2018 will be a disruptive year for the semiconductor industry as the world transitions to new manufacturing methods to suit ever growing demands. Semiconductors are expected to change with the evolution of IoT devices. OLED and smart phone penetration will have as much impact on innovation, and MicroLED will irrevocably change the landscape.
Tomorrow’s cars (which are increasingly today’s cars) rely on innovative mapping applications and automation. Automotive chips already account for 8% of all semiconductor sales, but growth will continue at a projected rate of 6% annually. That will continue to fuel exciting R&D focus.
Business Management Trends
According to McKinsey & Company, the semiconductor industry will need to change its basic management strategies to improve productivity and lower expenses. Data analytics will help companies face demands by improving accuracy, reliability, and risk assessment. To date, few companies have managed to use advanced analytics effectively in this industry, but easy access to computing power and storage infrastructure will change this.
China is expected to become the world’s second largest chip equipment spender, at a staggering growth rate of 54% annually. Its manufacturers are big wafer fab equipment spenders, so one of the most dramatic areas of innovation will fall into this category. China plays no small part in the increasing demand for equipment.
MicroLED display research will need to focus on 4 to 5 µm thick LED surfaces, so new techniques will be needed to manage the way chips are transferred onto IC boards. They will need to evolve well beyond OLED technology, and the R&D spending is likely to affect a huge number of tangential technologies.
Artificial intelligence will expand the semiconductor sector, and machine learning’s developments will change the ecosystem dramatically. The world is about to become smarter, and semiconductors will be the superheroes that lead the charge.