Sector deep dive: Semiconductors
Processors are at the heart of connected devices. In recent years the major chip manufacturers have been focusing on areas like power management, security, manufacturing technologies and better processors capable of computing big data with less resources. That technology is increasingly being applied in applications such as autonomous driving, drug discovery, and cloud and edge computing. Companies leading the way in terms of European patent holdings include Qualcomm, Huawei, Intel, NXP, STMicroelectronics, and Samsung.
The semiconductor market has seen significant consolidation in recent years and that continued into 2020. That included the $21 billion tie-up between Analog Devices Inc. and Maxim Integrated Products Inc, followed by Nvidia Corp’s $40 billion proposed takeover of Arm Ltd – although that deal has been met by growing opposition from others in the industry.
Finally, at the end of 2020 AMD announced a $30 billion-plus deal to acquire FPGA developer Xilinx. The trends in the industry indicate that more of the focus has shifted to specialised chips, which possess higher performance and efficiency, to serve cloud and AI demands.
Table 1. Semiconductor players from top 100
|Company name||EU grants||Industry||Country of origin|
Table 2. Technology trends
|Top trends||Top players||Active grants||Top players 2019-2020||Active grants 2019-2020||Key areas||Other key players|
Graphic and data processors
Wireless transmission, signal allocation, information transfer and retrieval, program control arrangements, multiplexing, dispatchers programs, resource management, user Interface controls, image processing
Huawei, LG Corp, Ericsson, Samsung
Semiconductor and transistor manufacturing
|Infineon Technologies||1,188||Infineon Technologies||336|
Field effect transistors current flow, bipolar junction transistors with gate electrode, semiconductor types, MOSFET transistors, field effect transistors with insulated gates, complementary MIS field-effect transistors, pixel isolation structures, recessed field plates, stacked arrangement of semiconductor, device protection, IC integrated chipsets, electronic circuitry for devices, semiconductor and BJT geometry or layout, plural semiconductor devices, multi-resurf structures, semiconductor manufacturing methods
Ericsson, Huawei, Apple, Samsung
Network access and security
Device network data management cryptographic memory allocation/access, error detection
Apple, Samsung, LG Corp, Huawei
Power management and storage
Program control on multiple data storage, CAD- command handling arrangements, pre-scheduled power management, input/output devices using interrupt, DC input/output conversion using capacitors and plural semiconductor devices, electronic switching or gating- field transistors
Apple, Huawei, Samsung, Ericsson
|Infineon Technologies||118||NXP Semiconductors||27|