

He spoke about horizontal collaborations such as app programing interface, and  vertical collaborations, which creates differentiation in the end markets. It also engages foundries in EDA, IP, etc. As an example, Tan spoke of Spreadtrum achieving one-pass silicon realization for the first 40nm product. Some other examples include Samsung designing and implementing 20nm product, ARM and Cadence collaborating on GHz implementation of Cortex-A15, and ARM, TSMC and Cadence collaborating on the industry’s first 20nm Cortex-A15.

Speaking on ‘Consumerization of IT’, Bhaskar Pramanik touched upon consumer trends driving IT. These trends include the economic system of computers, natural interaction, data explosion, social computing, pervasive displays, ubiquitous connectivity, and cloud computing.

According to him, computers will adapt to us. They will enable computing interfaces that are far more easier to use. The key business requirement is to balance the user expectations with the enterprise requirements.

Designing systems to thrive in disruptive trends!

October 20, 2011 Comments off

Srini Rajam, CEO, Ittiam Systems presented the guest keynote at the CDNLive! 2011 in Bangalore, India, titled ‘Designing Systems to Thrive in Disruptive Trends’. According to him, key factors for design project success include scope definition, realistic targets, good estimation and right resources. Today, smart system design enables being a step ahead in the world of disruptive system demands.

The concergence decade saw an affordable convergence of media and functions. The world also moved from the PC in 2000 to the smartphone in 2010. There has also been a convergence of audio, video and communications. The SoC and system design require performance, quality and price to work in tandem.

In the imagination decade, we have come to expect electronics to do whatever we fancy. In the smart system design era, we have come to anticipate a future system that will also work perfectly today.

Today, we are in the world of IP video communication. First, everything is evolving. There have been advances in video technology, SoC and infrastructure. Technologies designed elsewhere are being brought in. There is a virtually infinite range in quality and price levels. The video communication system holds the key dynamics. The SoC, software and system have entered into a synergistic relationship.

For smart system design, there is a need to look at the big picture. Scaling down is easier than scaling up. Smart system is built to achieve efficiency in scale down. The reference platform is needed for the development roadmap.

For designing, the system may function as a module in other system. Also, critical components of the system may evolve outside. Parts of the system may also get replaced by the ecosystem. As for the SoC, there must be a roadmap enabling application software portability. There should be modular scaling with plug and play of IPs/components. Tools for hardware-software co-development must be available from the early stages.

All of this would enable you to being a step ahead in the world of disruptive system demands.

Realizing EDA360: Charlie Huang, Cadence

October 20, 2011 Comments off

Long-term trends are strong for semiconductor and electronics. According to databeans estimate (Feb. 2011), semiconductor revenue will likely reach $450 billion by 2015 and electronics revenuw will likely reach $2,800 billion by 2015.

Speaking at the CDNLive! 2011 event in Bangalore, India, Charlie Huang, SVP of Worldwide Field Operations, Cadence Design Systems Inc., said that the challenges in the near term are slowdown in Europe and USA. The weakness is driven by increasingly negative views on the global economy, end demand, orders and outlook. Key indicators are also showing that the economy is facing headwinds. The 2011 GDP growth projections have deteriorated since the beginning of the year. The economy has been marred by high unemployment and low consumer confidence.

As of now, innovation has been driving growth. Apps have been driving innovation, followed by video, mobility, cloud and green technology. The impact on the electronics industry is multi-fold. There is a new development paradigm and collaboration has been increasing. The IP is also expanding beyond cores and the EDA is changing.

Source: Cadence.

Source: Cadence.

The new development paradigm for system companies is to differentiate on applications and semiconductor companies must deliver on application-driven hardware-software platforms. IP has now expanded well beyond the core. EDA is also changing, and Cadence is investing to deliver on the EDA360 vision. There are multiple silicon realization challenges. Cadence silicon realization solutions enable fast, deterministic, end-to-end path to silicon success.

As an example, ARM and Cadence have collaborated on the GHz implementation of Cortex-A15. ARM chose ARM Artisan physical IP, evaluated the Cortex-A15 RTL, and supported CPF. Cadence optimized the EDA flow, experienced support at EAC, and provided EDA tool releases and iRM.

ARM, TSMC and Cadence also collaborated on the industry’s first 20nm Cortex-A15. TSMC provided the 20nm process qualification and A15 learnings. ARM handled the 20nm implementation experience, A15 considerations in 20nm and TSMC 20nm readiness milestone. Cadence provided the 20nm research to reality, contributed and grew the A15 expertise and TSMC 20nm readiness milestone.

The end result: the industry’s first 20nm Cortex-A15 tapeout, thanks to a successful three-way vertical collaboration. ARM, Cadence and TSMC engineers worked side-by-side. The project priorities included 20nm DPT implementation schedule and 20nm readiness milestone.
Read more…

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