Monthly Archives: June 2019

Semiconductor Industry Capex History and Forecast 1983-2020

IC Insights will release its 200+ page Mid-Year Update to the 2019 McClean Report next month.  A portion of the Mid-Year Update will examine semiconductor industry capital spending trends with an industry-wide forecast through 2023.  In addition, the Update will include IC Insights’ capital spending forecast for each of the 32 major spenders for 2019 and 2020.


Figure 1 shows the annual capital spending changes from 1983 through IC Insights’ forecast for 2019 and 2020.  Over the past 34 years, there have been six periods when semiconductor industry capital spending declined by double-digits rates for one or two years (1985-1986, 1992, 1997-1998, 2001-2002, 2008-2009, and 2012-2013).


In every case between 1983 and 2010 where spending declined, a surge in spending of at least 45% occurred two years later.  The second year increases in spending after the cutbacks were typically stronger than the first year after a downturn since most semiconductor producers acted very conservatively coming out of the slowdown and waited until they had logged 4-6 quarters of good operating results before significantly increasing their capital spending again.  This is expected to be the case for 2020 with most semiconductor producers likely to be very conservative with their spending budgets for next year given the poor semiconductor market expected in 2019.  IC Insights believes that Micron’s attitude toward next year’s capital spending outlook will be representative of the industry in general.  In its most recent conference call, Micron stated that, “For fiscal 2020, we plan for capex to be meaningfully lower than fiscal 2019.”


As shown in Figure 1, the streak of strong ≥45% capital spending growth two years after spending cutbacks ended in 2015, with capital spending registering a 1% decline.  Moreover, only a 4% increase occurred 2016.  Although capital spending jumped by 41% in 2017 (four years after the 2012-2013 downturn in spending), IC Insights believes that the relatively muted cyclical behavior of the capex growth rates since 2013, as compared to past cycles, is another indication of a maturing semiconductor industry.



Figure 1: 1983-2000 Semiconductor Industry Capital Spending Growth History and Forecast


Report Details:  The 2019 McClean Report
Additional details on IC market trends 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 free access to subscriber-only webinars throughout the year.  An individual-user license to the 2019 edition of The McClean Report is priced at $4,990 and includes an Internet access password.  A multi-user worldwide corporate license is available for $7,990.

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


Achronix Selects Moortec’s 7nm Embedded Temperature Sensor to Optimise Performance and Reliability in its 4th Generation Speedster FPGA

Moortec Semiconductor Ltd, providers of complete In-Chip PVT (Process, Voltage and Temperature) Monitoring Subsystems announced today that Achronix Semiconductor Corporation have chosen Moortec’s 7nm Embedded Temperature Sensor IP to optimise performance and increase reliability for the company’s Speedster®7t FPGAs


Achronix specialise in high-performance FPGA solutions that include high-density FPGA ICs, eFPGA IP for ASIC and SoC designs, FPGA chiplets for multichip modules and SiPs (Systems in Packages), and accelerator boards for datacenter and HPC applications. Achronix also offers its best-in-class ACE tool suite, which supports all Achronix FPGA products. Achronix innovations in programmable logic set the industry standard for performance, power, and cost leadership.


Achronix’s new 7nm Speedster7t FPGA family offers up to 2.6M 6-input LUTS, 385 Mbits of embedded RAM, and up to 41K Int8 engines in the new MLP (Machine Learning Processor) blocks aimed at speeding AI/ML (Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning) applications. The first device available is the 7t1500 and includes hardened interfaces to support up to eight ports of GDDR6 high bandwidth memory, four ports of 400G Ethernet, two ports of PCIe Gen5 and thirty two 112 Gbps SerDes ports.


“Achronix chose to use Moortec’s highly accurate 7nm embedded in-chip temperature sensor in our Speedster7t FPGA devices based on their accuracy and advanced features. Moortec’s in-chip temperature sensors enabled us to overcome a number of thermal challenges associated with advanced node design.” said Steve Mensor, Achronix’s VP of Marketing.


“We are delighted to be supporting Achronix as they continue to push FPGA technology boundaries with their latest generation Speedster product” said Moortec CEO Stephen Crosher. “By working together, Moortec’s high accuracy and feature-rich embedded thermal sensing solution has helped Achronix to achieve high performance operation, especially when considering the high circuit density requirements for such advanced node FPGA solutions.”


