Let’s turn our attention to semiconductors. The key question: how is the industry performing?
Now, the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) has put it as $26 billion for May 2016, an increase of 0.4 percent compared to previous month’s total of $25.9 billion, but a decrease of 7.7 percent compared to the May 2015 total of $28.1 billion.
If we look at SEMI’s North American semiconductor equipment industry figures,
the three-month average of worldwide bookings in June 2016 was $1.71 billion. The bookings figure is 2.1 percent lower than final May 2016 level of $1.75 billion, and 12.9 percent higher than June 2015 order level of $1.52 billion.
However, IC Insights has lowered its 2016 semiconductor market forecast to -1 percent. It says, ” Rarely can there be strong semiconductor market growth without at least “good” worldwide economic growth to support it. ”
Besides the impact of Brexit on the UK, and how it can impact the European semiconductor industry, the DRAM industry is said to register a 19 percent drop of $8.5 billion this year to $36.5 billion. The semiconductor market growth, excluding DRAM, is forecast to be +2 percent for 2016.
As the SIA puts it, “additional research is needed as we transition to an even more connected world, enabled by innovations like the IoT.”
According to the SIA, research is needed in areas such as energy-efficient sensing and computing, cyber-physical systems, intelligent storage, real-time communication ecosystem, multi-level and scalable security, next-generation manufacturing paradigms, insight computing, and an IoT test platform.
Why can’t today’s computers process data like the brain? Brain-inspired computing has been a focus area. How that will pan out would make interesting reading.