ai semiconductor industry growth lot new driver
Tech: A key driver of growth for semiconductor industryTHE following are more thoughts from the four experts.The Edge: It is anticipated that AI will be the next growth driver for thesemiconductor industry. What is your view on that?Priestley: Since 2016, AI has become the most impactful and disruptivetechnology to all technology and service providers. Gartner’s view is that themarket for AI systems is still evolving. [This] is creating an opportunity fornew customised and semi-customised semiconductor devices.Armstrong: AI is the next big growth driver for a lot of industries. Thanks toautomation, AI will drive a new wave of efficiencies and cost-savings, amongother things.Heng: Many big corporations are investing quite substantially to acquire andto have a share in AI. Coupled with the release of 5G, I think it will grow.Chu: AI is definitely good for us because big data analytics requires a lot ofservers. A server is an expensive electronic board that requires a lot ofinspection and quality control, and that’s where we come in.What are the key drivers of demand growth in AI semiconductors and, moreimportantly, how will AI adoption impact industry dynamics?Priestley: The driving force behind semiconductors and the electronicsindustry has shifted significantly during the past few years. The momentum ofthe internet of things and the growing numbers of IoT projects have attractedthe semiconductor industry to invest in technologies to support the growingdemands of intelligent products (including connected cars) and servers.Armstrong: Cost-effectiveness and the desire to remain competitive (or aheadof competitors) will be the key areas that affect demand in this area. AIcosts money and those who want it enough will make it happen.Heng: If AI takes off successfully, semiconductors will see another bullishcycle and opportunity.Chu: AI means a lot of computational power, you need a lot of data centres.Each data centre requires a lot of switchers, routers and other hardwareinfrastructure, which need reliable boards that need to go through visioninspection. AI needs to have a strong connection between the sensors tocollect information in order to make the right decisions. This will drive thedemand for semiconductors.The automotive segment is expected to be the next big wave for thesemiconductor industry. The most common AI application is for autonomousvehicles. If we draw a line between AI and automotive, which is more likely tobe the next growth driver for the global semiconductor industry, AI orautomotive?Priestley: Automotive electronics was one of the fastest-growing segments inthe semiconductor industry in 2016, as sales of semiconductor products to theautomotive industry were fuelled by increasing motor vehicle production andincreasing electronic content. The automotive sector continues to be a brightspot in the semiconductor market.Armstrong: AI is likely going to drive more innovation and opportunities butboth (AI and automotive) will have a significant impact on the future ofsemiconductors.Heng: I think there is no need to distinguish between that because AI willgenerate a large set of new technologies — that in itself is driving growth.We are talking about technology from wafer fabrication, integration, assemblyand testing. As for hardware, it will be mainly driven by existing and newsensors. Each AI system will require the integration of many sensors, whichwill support quantum growth in semiconductor quantity, and drive capitalexpenditure and new material too.Chu: AI covers such a huge area. We have smart city, smart car, smartbuilding, smart toilet, smartphone — all these things are related to AI.Huawei has launched its AI chipset, which needs processors and sensors, thusdriving the demand for chips.