Interview: Silicon Labs on the IoT

February 14, 2017 // By Graham Prophet
Editor's note; The Chief Marketing Officer of Silicon Labs (Austin, TX), Michele Grieshaber, offers us – before we get too far into 2017 – this view of how the semiconductor industry may shape up as the year progresses. In the concluding pages, she also adds observations on her own company's position and preparations looking forward over the same time period.

Ms. Grieshaber begins by observing, “The semiconductor industry landscape is changing dramatically. The rapid development of the Internet of Things (IoT) is driving the need for semiconductor vendors to bring comprehensive silicon and software solutions to market, helping customers simplify and accelerate IoT design. The huge number of connected devices (IHS Markit forecasts 75.4 billion IoT devices deployed by 2025), the diversity of applications and market segments, and the need for fast time to market present both challenges and opportunities for IoT solution providers.”

 

Outlook on Industry Trends and Challenges; Semiconductor Industry Growth

“The semiconductor industry has matured to a steady pace of incremental, single-digit growth. Leading analysts agree that industry growth in 2016 will be [retrospectively seen to be] virtually flat, with a growth rate well below 1%. This tepid growth is due in part to the slowdown of the computer and mobile handset markets. Chip industry growth is expected to resume again in 2017. The World Semiconductor Trade Statistics (WSTS) organization forecasts the global semiconductor market to be up about 3% in 2017. Despite this cautious outlook, we’ll see pockets of accelerated growth driven by technology innovation and market demand. Compelling growth markets include automotive (ADAS/autonomous cars, connected cars and infotainment systems), virtual reality/augmented reality (VR/AR) systems, and several Internet of Thing segments including home automation, connected lighting, security and wearables.

 

“More connected devices will be joining the IoT in 2017. Consumers will be interacting with an average of three or more connected devices on a daily basis, and we will continue see more IoT connectivity throughout all aspects of our lives. Silicon Labs is well-positioned to benefit from IoT growth markets by offering comprehensive silicon and software solutions targeting IoT end node applications requiring low-power wireless connectivity. IoT product sales are approaching nearly half of Silicon Labs’ annual revenues, and our strategic growth target for IoT products is 20% per year. We expect this strong IoT growth trend to continue in 2017 and beyond.”

next; Industry Consolidation (Mergers and Acquisitions)