Economy Exacerbates Seasonal Decline in Chip Investigations
Although there were slightly more architectural explorations and trade-off analysis studies performed in January’09 than in the previous month, the overall trend in such investigations continues to decline (see chart). The moving average – which serves as a predictor for trends 3-months out – also declined, but at a sharper rate. This decline is worrisome, but must be balanced with the seasonal trends for this time of year. In past cycles, the first 5 months of any given year have shown similar declines in chip investigations at the architectural level.
This data suggests that chip architects and designers are following seasonal patterns, albeit at a declining rate of new chip projects. Next time, I’ll examine our database of users for trends in which process nodes are dominant.