Electronics industry trends 2021

Here are some links to current electronics industry trends worth to check out:

Check out all the forecasts for this year from the editors and industry experts.

If You Build It, Will They Come: The Butterfly Effect
As the pandemic rages on and with political tumult in the air, 2021 will present various challenges for new products and technologies.

Technology Overkill
Whether it’s tough-to-install software or needlessly complex products replete with thick manuals, it’s high time that the “user-friendly” aspect is once again a key factor in today’s designs.

2021 Forecast for the Edge
Jason Shepherd, VP of Ecosystem at ZEDEDA, shares his predictions on what will be trending in edge computing in 2021.

Analog Matters, Even in a Digital World
Why is machine learning in analog the key to smart devices with longer-lasting batteries?

Taking the Pulse of Trends in Timing—the Heartbeat of Electronics
In this forecast article, Piyush Sevalia, EVP Marketing at SiTime, explores three significant trends impacting the timing market in 2021 and beyond.

US Chip Sector Continues to Grow as Global Sales Rebound in 2020
Overall sales by US-based companies came to $208 billion in 2020, or around 47% of the market, while chips shipped into the US for use in electronics production totaled $94.2 billion, up around 20% from 2019.

Three Possible 2021 Outcomes: Pick Only One
There are three ways that 2021 could evolve. This article details each of the three and explains how and why each will result in relatively predictable revenues, but it’s uncertain which of these three will develop.

Chip supply is so tight it is shutting down automotive production lines and could affect other industries as well.

White House working to address semiconductor shortage hitting auto production
US senators urge action on shortage of auto chips
CALL FOR FUNDING: A global shortage of chips used in auto production threatens the US’ post-pandemic economic recovery, a bipartisan group of senators wrote
CEOs Urge President Biden to Fund Chips, Executive Order Expected
Car chip shortages a sign of wider demand crunch: ASML executive
Carmakers have been hit hard by a global chip shortage — here’s why
Auto Industry Chip Shortages Reflect Wider Shortfall
How Covid led to a $60 billion global chip shortage for the auto industry
TSMC to Start Dedicating New Capacity to Auto Chips First


  1. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Uusiteknologia.fi julkaisi vuonna 2021 lähes 800 uutisjuttua ja hieman isompaakin tekniikkajuttua. Samalla esittelimme kymmeniä ja satoja uusia tuotteita sekä suomalaisia innovaatioita. Tässä on yhteislistaus vuoden tarjonnasta, jos jokin niistä olisi ehtinyt mennä sinulta ohi.

  2. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Global Semiconductor Sales Increase 23.5% Year-to-Year in November; Industry Establishes Annual Record for Number of Semiconductors Sold

    WASHINGTON—Jan. 3, 2022—The Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) today announced global semiconductor industry sales were $49.7 billion in the month of November 2021, an increase of 23.5% over the November 2020 total of $40.2 billion and 1.5% more than the October 2021 total of $49.0 billion. The cumulative annual total of semiconductors sold through November 2021 reached 1.05 trillion, which is the industry’s highest-ever annual total.

    Monthly sales are compiled by the World Semiconductor Trade Statistics (WSTS) organization and represent a three-month moving average. SIA represents 98% of the U.S. semiconductor industry by revenue and nearly two-thirds of non-U.S. chip firms.

  3. Tomi Engdahl says:

    TSMC’s Arizona Culture Clash

    Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) faces challenges managing employees at its new fab in Arizona who are unaccustomed to the long work hours and management culture that in Taiwan have helped make the company the world’s largest chip foundry.

    “The work culture in Taiwan is really different than in the U.S.,” said a person identified as a TSMC Arizona fab equipment engineer on Glassdoor, a website where current and former employees anonymously review companies. “TSMC will have to change to an eight-hour work day five days a week.”

    To maximize profits, fab operators need to keep expensive and highly sensitive capital equipment running 24/7. To help prevent production halts resulting in billions of dollars of losses and scrapped silicon wafers, production engineers must monitor and tweak their equipment constantly. TSMC engineers remain on-call after ordinary working hours in the event of an emergency.

    “The reality for people from Taiwan is that they are doing even more than 12-hour days often,” said the American engineer on Glassdoor. “There’s also the night shifts and weekend shifts on duty and/or on call.”

  4. Tomi Engdahl says:

    While IC shortage has been making headlines throughout 2021, it’s important to take a closer look at the root causes of this chip crunch.
    Read the full article: http://arw.li/6183JA6fz
    #EDN #ICshortage #semiconductors

    A closer look at Covid and the semiconductor shortage saga in 2021

    Chip shortage made headlines across the globe, letting even people outside the technology business know the worth of semiconductor devices. Now, as the new year dawns, the million-dollar question is how this shortage will pan out in 2022 and beyond.

