The production value of Taiwan’s semiconductor industry in 2014 is expected to post good results, with the total value forecast to exceed NT$2 trillion (US$66.41 billion). Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) Chairman Morris Chang said at the 2014 World Semiconductor Council (WSC) that Taiwan’s semiconductor industry will remain promising. He also reiterated a remark he had made on March 27 that the Internet of Things (IoT) will be not only the next big thing for the semiconductor industry, but also one of the very prominent areas of business in the future. He believes the IoT can spur development in related fields and help form a supply chain.
As what Chang had previously pointed out, the semiconductor industry has been following Moore’s Laws, but after decades of development, it will be nearly impossible some day for a chip to shrink any further in size due to its physical properties. The semiconductor industry, however, will continue to thrive, mainly because of multiple applications in different areas of business and the high demand for chips. The IoT will be next big development in the future, dubbed “the next Big Thing,” and will bring whole new opportunities to the industry.
Chang said at the WSC that the global semiconductor industry yielded an average year-on-year growth rate of 3 to 5 percent in the past few years. Companies that meet the needs of smartphone and tablet productions enjoyed relatively high growth rate. Such companies included Taiwan’s TSMC and MediaTek Inc. and the U.S.’ Qualcomm, with some of them scoring year-on-year growth rate of nearly 20 percent, benefiting from the previous “Big Thing” — smartphones and tablets.
With the slowing growth rate in smartphones and tablet computers markets, the market for high-end devices is near the saturation point but mid- and low-end devices still pose great business potential. Overall, the semiconductor industry cannot purely rely on smarphones and tablet computers for the growth rate. The IoT, wearable digital devices and smart home systems are expected to bring new business opportunities for the semiconductor industry.
TechNews believes that the IoT does have great business potential but Taiwanese chip makers still need to integrate more technology and patent rights and build a platform to facilitate the use of Taiwan-made chips in the IoT. Taiwan’s foundry chain has developed a sophisticated manufacturing process and is able to lower cost for clients. Taiwanese companies are not expected to be absent from the chip manufacturing for future IoT applications.
With the semiconductor production value estimated at NT$2 trillion, the government, the industry and the academics should all pay more attention to the future development of the semiconductor industry, possible resources and its business potential.