Chip Market Research ServicesSavoring the late fall rise• Order activity for semiconductor equipment jumped by a point driven by gains in Memory and DAO• Memory activity has been heating up the last two weeks on the back of DRAM • DAO has finally bounced back into growth territory due to a significant improvement in Auto and Industrial markets• VLSI’s Chip Price Performance Index was flat
Last Week in the Semiconductor Market:VLSI's Semiconductor Analytics reportSemiconductor sales continued to set seasonal records at close to a 20% Y/Y gain. Analog & Power sales are well out of their COVID induced slump, with 13-week MAs even above 2018. Last week, they were the 3rd best performing market behind NAND and DRAM. Semi Market results from last week: • Semiconductor Sales Nowcast: The 4Q20 Nowcast rose • Semiconductor Weather1 Report: Warm, Warmer• IC Supply-Demand2 Metrics: Tight• Electronics Pricing Trend: Electronics Prices slid with weakness in Laptops and Consumer.Chip History CenterPeople: Robert N. Noyce, Intel’s first CEO. Interview with Leslie Berlin on her Biography of Bob Noyce.The Chip InsiderStrategy and Tactics: Why People Get the End of Moore’s Law So Wrong. Maxim: CEOs must make on-the-spot decisions on the basis of trust.Why People Get the End of Moore’s Law So Wrong: For the umpteenth time, the future of Moore’s Law has come into question by senior industry executives using projections from pundits. These show a historical decline in cost-per-gate (a gate is typically made up of 6 transistors, which is the metric I prefer because it’s how Gordon laid things out originally) with a projected rise in the future. Now you probably remember that the same things have been said before at previous nodes. Still, in seeing such new projections, I know they were wrong before and I believe the new projections are on their way to being wrong again. Let me show you why… The first reason for erring is they take a static view rather than a dynamic, time domain, view. The second reason is the ‘What you see is all there is’ bias. They see a bottom at the last node, with a rise in the new node entering production, and assume that’s the final cost point for that node. What they do next is project that rise out into the future and conclude Moore’s Law is dead. Now I should point out that Gordon himself made this very error in his first ‘Moore’s Law’ paper in 1965. Four decades ago, I wrote that this U-turn in costs was the economic effect of being at the edge of the best technology at the time. Cross this edge and costs go up. I also said what engineers do is push this edge out in time. Let’s look as some dynamic data that shows how this has played out over time.Maxim: CEOs must make on-the-spot decisions on the basis of trust. Three of Japan’s best companies in the semiconductor industry are Advantest, JSR, and TEL. I once asked Nobu Koshiba, then head of JSR, why they were so successful when so many others failed. Without blinking an eye he said the key to their success, where other Japanese companies failed so badly, was the ability to make on-the-spot decisions with real commitments to follow-thru in front of the customer. Among customers, Nobu was famous for this in committing to develop ArFi and EUV resists, where the time-to-money horizon was unknowable. The best story I ever heard is the commitment Terry Higash made at the signing between TEL and IBM for Albany: Semiconductor StocksVLSI's Semiconductor Stock Indices continued to rally this week, three of the four indices hit yearly highs for the second consecutive week. • Semiconductors +0%• Equipment +4%• EDA -7%• Electronic Materials +1%VLSI’s Semiconductor Stock Index was led up 0.05% by On Semiconductor. On Semiconductor posted better than expected earnings and announced their latest Motor Development Kit.IDM +3.3%Foundry & OSAT +2.4%Fabless & Fablite -2.0%VLSI’s Semiconductor Equipment Stock Index was led up 3.5% by FormFactor, claiming five of the top six stocks.WFE +3.4%Test +7.0%Assembly +3.0%VLSI’s EDA Stock Index plunged 7.1%.VLSI’s Electronics Materials Stock Index was led up 0.8% by BASF.Hottest Stocks: BASF, FormFactor, Advantest, Onto Innovation, TEL, and Nikon.