    While trade media has been busy tracing logistics vulnerabilities in the semiconductor supply chain labyrinth, the truth is that this crisis was waiting to happen after the fall of the integrated device manufacturer (IDM) model. The Covid 19 pandemic was more or less a trigger to this unprecedented disaster.

    As Arteris IP president and CEO Charlie Janac recalls, there have been shortages before, but not due to such imbalance between new semiconductor-driven applications and business models with relatively inadequate investment in foundry supply. It is worth mentioning that the Fukushima earthquake and tsunami in 2011 was a little preview of weather-related supply disruption.

    IC shortage recap

    According to Laurie Balch, research director at Pedestal Research, the first trigger in the chain of events was the worldwide shutdowns in March 2020. The impact of this disruption cannot be overstated; when semiconductor fabs shuttered, so did all production.

    Factories, including semiconductor fabs, keep a tight rein on expenses through practices like just-in-time (JIT) manufacturing. It means materials and supplies are managed carefully not to tie up money in extra inventory.

    IC customers were busily adjusting their orders from IC manufacturers based on how they thought the economic turmoil would hit their businesses.

    Executive VP for Siemens’ IC EDA Segment Joe Sawicki outlined two major factors regarding IC shortages. First is the unique nature of Covid and its impact on the economy. Rather than causing a broad recession, it instead caused one concentrated in services. Demand for goods—whether from consumers for connected exercise machines or from corporations and their need for more compute and communications to run the remote workplace—exploded and that drove heavy demand for semiconductors.

    Second, Covid caused problems in manufacturing and assembly, as occasional shutdowns occurred to bend infection curves down. Its impact on transportation is now well known. “Add on top of that the fact that some semiconductor consumers reacted very strongly at the beginning of the pandemic to turn down orders to avoid carrying excess inventory in what they thought would be a broad recession,” Sawicki said. “They found it very difficult to get manufacturing slots back given the overall increase in demand.”

    That’s how you get today’s headlines.

    Regarding the IC shortage in 2021, Arteris IP chief Janac pointed to another interesting dimension: too much demand at the leading process nodes and not enough supply. First, on the supply side, foundries stopped leading-edge node process development, and Intel fell behind in process development. That, in turn, left TSMC and Samsung as the only leading-edge foundries.

    Next, on the demand side, there are more than 450 companies designing complex system-on-chips (SoCs) across the globe, producing around 600 complex SoCs per year. It may well amount to nearly 2,000 semiconductor designs overall. Semiconductor firms are responding to great demand due to infrastructure deployment, automated driving, car electrification, machine learning implementations, and new cloud applications.

    In addition, says Janac, system houses are now designing chips. As a result, there are more and more SoC designs going to two leading-edge foundries and additional four to six trailing edge or specialized process foundries. “The semiconductor IP methodology has enabled many more companies to be successful in building SoCs.”

    So, no wonder there is a chip shortage.

    IC supply chain vulnerabilities

    However, almost two years into this pandemic, production should have settled out by now. But the initial problems caused by shutdowns have been compounded by other factors. “Several production facilities, both domestic and abroad, have been impacted by storms and drought, limiting their output,”

    Shutdowns of ports in Asia, North America, and Europe led to completed IC devices sitting idle on ships and in containers, unable to reach their destinations. It has been compounded by labor shortages in ports and ground transportation industry

    The fiasco of chip shortages of all types has illuminated how precarious the whole international supply chain is. “It relies on all links in the chain operating smoothly, so even a small hiccup can result in significant disruption,”

    Everyone in the IC supply chain is working to fix today’s problem, but the fact that the chip shortage is caused by multiple issues that haven’t been fully resolved makes it tough to get to a full resolution, she added. “The labor shortages in the ports and ground transportation industry are most certainly still plaguing everyone.”

  5. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Yoko Kubota / Wall Street Journal:
    A look at China’s HSMC and QXIC, now-defunct chipmakers that received hundreds of millions of dollars from the Chinese government yet failed to make any chips — Foundries with ties to a little-known Chinese entrepreneur set out to match TSMC and Samsung, but never commercially produced an advanced semiconductor

    Two Chinese Startups Tried to Catch Up to Makers of Advanced Computer Chips—and Failed

    Foundries with ties to a little-known Chinese entrepreneur set out to match TSMC and Samsung, but never commercially produced an advanced semiconductor

    China has spent billions of dollars in recent years trying to catch up to the world’s most advanced semiconductor makers.

