Tech convergence powers semiconductor growth

5G, IoT, AI, and automotive lead the way

This report is part two of KPMG’s 15th annual Global Semiconductor Industry Outlook, focusing on the biggest growth opportunities for the industry, including key products and applications that will drive future revenue. The research in the report is drawn from a survey of 195 senior global semiconductor executives and was conducted in the fourth quarter of 2019 by KPMG and the Global Semiconductor Alliance (GSA).

Technology convergence was in the spotlight as wireless communications (including 5G technology) and Internet of Things (IoT) were virtually tied as the top two applications expected to drive company revenue over the next year. This reinforces the symbiotic relationship between the two technologies. Specifically regarding 5G, fifty percent of semiconductor executives anticipate it will become a significant driver of revenue growth within the next two years.

Automotive applications ranked a close third, which will be largely enabled by 5G and IoT. Artificial intelligence (AI) came in fourth and is a critical underpinning to help the other technologies achieve their potential.

How important are each of the following applications in driving your company's semiconductor revenue stream over the fiscal year?

  2020 2019
% important / very important Average rating % important / very important Average rating
Wireless communications (including 5G technology and infrastructure, smartphones and other mobile devices)  64% 3.7 60% 3.8
Internet of Things (IOT) 62% 3.7 64% 3.9
Automotive 54% 3.5 58% 3.7
Artificial intelligence / Cognitive / Deep learning 48% 3.3 56% 3.8

1=Not at all important and 5=Very important.
Source: KPMG Global Semiconductor Industry Survey findings, 2020

While many emerging technologies present new growth opportunities for semiconductor companies, the lack of universal standards to govern these technologies presents challenges. Potential legislation regarding emerging technologies, as well as industry-set definitions that can change as technologies mature, can mean that the product components and semiconductor technology that enables them can quickly become obsolete or noncompliant. When asked what technologies universal standards and regulations would help drive the most growth for semiconductor companies, executives named 5G, IoT, and autonomous vehicles at the top by a wide margin.

Tech convergence powers semiconductor growth
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