Monthly Archives: October 2018

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Pure-Play Semiconductor Foundries Sales Per Application 2017-2018

With tremendous growth of smartphones over the past decade, foundry sales to the communications market have soared and are now forecast to account for about 3x more than IC foundry sales to the computer market in 2018, based on IC Insights’ extensive part-two analysis of the integrated circuit foundry business in the September Update to The 2018 McClean Report (Figure 1).



Figure 1



Ten years ago, computers/computing systems were easily the largest application for pure-play IC foundry sales, but a relatively flat tablet PC market and lackluster desktop and notebook PC sales since 2011 contributed to weak pure-play foundry sales into the computer segment.


pure play foundry sales per application 2017

Now, new server applications targeting artificial intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things, Cloud Computing, and cryptocurrency are forecast to breathe new life into this market segment over the next five years. TSMC expects its IC sales into the IoT segment will grow by a CAGR of more than 20% from 2017 through 2022 (the company had greater than $1.0 billion in IoT sales in 2017).

pure play foundry sales per application 2018

Although IC foundry sales for computer applications are expected to surge 41% this year (driven by TSMC’s cryptocurrency device sales), the communications foundry market is still expected to be about 3x the size of the computer segment in 2018.  The communications foundry market is forecast to display only a 2% growth rate in 2018, six points less than the total pure-play foundry market growth rate expected for this year.

Overall, the communications (52%), computer (19%), and consumer (13%) market segments are forecast to represent 84% of the pure-play IC foundry market in 2018.


Report Details:  The 2018 McClean Report
Additional details and trends within the IC industry are provided in The McClean Report—A Complete Analysis and Forecast of the Integrated Circuit Industry.  A subscription to The McClean Report includes freemonthly updates from March through November (including a 200+ page Mid-Year Update), and free access to subscriber-only webinars throughout the year.  An individual-user license to the 2018 edition of The McClean Report is priced at $4,290 and includes an Internet access password.  A multi-user worldwide corporate license is available for $7,290.


To review additional information about IC Insights’ new and existing market research reports and services please visit our website:


More Information Contact

For more information regarding this Research Bulletin, please contact Bill McClean, President at IC Insights. Phone: +1-480-348-1133, email:
PDF Version of This Bulletin

A PDF version of this Research Bulletin can be downloaded from our website at



Silicon Creations Named TSMC Partner of the Year 2018 for Analog / Mixed-Signal IP

Silicon Creations, a leading supplier of high-performance analog and mixed-signal intellectual property (IP), was awarded the 2018 TSMC Open Innovation Platform® (OIP) Partner of the Year Award for Analog / Mixed Signal IP for the second consecutive year at the recent TSMC OIP Symposium.


Silicon Creations has collaborated with TSMC, the world’s leading foundry, on multiple process nodes since 2006, up to and including 5nm. The decade long collaboration has included several milestones, the latest being the shipment of the 1,000,000th 16nm wafer containing Silicon Creations’ PLLs.


As of October 2018, Silicon Creations PLL and SerDes IP has been used on over 370 mass production tape-outs with nearly 4 million wafers shipped in 7nm to 180nm. This collaboration provides customers with benefits that include lowered risk, raised yield and shorter time to market.


Silicon Creations’ extensive portfolio of PLL and high-speed I/O IPs has been assessed through the TSMC 9000 IP quality management program for several processes ranging from 180nm to 7nm. Along with the PLL success at TSMC, Silicon Creations recently broadened its IP support in safety critical applications and have provided ISO26262-compliant documentation packages for PLLs in 16FFC and 7FF.


“We are extremely pleased to receive this award and be recognized as a partner with TSMC,” said Jeff Galloway, executive vice-president, Silicon Creations. “Our year-over-year collaboration with TSMC on multiple process nodes has provided our mutual customers the ability to successfully design and deliver the next generation of electronic products.”



Silicon Creations is focused on providing world-class silicon intellectual property (IP) for precision and general-purpose timing (PLLs), SerDes and high-speed differential I/Os. Silicon Creations’ IP is proven from 7- to 180-nanometer process technologies. With a complete commitment to customer success, its IP has an excellent record of first silicon to mass production in customer designs. Silicon Creations, founded in 2006, is self-funded and growing. The company has development centers in Atlanta, Ga., and Krakow, Poland, and worldwide sales representation. For more information, visit

Silicone wafers in a carrier

Major Pure-Play Foundries Revenue Per Wafer 2017-2018

The average revenue generated from processed wafers among the four biggest pure-play foundries (TSMC, GlobalFoundries, UMC, and SMIC) is expected to be $1,138 in 2018, when expressed in 200mm-equivalent wafers, which is essentially flat from $1,136 in 2017, according to a new analysis by IC Insights (Figure 1).  The average revenue per wafer among the Big 4 foundries peaked in 2014 at $1,149 and then slowly declined through last year, based on IC Insights’ extensive part-two analysis of the integrated circuit foundry business in the September Update to The 2018 McClean Report.


