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We were lucky to have Cadence CEO Lip-Bu Tan visit India recently, when he keynoted at CDNLive India.
Lip-Bu always has interesting insights. He has always been very positive about the future of the semiconductor industry, and this year was no different. One of the key messages that he left with the audience was that there is an ocean of opportunity ahead for semiconductor development, enough to be very excited about and not just from the point of design.
Lip-Bu started by quoting Credit Suisse: “The transition to a Data-Driven Economy will accelerate semi growth and perhaps drive semis to become the NEW STAPLE.”
“In fact, there is a lot more money to be made in the semiconductor industry,” he said, adding that this encouraging view was also supported by his experience as chairman of venture capital firm Walden International.
Lip-Bu outlined the key waves that are driving the semiconductor industry’s growth, : Mobile, Edge Computing, Data Center and Automotive, all of which are being underpinned by Machine Learning (ML) – what he called the “transformational wave”.
He added that there were huge investments being made into artificial intelligence and ML, right from large companies to startups.
It is these investments that is driving innovation in the $400 billion semiconductor industry and in this innovation, performance per watt is key. Already, many start-ups are addressing this space.
ML is being democratized and will be a game changer across all application domains, Lip-Bu predicted. In fact, Lip-Bu predicts that a new line of business – ML as a service – will emerge.
The cloud is another big opportunity and innovation to scale up storage will prove vital in achieving success in this market.
“System design enablement will drive this economy. At Cadence, we are driving AI and ML across all our tools.”
In the data-driven economy, data creation, transmission, storage and analytics play the main role, interacting with and impacting one another, while technologies that will dominate this economy are mobile, automotive, ML, edge computing and data centers.
Lip-Bu spoke about some key disruptive technologies that will be future growth drivers, including silicon photonics, quantum computing, nanotubes, and blockchain.
But the one that is really exciting is the rise of neuromorphic computing, where circuits in the chips mimic the human nervous system. While not a particularly new technology, Lip-Bu said that the game changer is the advancement of machine learning, which could take neuromorphic computing closer to reality.
Lip-Bu ended by going back to his theme at the start – the semi future is bright and there is tons of opportunity!