About Achronix Semiconductor Corporation

Achronix is a privately held, fabless semiconductor corporation based in Santa Clara, California. Achronix develops FPGA products including standalone FPGA devices, FPGA chiplets, embedded FPGA IP technology and FPGA-based PCI Express hardware acceleration boards. All Achronix FPGA products are supported by its ACE design tools that include integrated support for Synopsys (NASDAQ:SNPS) Synplify Pro. The company has sales offices and representatives in the United States, Europe, and China, and has a research and design office in Bangalore, India. For more information, visit the company’s website:



About Moortec

Established in 2005, Moortec provides compelling embedded subsystem IP solutions for Process, Voltage & Temperature (PVT) monitoring, targeting advanced node CMOS technologies on 40nm, 28nm, 16nm, 12nm and 7nm. Moortec’s in-chip sensing solutions support the semiconductor design community’s demands for increased device reliability and enhanced performance optimisation, enabling schemes such as DVFS, AVS and power management control systems. Moortec provides excellent support for IP application, integration and device test during production. Moortec’s highperformance analog and mixed-signal IP designs are delivered to ASIC and System on Chip (SoC) technologies within the consumer, mobile, automotive, high performance computing and telecommunications sectors.



For more information please contact Ramsay Allen, +44 1752 875133, visit

Worldwide IC Company Market by Location – 2018

IC Insights will release its 200+ page Mid-Year Update to the 2019 McClean Report next month. A portion of the Mid-Year Update will examine the trends for worldwide IC company marketshare by headquarters location.


Figure 1 shows the 2018 IDM and fabless company shares of IC sales as well as the total worldwide share of the IC market by company headquarters location.


Figure 1


The U.S. companies’ held just over 50% of the total worldwide IC market in 2018 followed by the South Korean companies with a 27% share, up three percentage points from 2017. The Taiwanese companies, on the strength of their fabless company IC sales, held the same 6% share of total IC sales as the European companies. Overall, the South Korean and Japanese companies have an extremely weak presence in the fabless IC segment and the Taiwanese and Chinese companies have a very low share of the IDM portion of the IC market. Overall, U.S.-headquartered companies show the most balance with regard to IDM, fabless, and total IC industry marketshare.


Driven by a surge in DRAM and NAND flash memory IC sales in 2018, the South Korean-headquartered companies, primarily Samsung and SK Hynix, registered a 26% sales increase, outpacing the Chinese companies by three percentage points last year. The South Korean and Chinese companies were the only regions/countries to grow faster than the total IC industry (14%) last year. However, with the memory market expected to show a huge 30% drop in 2019, it is likely that the South Korean companies will go from “first to worst” regarding IC sales growth by company headquarters location this year as compared to last year.


Report Details: The 2019 McClean Report

Additional details on IC market trends 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 free access to subscriber-only webinars throughout the year. An individual user license to the 2019 edition of The McClean Report is priced at $4,990 and includes an Internet access password. A multi-user worldwide corporate license is available for $7,990.


More Information Contact

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

Morse Micro Partners with SiFive to Host Tech Symposium on RISC-V in Sydney

Semiconductor startups SiFive and Morse Micro are joining forces to host a one-day tech symposium focusing on the RISC-V processor architecture. The event will take place in Sydney on Friday, June 21 at The Warren Centre for Advance Engineering at the University of Sydney, and will feature presentations by industry veterans, ecosystem partners and academic luminaries. Attendees will learn about the RISC-V ecosystem, and the SaaS-based approach that is enabling fast access to custom cores, design platforms, and custom SoC solutions for emerging applications for IoT, AI, networking, storage and more.


SiFive and Morse Micro are members of the RISC-V Foundation and are actively engaged in fostering the growth of the RISC-V ecosystem. Both startups recently announced their latest investment rounds. Last week, US-based SiFive announced its US$65.4 million Series D, while the week before Australian-based Morse Micro announced its AU$23.8 million Series A capital raise.


“By developing wireless RISC-V based chips and focusing on the industry-first development of chipsets using Wi-Fi HaLow (the sub-GHz Wi-Fi standard specifically designed for IoT), Morse Micro is able to address a very wide range of segments – from the connected home to industrial IoT, consumer IoT, enterprises and new emerging markets,” said  Michael De Nil, co-founder and CEO of Morse Micro. “We are very excited to work with SiFive on the Tech Symposium in Australia and bring together world-class semiconductor engineers to continue to move this industry forward, together.”


“We’re excited to bring the SiFive Tech Symposium to Sydney and to partner with Morse Micro in this very important event,” said Swamy Irrinki, senior director of marketing for SiFive. “As we make our way around the globe with these symposiums, we are seeing how SiFive is revolutionizing the global semiconductor industry by democratizing access to custom cores and silicon solutions, not only for the big companies, but for smaller companies and startups who have big dreams but limited resources.”


