Posted on: 19-Dec-2007
Page Views: 1823
Predicting the commoditization of the Graphics Processor and the decline of the foundries.
Back in 1999, I predicted that growth in the foundries was about to roll over and would struggle to pass 20% of production in the future, much less the 50-60% some pundits were forecasting. This in fact happened. This year I’ve been predicting we were in the process of a shift back to IDMs. It’s been a year where some IDMs have pulled ahead, while others have jumped off the technology treadmill to go fab-lite. At the crux of the issue are two other facts: design costs are escalating and foundries are not expanding capacity. So, I’ve been writing that the key would be what happened with GPUs. We saw AMD buy ATI, which if tactically difficult and painful, was strategically important as a key indicator of things to come. Then, Intel went on the offensive, leading to speculation that Nvidia might be on the block. These events are strategically important to the foundries because they are critically sized as a customer base.
Then today, I caught the article in weSRCH’s news section with the title “GPUs are a dying breed” by Charlie Demerjian. It just appeared in the Inquirer and it is a must read if you are at all concerned about the future of the foundries. In it, he demonstrates why limitations in monitors and the human eye are an important ceiling for GPU performance and they are a ceiling GPUs are about to hit. In it he concludes that it won’t be long before GPUs are irrelevant from a market perspective. That could have a dire impact, as IDMs bring their 45nm 300mm capacity to the front lines of one of the most profitable semiconductor markets.
weQuest's are written by G Dan Hutcheson, his career spans more than thirty years, in which he became a well-known as a visionary for helping companies make businesses out of technology. This includes hundreds of successful programs involving product development, positioning, and launch in Semiconductor, Technology, Medicine, Energy, Business, High Tech, Enviorntment, Electronics, healthcare and Business devisions.