Last year, the semiconductor industry experienced a period of uncertainty and major changes. Several gigantic mergers caused huge corporations to disappear, while creating some very powerful industry players. At that time, we expected that the changes can also open new opportunities for small and young startups. Indeed, 240 new semiconductor startups were born in 2016, a growth of 45% over 2015. Moreover, according to the World Semiconductor Trade Statistics (wsTs) organization, the worldwide sales of semiconductors in January of 2017 reached $30.6 billion, an increase of 13.9 percent compared to January 2016 and the largest year-to-year growth since November 2010.
The increase in the number of new companies monthly semiconductor sales are driven by new market and segments like automotive, loT, computer vision, storage and robotics, and by novel ideas such as machine learning and artificial intelligence.
Israel is playing an important role in the new segments and many new applications become a reality thanks to the abilities and creativity of Israeli chip design engineers. We also expect that the recent acquisition of Mobileye by Intel will turn Israel into a center of innovative developments for the automotive industry and help the local microelectronics industry to grow even further.
The changes in our industry also create new opportunities on the technology side. According to new survey by KPMG, Sensors/MEMS represent the sector expected to provide the strongest growth opportunity in 2017. Wireless communications, loT, and automotive are viewed as the most important applications driving revenue over the next three years.
This year we have addressed these new market segments on the ChipEx 2017 agenda. In addition to the traditional tracks dedicated to new design, testing and manufacturing tools, we assigned special tracks focusing on Automotive, Smart and Connected World, and Emerging Technologies. Another track presents Hardware Security, a major issue affecting these new applications. In addition, our major panel on the morning plenary session discusses major technology trends that will shape our digital future, including computer vision, artificial intelligence, automotive, loT and high end processing.
We invite you to visit the ChipEx 2017 vendors’ exhibition with the latest suppliers of components, tools and services, to take part in our technical conference and listen to tens of presentations, given by our industry experts, and to meet many of your industry colleagues that join ChipEx 2017 sharing the same goals as you. We do hope your experience at ChipEx 2017 will be both enjoyable and productive.
Shlomo (Sol) Gradman, CEO, ASG Ltd
Prof. Ran Ginosar, Head of VLSI Sys, Technion Technical Chair