Metamaterials Show Promise in Providing Solutions to the SoC Market

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The SoC market has become the largest segment of the worldwide semiconductor market and is expected to reach $169.8B by 2021, a 7.7% CAGR. The adoption of the SoC design methodology has allowed the creation of very complex silicon solutions with rich feature sets and functionality. However, the predicted end of 'Moore's Law' is looming over the industry as improvements, once taken for granted through process geometry gains, start to become much harder to achieve at each new process node.
One possible solution that holds much promise is the emergence of 'Metamaterials' in the silicon design and manufacturing flow. A new research report from Semico, System(s)-on-a-Chip: SoC Market Analysis and Forecast, discusses this new class of materials and also has an in-depth analysis of the SoC market. This report forecasts that the CAGR for SoC revenues will reach 7.7% by 2021, continuing to outpace the larger semiconductor market growth rate.
"One of the very interesting facets of the emergence of 'Metamaterials' is the breadth of the research activity around the world in universities, research labs and semiconductor companies. There are new announcements every day of new compounds being discovered that can impact the design and manufacture of semiconductors of every type," says Rich Wawrzyniak, Principal Analyst. "Specific to the semiconductor industry, Metamaterials will not replace silicon in the manufacturing process; the industry simply has too much money invested in current plants and equipment. Instead, Metamaterials will enhance the silicon we already use to solve some of the looming problems the industry faces and to imbue entirely new capabilities to the silicon we already use," said Wawrzyniak.

Key findings of this new research include:

  • The Americas market will experience strong growth over the forecast period to reach $32B by 2021.
  • Total SoC market revenue will experience 7.7% CAGR from 2016 - 2021
  • Basic SoCs have the highest CAGR at 11.2% by 2021, strongly driven by IoT applications
  • The Chinese market will show the highest unit volume CAGR of 11.9% through 2021
  • The total world market for SoCs reached $117.2B in 2016, a 5.1% growth over 2015


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