The APU market is a representative cross-section of the logic and foundry space, whose segments bear witness to varied COVID impacts.
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Application processors are found in an increasing number of consumer and industrial devices. The trends observed in this corner of the semiconductor world give insight into the broader trends of both leading- and lagging-edge IC production and applications. For instance, high-end smartphone, tablets, and ARM-based laptops are reaching computational parity with their x86-based counterparts, while maintaining their low-power specifications.
Less sophisticated APUs, such as those that manage our connection to virtual assistants through smart speakers, exist in a different realm of processing capability, while again running within minimal power constraints.
Additionally, the COVID pandemic is not impacting all APU segments equally, as some applications are amplified by the working-from-home situation, and others are dampened. Looking at all these APU segments individually and together as a whole brings the customer significant insights into the technological trends of logic and foundry market dynamics.
The APU market is predominantly that of a fabless and foundry relations, so there are additional angles from which to view the health of the industry and its players. It is through its last quarterly monitor that Yole Développement delivers such insights to customers within the semi and technical supply chains.
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John Lorenz is a Technology and Market Analyst within the Computing & Software division at Yole Développement (Yole), part of Yole Group of Companies. John is engaged in the development of market and technology monitors for the logic segment of advanced semiconductors, with an initial focus on processors. Prior to joining Yole, John held various technical and strategic roles at Micron Technology.
On the engineering side, his roles included thin film process development and manufacturing integration on DRAM, NAND, and emerging memory technologies and industrial engineering / factory physics for the R&D fab.
On the strategic side, John ran the memory industry supply & capex model for corporate strategy / market intelligence, and established the industry front-end costing model within strategic finance.
John has a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (USA), with a focus on MEMS devices.
Application Processor Quarterly Market Monitor
With the rise of computing at the edge, the application processor market will see inflections, creating threats and opportunities across the ecosystem.