Figure 1


TSMC’s average reenue per wafer in 2018 is forecast to be $1,382, which is 36% higher than GlobalFoundries’ $1,014.  UMC’s average revenue per wafer in 2018 is expected to be only $715, about half of the projected amount at TSMC this year.  Furthermore, TSMC is the only foundry among the Big 4 that is expected to generate higher revenue per wafer (9% more) in 2018 than in 2013.  In contrast, GlobalFoundries, UMC, and SMIC’s 2018 revenue per wafer averages are forecast to decline by 1%, 10%, and 16%, respectively, compared to 2013.



Although the average revenue per wafer of the Big 4 foundries is forecast to be $1,138 this year, the amount generated is highly dependent upon the minimum feature size of the IC processing technology. Figure 2 shows the typical 2Q18 revenue per wafer for some of the major technology nodes and wafer sizes produced by pure-play foundries.  In 2Q18, there was more than a 16x difference between the 0.5µ 200mm revenue per wafer ($370) and the ≤20nm 300mm revenue per wafer ($6,050).  Even when using revenue per square inch, the difference is dramatic ($7.41 for the 0.5µ technology versus $53.86 for the ≤20nm technology).  Since TSMC gets such a large percentage of its sales from ≤45nm production, its revenue per wafer is expected to increase by a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 2% from 2013 through 2018 as compared to a -2% CAGR for the total revenue per wafer average of GlobalFoundries, UMC, and SMIC during this same time period.




Figure 2



There will probably be only three foundries able to offer high-volume leading-edge production over the next five years (i.e., TSMC, Samsung, and Intel).  IC Insights believes these companies are likely to be fierce competitors among themselves—especially TSMC and Samsung—and as a result, pricing will likely be under pressure through 2022.

Report Details:  The 2018 McClean Report
Additional details and trends within the IC industry are provided in The McClean Report—A Complete Analysis and Forecast of the Integrated Circuit Industry.  A subscription to The McClean Report includes free monthly updates from March through November (including a 200+ page Mid-Year Update), and freeaccess to subscriber-only webinars throughout the year.  An individual-user license to the 2018 edition of The McClean Report is priced at $4,290 and includes an Internet access password.  A multi-user worldwide corporate license is available for $7,290.



To review additional information about IC Insights’ new and existing market research reports and services please visit our website:



More Information Contact

For more information regarding this Research Bulletin, please contact Bill McClean, President at IC Insights. Phone: +1-480-348-1133, email:
PDF Version of This Bulletin

A PDF version of this Research Bulletin can be downloaded from our website at



Sankalp Semiconductor Opens Second Design Centre in Bangalore

Sankalp Semiconductor, a design service company offering comprehensive digital & mixed signal SoC services and solutions, today announced opening of its second new design centre in Bangalore. The company already has four design centres in India (Hubli, Kolkata, Ahmedabad and Bangalore). Sankalp’s second design center is located in the Global Technology Park and will be a center of excellence for global chip design projects in the Analog design & Physical Design space.


“Bangalore is a strategic location to multiple of our customers. Our offices in Bangalore will allow us to maintain a close proximity to India customers and scale our existing Offshore Design Center (ODC) for global customers,” said Nagaraj Azhakesan, COO, Sankalp Semiconductor. “We plan to scale the second design center to a team of 100 people by end of this current financial year”


Sankalp Semiconductor has executed multitude of complex digital and mixed signal SoC (System-On-Chip) projects for variety of its customers in Automotive, Consumer, Networking, Wireless, IoT, Medical, Foundry verticals.


Sankalp Semiconductor founded in 2005 with a focus to serve the semiconductor companies by primarily offering analog & mixed signal design services. Today, Sankalp with a team of 850+ engineering professionals has design centres in Hubli, Bengaluru, Kolkata and Ahmedabad in India and Ottawa, Canada. The company provides unique advantage to its semiconductor customers by enabling them at any point of semiconductor services life cycle with the ability to provide end-to-end solutions.


