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The future is high-performance mixed signal

Posted: 19 Jan 2011 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:NFC? mixed signal? RF? energy efficiency? personalized healthcare?

As we reflect on 2010, we realize what a significant year this has been for the semiconductor industry. We have experienced tremendous growth, with recent industry analyst estimates suggesting the industry will grow at around 30 percent year-on-year in 2010, and in fact in a quarter of 2010 we saw a 57 percent year-to-date growth of our high-performance mixed-signal segment.

However, this growth hasn't been universally achieved or simply granted. The companies that have succeeded are those that have responded most effectively to recent industry challenges, taken experiences on-board and defined a winning strategy based on deep insight of both current market requirements, and the opportunity that lies ahead.

Rick Clemmer

Clemmer: We have identified four major trends: energy efficiency, personalized healthcare, mobility and security.

To be successful moving forward too, it is an outside-in approach to innovation that will remain critically important for our industry going into 2011, moving R&D away from solely processing speed and transistor volume, and instead understanding societal challenges. We have identified four major macro-level trends that are driving growth in electronics, namely sustainable, energy efficient development; affordable and personalized healthcare; comfortable, efficient and safe mobility; and low-power, fit for purpose security. As an industry, we have a critical role and huge responsibility in ensuring these macro-level trends can be addressed through chip innovation to enable new, smarter real-life applications.

Under each trend lies a number of hot new disruptive technology areas which, while at various stages of development, are set to transform the applications that surround us every day. I will focus on some of those that we can expect to accelerate in 2011.

This includes near field communications (NFC) in smartphones that can turn your phone into an electronic wallet, and a technology that Nokia has publicly announced it will include in all its new smartphones in 2011. Also the newly launched Nexus S phone, co-developed by Google and Samsung features NFC. Furthermore, Google and NXP announced they will integrate NFC in Android 2.3 in an open platform that will facilitate a wide range of applications to be developed based on the ease of use and security offered through the NFC solution. These game-changing moves immediately bring the richness of NFC to the consumer, developer and device manufacturing communities around the world.

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