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Cloud Computing, IoT Drive Chip Design Surge

August 01, 2018 / George Leopold

Semiconductor design is booming, propelled by unrelenting demand for new memory chips, cloud computing and the digitization of entire industry sectors such as automotive and industrial. Technology tracker IHS Markit estimates chip design spending will top $300 billion in 2018 for the first time, up nearly $20 billion over last year. Annual spending will “remain strong, thanks to expensive memory components whose high prices carried over to this year after puffing up the chip market in 2017,” said Myson Robles-Bruce, semiconductor industry research manager at IHS.“Last year’s boom gave memory companies surplus cash to increase investment in production capacity and to boost output, improving the supply of NAND and DRAM and forcing prices to soften,” he added. Along with memory market gyrations, the chip design report cites growing digitization and networking on the factory floor and behind the wheel. For example, automotive industry analysts note that innova...