Gartner Blog Network

Bill Ray
Sr Director Analyst, Semiconductors & Electronics I
3 years at Gartner
32 years IT Industry

Bill Ray provides written research and inquiry support covering wireless connectivity, primarily for Product Managers and Tech CEOs. His researches focus on evolving standards for IoT connectivity and 5G services, and the semiconductors needed to support them.Read Full Bio

The coronavirus won’t infect semis, but it will make fewer people want them

by Bill Ray  |  February 17, 2020

The number of people with Covid-19, the current incarnation of the coronavirus, remains proportionally small. However, keeping it that way requires draconian controls over the movement of goods and people, and that will have a significant impact on demand for electronics, and (thus) the semiconductor industry. Enterprise demand won’t change much – orders might take […]

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Will semiconductors be taking a hit from the coronavirus?

by Bill Ray  |  January 31, 2020

As flights are grounded, cities locked down, and cruise ships put into quarantine it’s sometimes hard to focus on business as usual. However, the rest of the world continues to turn, and we have to consider how coronavirus will impact business, including our business. The disruption in manufacturing and supply chain, caused by measures intended […]

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India is poised to become a semiconductor design powerhouse

by Bill Ray  |  January 20, 2020

Government investment, and an entrepreneurial spirit, is turning India into a centre for semiconductor design. Investment from high-tech companies has created an educated workforce which is limited only by an institutional bias towards software investments. India’s software industry is well established, but hardware development is more nascent. For the last 20 years foreign semiconductor companies […]

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Semiconductors in 2019 – HiSilicon reaps the spoils of (trade) war with the US

by Bill Ray  |  January 7, 2020

In 2019 Intel regained the top spot amongst chip slingers, with last-year’s number one Samsung getting burnt by crashing memory prices, but real winner of 2019 was HiSilicon whose revenue jumped by almost 30% as American competitors were cut off from their biggest Chinese customer. Placing that customer (Huawei) on the US “Entity List” was […]

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Amazon pulls Alexa back from the edge with the promise of a comfortable cloud to live in

by Bill Ray  |  December 5, 2019

Amazon has slimmed-down the Alexa client into something that will fit onto an ARM Cortex “M” processor with only 1MB of RAM. That’s good for talking white goods, but it also means that most of Alexa will continue to reside in the Amazon cloud while Google’s Assistant heads out from the parental home. From the […]

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Intel adds 5G, but it’s not going to replace Wi-Fi

by Bill Ray  |  November 26, 2019

Intel wants 5G in laptops, but sold its modem business to Apple. To get the chips it needs Intel has signed a deal with MediaTek to provide connectivity, but only when there’s no Wi-Fi around. The new laptop modem will be a customized M70, and MediaTek will be providing the RF Front End as well […]

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5G offers the biggest growth but chiplets are close behind

by Bill Ray  |  October 22, 2019

Semiconductor investors should look to 5G, chiplets, and embedded FPGAs for the best return, as growth in traditional fields slows down and packaging becomes the next frontier in semiconductor design. The data comes from Gartner’s market opportunity map for semiconductors, which plots out where the money will be made over the next five years. 5G […]

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Time to take Moore’s Law into our own hands

by Bill Ray  |  September 24, 2019

Moore’s law; the premise that transistor density will double every 24 months, has long been the guiding principle of the semi industry. For a couple of decades, notably the nineties and the oughts, this directly resulted in performance doubling, but there has to be a limit to how small the transistors can get before they […]

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Nothing drives innovation quite like a war

by Bill Ray  |  September 15, 2019

Cutting supplies of American technology might temporarily undermine Chinese companies, but it’s also spurring those companies to push what can be made elsewhere. Chinese capital is being poured into developing and manufacturing semiconductors outside the US, and the results will change the world forever. The various bans and tariffs introduced by the US (and China) […]

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Forget smartphones, electric cars will drive semiconductor growth

by Bill Ray  |  August 27, 2019

In 2025 we expect to see sales of electric vehicles hit 7 million a year, making up 7% of the total vehicle shipments, and with the shift towards an electric drive chain comes a whole lot more semiconductors. To a car mechanic the electric transmission means reduced complexity, but to the semiconductor vendor it means […]

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