With SMIC, China is positionning as a competitor in foundry business and thereby catching the
dynamic of the APU market.
Key features of the monitor
- Direct access to the analyst
- Quarterly data update
- Market forecast through 2025, in $US, units
- ASP analysis, per market segment
- Die size trend, per market segment
- Key process-technology mix
- Supplier market share (Samsung, Apple, Qualcomm, Hisilicon, Mediatek, Spreadtrum) in terms of units and $US
- Foundry market share (TSMC, Samsung,) in terms of units, $US, and wafers
- CapEx and capacity, per foundry
- Deep dive on SMIC’s intersection with semis, heading into landmark IPO
This monitor is not part of our Bundled Offer and full Yole Développement yearly subscription.
Table of contents
APU market overview
- Market dynamics
- Quarterly revenue – near and long term
- APU quarterly market shares
- Smartphone market shares
- Tablet market shares
- Smartwatch market shares
- APU-based Notebook market shares
- SmartSpeaker market shares
- SmartTV market shares
- AR+VR market share
- APU pricing, near and long term
- APU pricing by segment
- APU pricing per unit area
- APU pricing per transistor
- Apple die size trend
- Samsung die size trend
- Hisilicon die size trend
- Qualcomm die size trend
- APUs with embedded AI accelerators
- APUs by memory interface
- APU average die size
- Quarterly wafer output
- Annual wafer output
- APU wafers by logic node
- APU units by logic node
- APU foundry revenue
- APU foundry revenue per wafer
SMIC IPO SIGNALS THE SHIFTING SANDS IN THE APU LANDSCAPE
The recent SMIC IPO and positioning to gain APU foundry share has provided the opportunity to make a special issue of the Application Processor monitor, with an add-on report focused on SMIC.
The application processor is the central chip for managing and executing the many functions of which modern “smart” devices are capable. In fact, as more consumer devices become always-on and always-connected, the APU becomes an attractive alternative to its traditionally more power-hungry x86-based counterparts. Within the smartphone segment alone, 2019 saw ~$28B of revenue for application processors, making up 6% of total Semi revenue for that year. Among the emerging applications that are dependent on application processors are wearables,connected home, AR/VR, and ultralight PCs. Though not as large as the smartphone market, these are the areas that are seeing real growth. For reasons of optimum user experience and improved data security, chip designers and software developers are moving more and more processing functions out of the cloud to the edge. The edge is where the application processor is key, whether in mobile, IoT, connected home, or the many other various consumer devices.
On July 16th, China witnessed its largest stock sale in a decade when Semiconductor Manufacturing International (SMIC) debuted on Shanghai’s STAR Market. SMIC’s recent IPO has inspired a closer look at the company and leaves the firm with $6 billion of additional cash. SMIC is mainland China’s largest and most advanced wafer foundry and has a foothold in a number of growing semiconductor sectors. This Yole Développement analysis looks at how SMIC’s business and technology intersects with Datacenter, High performance computing (HPC), Surveillance, Application processor, and Memory segments. In the application processor space, SMIC has already received orders from Huawei for Kirin 710A processor. We speculate the opportunity for SMIC will grow, especially if SMIC establishes a 7nm process. In the datacenter and HPC space, there is no current SMIC offering, but that could change with a viable 7nm process as well. In surveillance, SMIC is already considered a key supplier in the Chinese surveillance market, with Image Signal Processors not requiring a leading-edge process. In the memory space, SMIC is the foundry partner of Gigadevice for NOR non-volatile memory technology. Taken together, there are several opportunities for SMIC to grow, all of which will need various levels of cash infusion in order to expand into new technological territory. Yole experts examine these opportunities and will provide new insights to the future of SMIC’s businesses.
WHAT TO EXPECT FROM YOLE DÉVELOPPEMENT’S APPLICATION PROCESSOR – QUARTERLY MARKET MONITOR?
The Quarterly Market Monitor examines and forecasts the application processor segment of the semiconductor industry, as dissected across multiple dimensions. The monitor tracks processor revenue, units, and wafer volumes at both fabless chip designers and at the foundries themselves, sliced across various relevant parameters including process node, end-product segment, core and IP type, etc. Subscribers to this product will become knowledgeable on details of the processor landscape and where to expect inflections in the market.
The monitor will also examine the reported financials of players within the ecosystem. Through this examination, the Quarterly Market Monitor will provide estimates of the amounts of revenue, margin, and capital expenditure (Capex) attributable to application processors for key designers and manufacturers.
Yole Développement’s (Yole) Application Processor – Quarterly Market Monitorwill address the pressing questions facing this industry, including:
- Which logic nodes are critical for application processors over the next 12-24 months?
- What are the price and cost trends within the multiple tiers of the smartphone market?
- How many 10nm/7nm/5nm/3nm wafer starts are needed to satisfy the demands of the application processor market for the next 5 years? Who will have the necessary capacity to deliver for OEMs ?
- When will 5nm become a mainstream node for application processors?
- What implications do any delays of a process node carry to the application processor market?
- How do the trends in luxury and high-end smartphones drive behavior in the designers and manufacturers of application processors?
- How do the performance trends of end-products translate into market trends of application processors?
- Which end device segment is driving revenue, unit, and wafer growth for application processors?
- How will new functionalities in embedded neural networks impact the wafer volume requirements for processor manufacturing ?
- How much capital expenditure for wafer fabrication equipment will be required to support the application processor forecast
- What weight do key assumptions drive within the market forecast ? What is the range of market possibilities for a given range of adjustment within base assumptions ?
Underpinning the monitor are complex databases that track processors and their respective end-products, aggregated from highly detailed device and component teardowns. An internal Yole model supports the monitor, which employs extensive data analysis on the historical processor and device datasets to understand and forecast the tendencies of segment designers and OEMs on key parameters such as transistor count and density, speed, and processor core count to derive die size, wafer volume, cost, and performance. These insights are integrated with information gathered from across the Yole network and expert interviews to create a robust market forecast, unique for Yole and its customers.
WHAT IS NEXT FOR APPLICATION PROCESSORS?
The long-term trend within the application processor industry is for OEMs to seek differentiation and demand increasing processing power for end-products, while living within the power and BOM constraints of high mobility. Designers, IP licensers, and manufacturers partner to meet those demands by adding capabilities to the traditional areas of computing and graphics, as well as the emerging focus of innovation in neural network processing, deep learning, and artificial intelligence. In fact, artificial intelligence enablement (through embedded AI accelerators) is the newest differentiator for processor designers and OEMs. Packing ever-increasing computational capabilities into semiconductor devices has long been the trend for the whole of computing industry history. The next decade of application processors will be no different. However, we are witnessing a slowdown in the rate of cost decline for a unit of computing capability, and therefore application processor designers will have a choice to make: continue computational improvements at historical levels and accept the increasing costs, or slow their innovation to match the rate of cost decline and live within historical BOM and margin bands. We expect the decision designers make will depend on the specifics of their target markets. The dynamics of players within this industry is continuing to evolve, and a quarterly market monitor is a critical tool for those looking for the advantage of insight.
Apple, Broadcom, Arm, Global Foundries, Google, HiSilicon, HTC, Huawei, Lenovo, LG, MediaTek, Meizu, OPPO, Qualcomm, Samsung, SMIC, Sony, Spreadtrum, TSMC, UMC, UniSOC, Vivo, Xiaomi, XMC, ZTE
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