    Two foundry projects, led in part by a little-known entrepreneur then in his 30s, help show why China has yet to succeed.

    The projects, in the Chinese cities of Wuhan and Jinan, were supposed to churn out semiconductors nearly as complex as the more-sophisticated chips made by industry leaders Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. and Samsung Electronics Co. , which have decades of chip-building experience.

    Chinese officials kicked in hundreds of millions of dollars to support the upstarts. But it quickly became clear the plans had been too ambitious, and local officials had underestimated how difficult—and costly—it is to make complex high-end chips.

    The two foundries, Wuhan Hongxin Semiconductor Manufacturing Corp. and Quanxin Integrated Circuit Manufacturing (Jinan) Co., burned through cash, yet never commercially built any chips.

    HSMC formally shut down in June 2021. QXIC still exists but has suspended operations, and didn’t respond to requests for comment.

    Over the past three years, at least six new major chip-building projects, including HSMC and QXIC, have failed in China, according to company statements, state media, local government documents and Tianyancha, a corporate registration database. At least $2.3 billion went into these projects, much of it coming from governments, the documents showed. Some never produced a single chip.

  6. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Dan Strumpf / Wall Street Journal:
    PitchBook: Huawei’s Hubble fund has backed 56 companies since 2019, many of them involved in chip production, as US sanctions cut off access to critical chips

    Huawei Pours Money Into China’s Chipmaking Ambitions
    Tech giant operates an investment fund that is trying to build up China’s semiconductor industry as U.S. bans weigh on company

    Blocked by the U.S. from buying many of the chips it needs, Huawei Technologies Co. is stepping up investments in companies that are racing to build China’s semiconductor supply chain.

    The Chinese technology giant is investing in the companies through a fund that it launched in 2019, around the time Washington began putting export bans on Huawei. The fund, Hubble Technology Investment Co., has backed 56 companies since its founding, according to data compiled by PitchBook, a capital markets research firm.

    Almost half of those investments have been made in the past six months, according to PitchBook, as the pain from restrictions on the company’s ability to obtain critical chips made using U.S. technology grows. Last month, Huawei said U.S. restrictions pushed its 2021 revenue down by nearly a third.

    The overwhelming majority of the companies invested in by Hubble are involved in the semiconductor supply chain, according to PitchBook and corporate records. They include emerging players in the manufacturing and design of chips, as well as companies that make semiconductor materials, design software and chip manufacturing equipment.

  7. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Debby Wu / Bloomberg:
    As TSMC reports record sales, research shows chip delivery times slipped to 25.8 weeks in December, the longest wait time since tracking began in 2017


  8. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Ron Miller / TechCrunch:
    Canalys: worldwide PC shipments grew 15% YoY in 2021 to 341M, the highest annual number since 2012; Apple shipped 28.3% more units, Acer 21.8%, and Dell 18% — It would be easy to think PC sales dropped worldwide last year amid chip shortages, but that conventional thinking would be wrong.

    Canalys: Worldwide PC shipments soared in 2021 to 341 million units
    Ron Miller@ron_miller / 6:40 PM GMT+2•January 12, 2022

  9. Tomi Engdahl says:

    It would be easy to think PC sales dropped worldwide last year amid chip shortages, but that conventional thinking would be wrong. As it turns out, Canalys reports that PC shipments grew 15% year over year in 2021 and were up 27% over 2019, with a whopping 341 million units sold.

  10. Tomi Engdahl says:

    TSMC reports Q4 revenue rose 24.1% YoY to $15.74B as net profit reached $6.01B; capital spending will reach between $40B and $44B in 2022, up from $30B in 2021

    TSMC sees multi-year growth ahead, to boost chip spending in 2022

  11. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Kustomoidun liitännän myytit murtuvat

    Elektroniikan suunnittelijat ovat usein haluttomia harkitsemaan sovelluskohtaisesti räätälöityjä liitäntäratkaisuja ennen kuin on selvää, ettei muita vaihtoehtoja juuri ole. Tämä johtuu suurelta osin yleisestä näkemyksestä, että sovelluskohteeseen räätälöidyt liittimet ovat kalliita ja että kustomointi tuo projektiin kohtuuttomia viiveitä. Lisäksi usein katsotaan, että vain yhteen valmistajaan luottaminen on riskialtista. Näillä kolmella yleisellä käsityksellä on vain vähän tai ei lainkaan todellista perustaa, vakuuttaa liitinvalmistaja Nicomaticin Phil McDavitt.


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