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Morris Chang reveals 3 big things to come
Taiwan News, Staff Writer
2014-03-28 01:52 PM
TSMC (2330) chairman Morris Chang clearly revealed the future direction of the semiconductor industry for the first time Thursday. He expects logistics, wearable devices, and smart homes to be the next wave of opportunities. Companies must master advanced packing, MEMS integration, and ultra-low power consumption technologies in order to get their feet in the door.

Chang attended the annual meeting of the Taiwan Semiconductor Industry Association (TSIA) and delivered a keynote speech on the “Next Big Thing” that clearly revealed the future direction of the semiconductor industry for the first time.

According to the Economic Daily News, Chang believes that “Moore’s Law,” which the semiconductor industry has been following for many years, will soon die. Currently, it is on its last legs and will cease to apply in the next five to six years. However, the semiconductor industry will not be ruined by this because applications such as logistics will still require a large number of chips and continue the development of the semiconductor industry.

Chang indicated that the current “Big Thing” is undoubtedly mobile devices such as smart phones, tablet, and other mobile devices. The reason the annual growth rates of companies such as TSMC, Qualcomm, and MediaTek (2454) have far outstripped the industry average of approximately 3% to 5% in last several years to reach double digits or even close to 20% is due to seizing this wave of business opportunities.

What is the next “Big Thing?” Chang stated, according to his observations, wearable products and smart homes should be the next “Big Thing.” However, semiconductor companies will not make the most money, rather, companies that can integrate network technologies, connections, and applications will earn a lot of money.

Chang recognized Google, Apple, Amazon, Cisco, and China’s Alibaba, Tencent, and Huawei as companies that have kept up with next “Big Thing” trends. He estimates that these companies will become the new “favorites” in five to ten years and the most profitable enterprises.

He believes, for the semiconductor industry to move into these sectors to snatch business opportunities, companies must possess three technologies. The first is advanced packaging technology to integrate chips from different processes through system in package (SiP) or three-dimensional integrated circuit (3D IC) packaging.

The second is the integration of various sensors such as image, blood pressure, somatic, and environmental with microelectromechanical systems (MEMS). The third is ultra-low power consumption technology with the goal of allowing more devices to become power efficient. This should be ten times more efficient than present levels and preferably possessing a recharge frequency of once per week.

Chang emphasized that companies, including TSMC, must possess these technology to enter the logistics sector and continue posting positive growth performance. Otherwise they will become low growth, or even negative growth, companies.

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