ASIC Prototypers Target Specific Markets
Even now, chip companies are taking their best guess at which markets will experience sizable growth in the near future. These “guesses” are reflected in the types of ASIC projects that today’s designers are architecting today with virtual prototypes for software and FPGAs for hardware.
What are these markets? Our recent survey data (see Figure) indicates that FPGA-based prototyping of ASICs are focused on the following market segments:
- Wireless networking
- All areas of consumer electronics (video, audio, games)
- Medical and industrial
Figure: Comparisons between a 2008 versus a 2009 survey show growth potential in both medical and industrial chip markets.
These trends complement early observations about future growth in the semiconductor market: “Semiconductor Growth – When and Where?“ But these trends go further by highlighting the growing importance of both the medical and industrial business segments.
What role will EDA play in these markets? Clues to answer that question may come from an ongoing “EDA Tools and Technology” survey, which I’ll report on later.