Professor Alberto Sangiovanni-Vincentelli is a legend of the electronic design automation (EDA) industry, but his stories were seldom told. DIGITIMES Asia is privileged to have this exclusive interview to share his wisdom and insights for the semiconductor industry during uncertain times in Part 1 of the interview. In Part 2, he recounts the founding of the world's two largest EDA tool companies that he co-established, and shares some exciting tech innovation projects that he is currently engaging with:
Indian digital services and solutions provider Coforge is set to embed generative and other AI forms into its core operations. The recent introduction of 'Coforge Quasar,' a generative AI platform, underscores the company's interest in advancing enterprise AI capabilities. Notably, Quasar boasts an impressive suite of over 100 pre-integrated APIs ready for deployment.
Light electric vehicles are rising in Asia. Canadian startup Zen Energy sees the opportunity and has developed batteries with quadruple lifetime for two and three-wheelers. The company has chosen India as a launchpad to expand its business in Asia.
In 2023, the world went through a "major shortage" in the semiconductor industry chain. However, though the economic situation quickly corrected, uncertainties such as inflation and interest rate hikes meant that end-user demand for consumer electronics remained sluggish.
Quantum computing, often considered the next frontier in computing technology, has garnered immense attention in recent years. While giants like Google and IBM have made significant strides in the field, another player, IonQ, is making waves with its unique ion trap approach to quantum computing.
As the demand for EVs in India continues to rise, so does the need for batteries. At the moment, lithium-ion batteries are the primary roadblock in India's efforts to be self-sufficient in the EV sphere. Although the country has identified some lithium reserves, extracting them remains a distant goal.
In line with India's current ambitions to develop a semiconductor ecosystem in the country, many global companies have been increasing investments and expanding presence here. Recently, AMD announced plans to set up its largest design center in the South Indian city, Bangalore. Intel has also underscored India's rapid growth as a once-in-a-generation occurrence.
India's engineering solutions providers have been quick to capitalize on the recent global interest in electric vehicles. One of the key players in this field is Tata Elxsi, which stands as a leading entity in delivering engineering solutions within the automotive industry with strategic partnerships and initiatives.
Driver monitoring has become a critical focus of automotive safety systems as distracted driving remains the primary cause of car accidents. Israel-based Cipia develops driver-monitoring systems enabled by computer vision AI. The company has gained a presence in China, poised to scale up in the US and Europe.
Applications such as electric vehicles and energy storage have gradually seen material demands. However, whether the two applications can be operated safely and effectively depends on the battery. Many industry leaders in Taiwan have been investing in those fields or cross-domain developments for many years. Among them, Taiwan startup XING Mobility has not only written a new chapter for battery cooling technology but also successfully found a new breakthrough for Taiwan manufacturers in the international market competition.
Semiconductor companies have long been trading secondhand semiconductor equipment, but geopolitical tension and government policies have stimulated the demand so significantly that people are seeing a void to fill.
On July 28th, Friday, at the Company Venture in New York City, the North America Taiwanese Engineering & Science Association (NATEA) NY team hosted a thought-provoking startup talk event, centered around the theme of "Becoming an Entrepreneur". The entrepreneurial journey is often a daring leap from the familiar world of corporate jobs to the uncertain territory of startups. Throughout the talk, industry experts generously shared their invaluable experiences, challenges, and expert advice for those aspiring to make this transformation. Covering a wide array of topics, from finding the right co-founder to understanding the industry and securing venture capital funding, the event provided a treasure trove of insights for budding entrepreneurs.
Nuclear fusion technology is gaining momentum. Alpha Ring, a startup company that has pioneered electron-catalyzed fusion, originated in the US and is now flourishing in Taiwan, working to establish an ecosystem aimed at harnessing the ultimate energy solution. Their innovative micro-fusion reactor sets them apart from conventional fusion reactors.
As the world grapples with mounting environmental challenges and income disparity, startups are seeking to address niche markets and deliver innovative, sustainable solutions that generate real value for end users. Takachar is focused on harnessing the power of pyrolysis to transform agricultural and forestry residues into valuable resources. With a mission to relieve the pressing waste disposal needs of rural communities, Takachar offers a valuable solution to both local farmers and the global ecosystem, thereby advancing climate justice on behalf of rural, underserved communities. By converting waste biomass into biofuels, charcoal, and other valuable organic products, Takachar not only reduces environmental pollution but also unlocks economic opportunities and promotes sustainable practices.
AMD chair and CEO Lisa Su came to Taiwan this week for business meetings, as well as to receive an honorary doctorate degree from the National Yangming Chiaotung University in Hsinchu. NYCU is the first university in Taiwan to teach the engineering of semiconductors and is the alma mater of many important tech entrepreneurs and executives in Taiwan, including Acer's Stan Shih, UMC founder Robert Tsao, Asus founder Johnny Shih, Wistron chairman Simon Lin, TSMC CEO C. C. Wei, and Phison founder K. S. Pua, etc.
The emergence of ChatGPT in late 2022 and early 2023 has promoted a new wave of AI trends. The semiconductor sector has received some of the most attention amidst this trend. This is because not only can AI bring massive business opportunities but the entire semiconductor industry, especially chip design, can also achieve further breakthroughs with the assistance of AI.