The future of the semiconductor industry: What to expect in 2023 and beyond

While Gartner research has projected the semiconductor market to fall 11.2% in 2023, the outlook for the future is bright, with 18.5% growth predicted in 2024, driving the market to $630.9 billion – and drastically helping to curb the global semiconductor shortage.

In this article, we’ll take a look at factors that influence the semiconductor industry in 2023, 2024, and beyond. We’ll also examine key areas for semiconductor skills, and provide you with a free semiconductor skills matrix that can help your organization master semiconductor skills management.

What factors influence the semiconductor industry in 2023?

The following factors have affected the semiconductor market in 2023.

A global chip shortage

Chief among the y influencing factors of this year’s semiconductor market is a global chip shortage, which has disrupted various industries, including automotive, consumer electronics, and telecommunications. The increased demand for electronic devices coupled with supply chain disruptions has led to a supply-demand imbalance that results in production delays, increased prices, and challenges in meeting consumer needs for semiconductors.

Geopolitical events

Events such as rising tensions between China and Taiwan – which produces more than 60% of the world’s semiconductors– and the Ukraine-Russia war have negatively impacted this year’s semiconductor market, with research from KPMG revealing that 41% of semiconductor business leaders believing that the war alone has “materially impact[ed] industry revenue growth.”

Rising interest rates and inflation

Rising interest rates and inflation have increased borrowing costs for semiconductor companies, limiting their ability to invest in research and development or expansion. Additionally, higher inflation has worked to reduce consumer spending power, all impacting demand for electronics and affecting the semiconductor industry’s revenue and profitability.

 

What factors will influence the semiconductor industry in 2024 and beyond?

The following factors will affect the semiconductor market in 2024 and beyond.

The automotive industry

The automotive industry is currently one of the driving forces behind the semiconductor market. Its projected growth will positively affect the semiconductor market, with KPMG predicting that “automotive semiconductor revenue will reach $200 billion annually by the mid-2030s and surpass $250 billion by 2040.”

Nationalization of semiconductor technology

The nationalization of semiconductors refers to the process in which a government takes control or ownership of semiconductor manufacturing facilities or companies. The proposed European Chips Act, for example, aims to enhance EU semiconductor capabilities, secure supply chains, and foster research and innovation within the region – adding “€15 billion public and private investment to the €30 billion already earmarked to bolster semiconductor manufacturing on the continent,” according to a Forbes article. Whether such nationalization is advantageous remains to be seen – and heavily depends on whether the increased security it can provide outweighs potential supply chain disruptions.

Talent shortages

The rise of artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and the Internet of Things (IoT) have each played roles in talent shortages, with organizations struggling to attract and retain the skills and talent necessary to effectively use such technology. As such, KPMG’s research shows that “71% of respondents anticipate increasing their global workforce in 2023.” This workforce increase will help positively affect the semiconductor market in 2024 and beyond, as organizations will be able to leverage newfound talent to increase productivity – and therefore revenue.

What skills are highly valued in the semiconductor industry?

The following three areas are those in which skilled individuals are highly sought after in the semiconductor industry.

1. Semiconductor design and verification

The ability to design and verify semiconductor circuits and systems is crucial. This includes expertise in digital and analog design, circuit simulation, layout design, and verification methodologies.

What certifications prove expertise in semiconductor design and verification?

The following certifications are highly valued in semiconductor design and verification.

  • IEEE Certified Design Professional (IEEE CDP). Demonstrates expertise in designing complex semiconductor circuits and systems
  • Cadence Certified Design Engineer (CCDE). Validates skills in using Cadence design tools for semiconductor circuit design
  • Synopsys Certified Design Engineer (SCDE). Recognizes proficiency in using Synopsys design tools for semiconductor circuit design
  • Mentor Graphics Certified Professional (MGCP). Validates competency in using Mentor Graphics design tools for semiconductor circuit design
  • Verification Academy Functional Verification Certification. Demonstrates proficiency in functional verification methodologies for semiconductor designs

 

2. Advanced process technology

With the continuous advancement of semiconductor manufacturing processes, skills related to advanced process technologies such as FinFET, 7nm, 5nm, are highly sought after. Knowledge of process integration, yield optimization, and process characterization will also be valuable.

What certifications prove expertise in advanced process technology?

The following certifications are highly valued in roles involving advanced process technology.

  • 6ASMC Certified Process Engineer (ASMC CPE). Validates knowledge of advanced semiconductor process technologies and integration
  • SEMI Process Integration Engineer Certification (SEMI PIE). Recognizes expertise in process integration for advanced semiconductor manufacturing
  • GlobalFoundries Certified Process Design Engineer (GFD CPDE). Validates skills in designing semiconductor processes using GlobalFoundries technology
  • TSMC Advanced Technology Certifications (TSMC ATC). Demonstrates proficiency in TSMC’s advanced semiconductor process technologies
  • Intel Process Technology Certification (Intel PTC). Recognizes expertise in Intel’s advanced process technologies for semiconductor manufacturing

 

3. Artificial intelligence and machine learning

The integration of AI and ML in various aspects of the semiconductor industry is growing rapidly. Proficiency in applying AI and ML techniques for semiconductor design, process optimization, quality control, and defect analysis will be in high demand.

What certifications prove expertise in AI and machine learning?

The following certifications are highly valued in roles involving AI and ML.

  • 1NVIDIA Deep Learning Institute (DLI) Certifications. Validates skills in AI and ML applications using NVIDIA platforms
  • Google Cloud Certified – Machine Learning Engineer. Demonstrates competency in designing and implementing ML solutions using Google Cloud technologies
  • Microsoft Certified: Azure AI Engineer Associate. Validates expertise in designing and implementing AI solutions on the Azure platform
  • IBM Data Science Professional Certificate. Recognizes proficiency in data science, including AI and ML, using IBM tools and frameworks
  • AWS Certified Machine Learning Specialty. Validates skills in designing, implementing, and deploying ML solutions on the AWS platform

 

How can you manage and track skills in the semiconductor industry?

You can track and manage the semiconductor skills your organization needs by utilizing skills management software to:

  • Identify skills gaps. Pinpointing areas where the organization lacks expertise or needs additional training.
  • Monitor training programs. Guiding the development of targeted training initiatives to address identified gaps
  • Allocate resources effectively. Maximizing productivity by making strategic decisions based on hard data.
  • Improve talent attraction and retention. Ensuring your business remains as unaffected as possible by the talent shortage in the semiconductor industry.
  • Facilitate succession planning. Identifying potential successors for key roles and developing talent pipelines for future organizational needs

Additionally, you can make use of our free semiconductor skills matrix template, which is pre-populated with many of the manufacturing skills your organization needs to thrive.

With it, you will receive a clear overview of the skills that are present in your organization, as well as those that are missing. This will help you ensure that your employees’ skills are up-to-date, comprehensive, compliant, and ready for the bullish future of the semiconductor industry.

Download free semiconductor skills matrix template



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