Prior to the symposium, both companies are hosting the ‘Semi Down Under’ Australian semiconductor industry night event on Thursday, June 20. This is an ideal opportunity to bring together the wider Australian semiconductor community for a meet-and-greet.


For more information on the Semi Down Under event on Thursday, June 20, please visit


For more information on the SiFive Tech Symposium on Friday, June 21, please visit


About Morse Micro


Morse Micro is a Sydney-based Wi-Fi chip startup developing low power, long range wireless chips for the Internet of Things (IoT). The company was founded in 2016 by Andrew Terry and Michael De Nil, two Wi-Fi chip designer who left US Wi-Fi chipmaker Broadcom to start Morse Micro. Morse Micro consists of a team of industry experts and Wi-Fi heavyweights including Dr. John Sullivan, inventor of the underlying Wi-Fi technology, Prof. Neil Weste, founder of Radiata – the first company to commercialise Wi-Fi chips – acquired by Cisco in 2000, and Dr. David Goodall, one of the original authors of the IEEE 802.11 Wi-Fi standard. The company is headquartered in Sydney, Australia and has offices in China and the USA. Morse Micro has backing from Ray Stata, Main Sequence Ventures, Blackbird Ventures, Skip Capital, Right Click Capital, Uniseed, and Clean Energy Innovation Fund. For more information,


About SiFive


SiFive is the leading provider of market-ready processor core IP and silicon solutions based on the free and open RISC-V instruction set architecture. Led by a team of seasoned silicon executives and the RISC-V inventors, SiFive helps SoC designers reduce time-to-market and realize cost savings with customized, open-architecture processor cores, and democratizes access to optimized silicon by enabling system designers in all market verticals to build customized RISC-V based semiconductors. With 15 offices worldwide, SiFive has backing from Sutter Hill Ventures, Qualcomm Ventures, Spark Capital, Osage University Partners, Chengwei, Huami, SK Hynix, Intel Capital and Western Digital. For more information,


SiFive and the SiFive logo are trademarks of SiFive, Inc. in the United States and other countries.



CSEM and MIFS demonstrate world-record lows in energy consumption for a microcontroller.

Neuchatel, 19 June 2019—Combining CSEM’s ultra-low-power ASIC design experience with the Extreme-Low Power (ELP) DDC technology from MIFS enables new world records in power consumption. A complete process design kit, along with a range of mixed-signal silicon IPs, is now available.


The phenomenal growth of the Internet of Things and wearable technologies, combined with edge processing, is placing ever-greater demands on low-power electronics. Smart dust and unobtrusive wearables require tiny batteries or even self-powering, harvesting energy from their surroundings.


0.5V design ecosystem

CSEM, a leader in ultra-low-power ASIC design, and Mie Fujitsu Semiconductor (MIFS), a leading wafer foundry, have joined forces to develop a near-threshold 0.5V ecosystem; since energy scales with the square of the supply voltage, huge reductions in energy consumption can be achieved for similar performance. MIFS’ Deeply Depleted Channel (DDC) technology is perfectly adapted to low-power applications, while its immunity to random dopant fluctuations makes it suitable for low-voltage operation. Low-voltage operation, however, is still subject to process and temperature and other variations. To overcome the impact from these variations CSEM and MIFS applied a variety of design techniques and implemented Body-bias-based Adaptive Dynamic Frequency Scaling (ADVbbFS) as one of the key IPs.


A 32-bit RISC microcontroller designed in C55DDC was presented recently at IEEE CICC in Austin, TX, demonstrating only 2.5uW/MHz—a new world record in a 55nm CMOS process. For Keizaburo Yoshie, Senior Vice-President, MIFS, “Combining CSEM’s ULP design experience with MIFS’ DDC process technology helps realize IOT chip designs that are unbeatable in energy efficiency.” AlainSerge Porret, CSEM’s Vice-President, Integrated & Wireless Systems, says, “Low-voltage design is essential for the next generation of IOT devices; we were delighted to team up with MIFS to make this dream a reality.”



Ready for design integration

A complete design ecosystem is now available, including a process design kit (PDK) with all libraries and key analogue IP blocks. You can meet CSEM and MIFS at the Sensors Expo, 26‒27 June in San Jose, IoT & Wireless Pavilion, Booth #1045.


CSEM—technologies that make the difference

CSEM, founded in 1984, is a Swiss research and development center specializing in microtechnology, nanotechnology, microelectronics, system engineering, photovoltaics, and communications technologies. Around 450 highly qualified specialists from various scientific and technical disciplines work for CSEM in Neuchâtel, Zurich, Muttenz, Alpnach, and Landquart. Further information is available at



Media contact:

Florence Amez-Droz
Corporate Communication Manager
Tel. +41 32 720 5203
Mobile: +41 79 311 5116

Can We Believe The Hype About China’s Domestic IC Production Plans?

