|By Roger Strukhoff||
|September 5, 2014 11:00 AM EDT||
The Internet of Things will be the chip industry's major growth driver over the next several years, according to news out of Taipei by TSMC (Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co.).
The Taiwanese manufacturer is about 40% the size of Intel, and has been a major producer of a diverse array of chips for decades. A TSMC executive recently said that wearables, microcontrollers, and Bluetooth sensors would be among the key components that will be key to the company at both the low and high ends over the next three to five years.
Taiwan's dynamic economy has been focused on cloud computing for a few years now. As I reported in 2010, the government was going to invest US$750 million in "a new industrial sector" related to cloud, with an expected revenue opportunity of US$30 billion annually and the creation of 50,000 new jobs.
As the country now moves toward the IoT, TSMCC plans to have 10nm (10-nanometer) manufacturing technology online by 2017.
This scale is molecular - about one-thousandth the width of a human hair. The salient fact is that no one in the world has gone online with 10nm just yet. It also seems to be common industry wisdom that Moore's Law ended at the 28nm level-yes, processes are still being made smaller, but no longer cheaper once past that level.
In other words, it's never a bad idea to keep one's eye on Taiwan and what it's doing in technology manufacturing industries. The country clears plans to remain a leader as the Internet of Things takes shape.
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