About Sankalp Semiconductor


Sankalp Semiconductor offers an integrated portfolio of services and solutions to its customers in key semiconductor domains including digital, analog, high-speed physical interface IP, Embedded Memory Compiler and EDA modelling. Sankalp Semiconductor is a preferred semiconductor design service partner to multiple Fortune 500 companies in the Automotive, Consumer Electronics, Industrial IoT and Medical electronics space. The company enables its customers achieve their time-to-market window by delivering first time right silicon designs and engage with product engineering teams across the globe to design System-on-Chip. Sankalp Semiconductor is based in Sunnyvale, California, with offices in USA, India, Canada, Germany and Malaysia.


Contact Information:

Eklovya Sharma

Sankalp Semiconductor

98790 48571 (Cell)

Depositphotos_87180538_l-2015 small

What is an IC Design Services Company and How to Choose one?

If you are reading this article it’s probably because you’ve came to realize that an IC (Integrated Circuit) might give your company or your product a massive edge in the market. There are many reasons to use an IC in your product: It can minimize your product size and make your product smarter and it can also reduce your product’s power consumption while increasing its performance. If you have decided to use an IC but you don’t have the design skills or the resources– you may want to outsource the IC design activities to an external company: an IC design services company.


10 years ago, I was an IC manager in a small company, where we developed medical systems. Each product had 2-3 ICs. We typically outsourced one of the ICs to an external IC design company due to resource problem. Choosing the right IC design company was a big issue for us because we knew very well how long was an IC development cycle and we could not afford any errors that would cause a product shipment delay. Our deadlines were set in stone and we wanted to choose the best IC design house that we could afford. Some team members wanted to work with a local IC company to save travel time and avoid communication problems. Other members preferred seeking an off-shore team that had proven experience with developing ICs for medical applications. So, as you can see, there are multiple considerations when selecting an IC design services partner.


In this paper, I’ve assembled some guidelines on how to select an IC design services company that can meet your requirements perfectly.


Towards a Better IC


You may already ask yourself “how do I get a better IC?”, the answer I always give is “start with knowing your customers better”. Because the more you know your customers and their pains the more you will be accurate with defining your IC. A typical IC lifetime is 5-10 years, so while you create your IC requirement specifications you need to consider your customers need now and in the future. The more you will be out of your office talking to customers – the more you will know about their needs and requirements. A great IC strategy is ultimately about getting closer to what any customer wants: solving a problem better than before, with greater convenience, at a lower Price. Any IC strategy that does based on this is just a distraction.


What is an IC design services company?


An IC design services company is a company that offers IC development services. The company consists of engineers that have experience in designing ICs and can undergo IC development services for small or large ICs. Some ASIC design companies can offer IC manufacturing services as well.


What services does an IC design company offer?


Depending on your project needs, an IC design company can offer: converting a specification document into a working IC. The company can support either an entire project or a small block development. Here is a general list of services one can obtain from an IC design services company:


  • IC feasibility study
  • Architecture/concept design
  • Technology selection
  • Full IC development
  • Block/IP level IC development
  • IP integration
  • IC simulation
  • IC verification
  • IC qualification
  • IC manufacturing
  • IC support & upgrades


What type of tools and languages an IC design company uses?


Designing an IC requires specific expertise and full control over programming languages and development tools e.g. EDA (Electronic Design Automation) tools. EDA tools are software tools used to design ICs. The following is a list of programming languages and popular development tools available in the market today.


Programming Languages:

VHDL, Verilog and System Verilog.


IC Development Tools:






What type of IC expertise the IC design house has?


IC expertise is without question one of the major decision criteria when selecting a vendor. You want to work with an IC design team that undertook similar design projects before starting to work on your project.  If you were to develop a WiFi chip, it’s best if you choose an IC design company that has experience in this area (wireless). You should never use a high-voltage design team to develop a wireless chip and vice versa.


The following is a list of IC “domains” we found useful in our search process, there a many more domains, so please use this list as a baseline to create your own shortlist:


Market Requirements:


Automotive ICs – developing a chip for the automotive industry requires an automotive certified IC design flow and understanding of various safety standards. Automotive is not a technical requirement, therefore it can apply to any of the technical expertise categories below.


Medical ICs – Developing a chip for the medical market may requires compliance to some standards related to health and safety.


Technical Expertise:


High Voltage ICs – Today, anything above +5V is considered high voltage. A few examples of ICs in this domain: LED drivers, power devices, power management chips or any design that uses +5V or higher.


