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

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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Semiconductors are piling up to dangerous heights

by Bill Ray  |  August 19, 2019

The quantity of semiconductors sitting around in the supply chain hasn’t been “normal” since 2010, and pushed into the “Severe Excess Zone” in both 2012 and 2016. But, inventory levels are now at a peak not seen since the turn of the century, and the industry is going to have to do something about it. […]

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NAND Flash is poised to make money again, and to spend it too

by Bill Ray  |  August 12, 2019

We’re just past the Flash Memory Summit, where my colleague Joe Unsworth got to quiz a load of companies about how the market is developing. NAND Flash has had a bad time of it lately, with prices well below what’s sustainable, but a recovery is on the way in the last quarter of 2019 and […]

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Another trade war threatens the chip industry as Japan takes away Korea’s special status

by Bill Ray  |  August 5, 2019

Ratcheting up its ongoing spat with South Korea, Japan has put restrictions on export of three materials that are critical for making semiconductor chips: photoresists, hydrogen fluoride, and fluorinated polyamides. S. Korea now requires special license and permission to obtain these materials. This is serious and will impact rapidly as S. Korean chip makers don’t […]

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When the Hype ceases to cycle like it should

by Bill Ray  |  August 1, 2019

The Gartner Hype Cycle is supposed to show how technologies progress, from innovation to hype, to inevitable disappointment followed by a painful climb towards utility. However, many technologies don’t make it that far – some are broken down into parts, others get absorbed into amalgams, and many disappear into the Trough of Disillusionment never to […]

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Is TSMC pitching to be America’s “Trusted Semiconductor Foundry”?

by Bill Ray  |  June 25, 2019

The US government keeps a very short list of foundries it trusts to make semiconductors for high-security applications. For years the leading entry was IBM, and then Global Foundries, but GF is stepping back from cutting-edge processes leaving the door ajar, and TSMC has come knocking. The list is maintained by the Defense Microelectronics Activity […]

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Radio is getting bigger, but chips are becoming harder to count

by Bill Ray  |  June 17, 2019

We’ve just published our Wireless Connectivity Market Share for 2018, showing that Broadcom remains the biggest retailer of radio chips and that MediaTek’s plan to diversify is working, but the numbers sidestep the increasing problem of how we should be counting these chips anyway. At Gartner we segment wireless chips by function – sorting out […]

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Intel throws laptop-shaped spaghetti to see what sticks

by Bill Ray  |  June 4, 2019

Intel showed off a whole lot of PC ideas at Computex, in Taipei, in the hope of making computing interesting again. My colleague Amy Teng got a close look at the prototypes and demonstrations on display and reckons some of them could do well. Adding more screens is an obvious shtick, and Intel showed off […]

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