In the wake of tariffs and trade tension between China and the United States, government officials and company representatives throughout China have doubled down on their resolve to quickly and meaningfully grow the nation’s domestic IC business in order to reduce its dependence on critical IC components currently supplied by companies based in the U.S. and other countries.


In the memory IC market specifically, some recent headlines and reports have proclaimed that China is “unstoppable” and will soon match the output and technology level of Samsung, SK Hynix, and Micron. When those types of claims emerge, a reality check is in order.


Consider that China’s first indigenous DRAM supplier, Changxin Memory Technologies (CXMT), is due to sample its first DRAM products by the end of this year. This company has a few thousand employees and a capital spending budget of about $1.5 billion per year. In contrast, Micron and SK Hynix each have over 30,000 employees and Samsung’s memory division is estimated to have over 40,000. Moreover, in 2018, the combined capital spending from Samsung, SK Hynix, and Micron was $46.2 billion. Now that’s a reality check!


Overall, DRAM and flash memory accounted for 41% of China’s $155.1 billion IC market last year. Although some reports would have us believe that China’s wafer fab output is quickly increasing and that technology advances (particularly in memory) will catch up with those from the leading suppliers (within 3-5 years in some cases!), IC Insights completely disagrees.


While China continues to make large investments in its memory manufacturing infrastructure and has developed some clever design innovations in an attempt to avoid potential patent disputes, IC Insights remains extremely skeptical whether the country can develop a competitive indigenous memory industry even over the next 10 years and come anywhere close to meeting its memory IC needs.


One major issue, among many, that most observers overlook with regard to China becoming more self-reliant for its IC needs is its lack of indigenous non-memory IC technology. Currently, there are no major Chinese analog, mixed-signal, server MPU, MCU, or specialty logic IC manufacturers.


Moreover, these IC product segments, which represented over half of China’s IC market last year, are dominated by well-entrenched foreign IC producers with decades of experience and thousands of employees.


In IC Insights’ opinion, it will take decades for Chinese companies to become competitive in the non-memory IC product segments. While everyone is focused on China’s moves in the memory market, becoming self-reliant in non-memory IC segments poses an even more difficult problem for China.


Figure 1 shows China’s IC market versus China’s IC production. As seen, China’s IC market (IC sales into China) amounted to $155 billion in 2018.


Figure 1


Of the $155 billion worth of ICs sold in China last year, only $24.0 billion (15.5%) was manufactured in China. However, of the $24.0 billion worth of ICs manufactured in China last year, China-headquartered companies produced only $6.5 billion (27.0%), accounting for only 4.2% of the country’s $155 billion IC market. TSMC, SK Hynix, Samsung, Intel, and other foreign companies that have IC wafer fabs located in China produced the rest. IC Insights estimates that of the $6.5 billion in ICs manufactured by China-based companies, about $1.0 billion was from IDMs and $5.5 billion was from foundries like SMIC.


If China-based IC manufacturing rises to $45.2 billion in 2023 as IC Insights forecasts, China-based IC production would still represent only 8.4% of the total forecasted 2023 worldwide IC market of $538.8 billion. Even after adding a significant markup to some of the Chinese producers’ IC sales (many Chinese IC producers are foundries that sell their ICs to companies that re-sell these products to the electronic system producers), China-based IC production would still likely represent only about 10% of the global IC market in 2023.




Worldwide IC Market ($B) 421.7

China IC Market ($B) 155.1


China-based IC Production ($B) 24.0

% of WW IC Market 5.7%

% of China IC Market 15.5%


China-HQ IC Production ($B) 6.5

% of total China IC Production 27.1%

% of WW IC Market 1.5%

% of China IC Market 4.2%


Currently, China is putting on a brave face with regard to its future IC industry capabilities. However, given the extremely small and undeveloped starting base of Chinese company IC production and technology today, IC Insights believes it is essentially impossible for China to make significant strides in becoming self-sufficient for its IC needs (memory and non-memory) within the next 5 years and probably not even within the next 10 years.


Report Details: The 2019 McClean Report

Additional details on IC market trends 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 250+ page Mid-Year Update), and free access to subscriber-only webinars throughout the year. An individual user license to the 2019 edition of The McClean Report is priced at $4,990 and includes an Internet access password. A multi-user worldwide corporate license is available for $7,990.


More Information Contact

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