Wireless (RF) ICs – Any chip that has a transmitter or a receiver would be considered as a wireless chip. For example: WiFi, Bluetooth, RFID/NFC or any chip that has high speed interfaces such as: PCIe, SERDES etc.


Low Power ICs – If your IC is deployed in a battery-operated product or a power sensitive product you’ll need to find an IC design company that has experience in designing ICs for low power (or: ultra-low power).


Digital ICs – Purely digital chips.


Analog ICs – Purely analog chips.


Mixed Signal ICs – A chip that consists of both analog and digital content. For example: an IoT chip that has a CPU and a wireless or sensor interface.


Superhero kid wearing boxing gloves against blue sky background. Girl power and feminism concept


Conclusions and next steps


Designing an IC requires specific expertise both in IC development process and in your application area. It’s only through precise execution with right IC design services partner you will be able to assure a reliable, bug free solution. When you use AnySilicon’s search tool, try to search for the keywords that are within your IC application area, this will help you get the most relevant IC design companies.


It all starts with selecting the right IC partner.

cis yole

CMOS image sensors: Yole Dévelopement is increasing its forecasts again

“2017 was an excellent year for CIS[1], with growth observed in all segments except computing,” comments Pierre Cambou, Principal Analyst, Technology & Market, Imaging at Yole Développement (Yole). Driven by new applications, the industry’s future remains on strong footing.


Yole announces its annual technology & market analysis focused on the CIS industry, from 2017 to 2023, titled: Status of the CMOS Image Sensor Industry. In 2017 the CIS market reached US$13.9 billion. The market research & strategy consulting company forecasts a 9.4% CAGR[2] between 2017 and 2023, driven mainly by smartphones integrating additional cameras to support functionalities like optical zoom, biometry, and 3D interactions.


Yole proposes this year again a comprehensive technology & market analysis of the CMOS Image Industry. In addition to a clear understanding of the CIS ecosystem, analysts detail in this new edition, 2017-2023 forecasts, a relevant description of the M&A[3] activities, an impressive overview of the dual and 3D camera trends for mobile. Mobile and consumer applications are also well detailed in this 2018 edition, with a deep added-value section focused on technology evolution.




In collaboration with Jean-Luc Jaffard, formerly at STMicroelectronics and part of Red Belt Conseil, Pierre Cambou pursued his investigation all year long and reveals today the status of the CIS industry.


2017 saw aggregated CIS industry revenue of US$13.9 billion. And 5 years later, the consulting company Yole announces more than US$ 23 billion. The YoY[4] growth hit a peak at 20% due to the exceptional increase in image sensor value, across almost all markets, but primarily in the mobile sector. “CIS keeps its momentum”, confirms Pierre Cambou from Yole.


Revenue is dominated by mobile, consumer, and computing, which represent 85% of total 2017 CIS revenue. Mobile alone represents 69%. Security is the second-largest segment, behind automotive.


The CIS ecosystem is currently dominated by the three Asian heavyweights: Sony, Samsung, and Omnivision. Europe made a noticeable comeback. Meanwhile, the US maintains a presence in the high-end sector.


The market has benefited from the operational recovery of leading CIS player Sony, which captured 42% market share. “…Apple iPhone has had a tremendous effect on the semiconductor industry, and on imaging in particular. It offered an opportunity for its main supplier, Sony, to reach new highs in the CIS process, building on its early advances in high-end digital photography…”, explains Pierre Cambou in its article: Image sensors have hugely benefited from Apple’s avant-garde strategy posted on


The CIS industry is able to grow at the speed of the global semiconductor industry, which also had a record year, mainly due to DRAM revenue growth. CIS have become a key segment of the broader semiconductor industry, featuring in the strategy of most key players, and particularly the newly-crowned industry leader Samsung. Mobile, security and automotive markets are all in the middle of booming expansion, mostly benefiting ON Semiconductor and Omnivision.


These markets are boosting most players that are able to keep up with technology and capacity development through capital expenditure. The opportunities are all across the board, with new players able to climb the rankings, such as STMicroelectronics and Smartsense. Technology advancement and the switch from imaging to sensing is fostering innovation at multiple levels: pixel, chip, wafer, all the way to the system.


CIS sensors are also at the forefront of 3D semiconductor approaches. They are a main driver in the development of artificial intelligence. Yole’s analysts foresee new techniques and new applications all ready to keep up the market growth momentum… A detailed description of this report is available on, imaging reports section.



[1] CIS : CMOS Image Sensor

[2] CAGR: Compound Annual Growth Rate

[3] M&A: Merger & Acquisition

[4] YoY : Year-on-year