A recap of our emerging thesis on the changing nature of compute and what that means for semis companies large and small.
There probably will not be thousands of companies designing their own chips – the upfront costs are just too prohibitive – but there will be enough to mark a major shift for the industry.
By our count 28 non-chip companies are developing their own chips. Of these, at least 16 have delivered multiple generations of their chips, signaling a long-term commitment.
Google is promoting the growth of open source tools for designing semis. The science fiction version of this story leads to everyone designing chips, the reality is going to be much narrower, but still means many more companies designing their own semis.
The markets are terrible. Moore’s Law is slowing. 6G is distant. But we are actually optimistic. Solutions exist for building compelling, complex systems. All that is missing is imagination and a bit of capital.
The shift from general purpose silicon to semi-custom and tailored SoCs presents a big opportunity for chip start-ups. If they follow a few simple rules.
The large, incumbent chip companies are all choosing to embrace the trend of Roll-Your-Own chips by offering support services to non-chip companies’ efforts. Done well this may end up driving those customers to buy more catalog parts. Hopefully.
The era of general purpose compute is over. This is going to bring about a shake-up in the semiconductor industry.
AMD is a good proxy for the rest of the semis industry – beset by cyclical challenges but also increasingly well-positioned for the changing shape of the industry.
In which we examine the ways that good analysts gather data.