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CEO Outlook: 2021

By: Ed Sperling

The semiconductor industry will look and behave differently this year, and not just because of the pandemic.

“On the technical side, there are more foreseeable outcomes, including the need for continuous verification of hardware platforms throughout the product lifecycle, and the increased scrutiny in managing security threats,” said Raik Brinkmann, CEO of OneSpin Solutions. “In order to keep pace with changes in demand, customization to the hardware over time is critical. Reconfigurable hardware platforms allow the needed flexibility and customization for upgrading and differentiation without requiring rebuilding. Heterogenous computing environments that include software-programmable engines, accelerators, and programmable logic are essential for achieving platform reconfigurability, as well as meeting low latency, low power, high performance, and capacity demands. These complex systems are expensive to develop, so anything that can be done to extend the life of the hardware while still maintaining customization will be essential.”


Still, where and how engineers and scientists will work in the future remains uncertain. “COVID-19 in 2020 was a revelation in terms of remote work, learning, health care, entertainment, factory operation, and so on,” said Xilinx’s Peng. “The pandemic will further accelerate these trends in 2021 and drive new innovations and business models. In more general terms, we’ll witness the acceleration of the digitization of everything, pervasive and connected intelligence, from end points to the edge and cloud, the need for high-performance, low-latency and adaptive computing, and dealing with the end of Moore’s Law.”


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