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Thursday, February 01, 2007

Wireless networking boom for 2007 as silicon design teams spin out

The latest figures from leading market researcher Future Horizons see boom times for Ultrawideband (UWB), Zigbee and WiMax networking chips over the next five years, as well as DAB digital radio and silicon for robotics. But the value of chips for DVD players will almost halve, being replaced by the growth in DVD recorders, and if you are designing RFID tags for anything other than shop applications, stop!

Design teams spin out

The other area that will grow will be spin outs of design teams. As companies follow a 'fab lite' strategy (see my NXP stories in November and the recent David Manners blog on this topic) that is really a fabless strategy, Malcolm Penn predicts we will see more and more of the silicon design teams spinning out of the big chip companies as there is no need for that vertical company structure any more. Which means startup support will be even more important as time goes on. There are some big implications here, for the way companies link together, communicate and even how they buy services, that will be a running theme through the next 12 to 18 months.

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