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Despite Dire News, Chip Design Starts may be on Rise

Today’s Wall Street Journal article made me wonder about our own Chip Design Trends data: Chip Makers See Hardship for Industry.

Our trends database shows the continuing year-to-year decline in pre-silicon chip investigations. These “investigations? – over 44k in total since the end of 1995 – serve as a precursive indicator to actual chip design starts. What is interesting is that this data shows monthly trends in these chip investigations are increasing. The rolling average of total design profiles from March through September 2008 is sloping upward, which suggests a significant pick-up in the “interest? in future design starts.

Next time I’ll share the specific markets areas to which these chip investigations are strongest.

3 Responses to “Despite Dire News, Chip Design Starts may be on Rise”

  1. harry the ASIC guy Says:

    Hi John,

    Interesting data. I’m by no means an expert on market trends or analyzing this kind of data, but here is my initial thought.

    The most recent bad financial news is not yet reflected in this data. That all happened mostly in Sept. and the ripple effects will probably occur over the next year or so as company layoffs will necessitate a reduction in design starts (one would think).

    I’m interested to see the specific markets split out.


  2. John Blyler Says:

    Hi Harry. I was wondering the same thing, tho I do note that the data has been trending upward since Mar08. Of course, these are the initial chip investigations, i.e., the initial trade-off studies (power-perf-area) and architectural level SoC investigations that a company does before starting/funding a new chip project. One could argue that the number of such investigation might increase, while the actual chip starts would decrease – based on the economy. A company might conduct the high-level studies but then delay the start of the project based on the economy.

    The missing piece here is in which specific application areas have these increases occurred. I’ll try to pull that data out in the next week or so.

  3. JB’s Circuit » A Quick Look at Embedded Memory Trends Says:

    [...] my continuing “quick look” series in which I select data from the Chip Design trends database. This database represents [...]

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