The 2013 Rocky Horror Semi Show

2013 may see some semiconductor horror stories. Especially if demand doesn’t improve.

“There are a lot of potential casualties out there praying for a recovery to get them out of trouble,” Malcolm Penn, CEO of Future Horizons, told IFS2013 in London earlier this week.

“Some firms & CEOs/CTOs are getting it horribly wrong,” added Penn, “semis may be struggling, but bio & nanotech are back on track. Software is even further ahead – well into a mini-boom with the move to agile development methodologies killing off Indian ‘Software Factories’.”

“Given that all these industries require significant feed from semiconductors, what’s needed are, said Penn:

.  Sensors, Sensors & More Sensors

.  Lab-On-A-Chip Analysis

.  Intelligent Power Control (Beyond just mobile phones)

.  Optical Lasers & UV Cameras

.  5-10GHz Ultra Fast Intel Compatible Core Processors (NOT multicore)

.  Seemingly Endless Possibilities For MEMS


Penn urged CEOs and CTOs to look at European consortia projects  like MEDEA & CATRENE, and investigate possibilities in 3D printing, robotics, energy, medical & automotive.


One comment

  1. I don’t agree that 5-10GHz Intel compatible single-core processors is a good thing. Intel moved away from fast single cores for a good reason: Their 3.6GHz Pentium D single core burned 130W, and given that power use scales quadratically with clock speed (on the same technology), a 7.2GHz processor would burn more than 500W. Granted, the technology has moved on, so Intel could probably now make a 8GHz x86 processor that uses “only” around 150W. But at the same power budget, they could have 16 2GHz cores, which (if exploited fully) gives four times the compute power.
    And even if some users find it hard to exploit multiple cores and push for faster single cores, they are only postponing the inevitable: In the future, you _will_ need to exploit double-digit cores if you want performance. So if you are not preparing for this now, you will hit an even harder wall in a few years.

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