BY PETE SINGER, Editor-in-Chief
Solid State Technology recently conducted a survey of our readers on how the Internet of Things (IoT) is driving the demand for semiconductor technology. A total of 303 people responded to the survey. A majority of the respondents were in management roles.
Survey questions focused on their expectations for growth in the Internet of Things (IoT), drivers, potential roadblocks, opportunities and impact on semiconductor technology, including manufacturing and packaging.
There is little agreement on how strongly the IoT device market will grow. About a quarter of the respondents said, by 2020, 30-50 billion devices would be connected to internet with unique urls. Almost as many were much more optimistic, saying more than 90 billion.
A sizable majority of the respondents (59.41%) believe new companies will emerge to benefit from the growth in IoT. Existing companies will also benefit, with MEMS companies benefitting the most.
A majority of the respondents said the existing supply chain and industry infrastructure was not equipped to handle the needs of the IoT or said they weren’t sure. Similarly, most said new manufacturing equipment and new materials will be needed for IoT device manufacturing.
My take on this is that while the market potential for companies involved in IoT devices is large, there is little agreement on exactly how large it might become.
I believe it’s also likely that new companies will emerge focused specifically on manufacturing IoT devices. Existing companies across the supply chain will also benefit.
Clearly, IoT devices will create new challenges, especially in the area of packaging. Form-factor, security and reliability are the most important characteristics of IoT devices.
Another recently completed survey on the IoT by McKinsey & Company and the Global Semiconductor Alliance (GSA) revealed some ambiguity about whether the IoT would be the top growth driver for the semiconductor industry or just one of several important forces.
The survey of executives from GSA member companies showed that they had mixed opinions about the IoT’s potential, with 48 percent stating that it would be one of the top three growth drivers for the semiconductor industry and 17 percent ranking it first.