So much for analog semiconductors, let alone analog design skills, being in demise.
According to Databeans, the analog semiconductor market declined 1 percent in 2007 but is predicted to add a positively healthy 10 percent in 2008. Growth is being fuelled predominantly by wireless and power products, which at the moment account for 40 percent of the analog market and are arguably, unlikely to stop there.
Consumer devices ” notably cell phones, TVs, music players are all part analog, as is anything that needs to interact with the physical world ” automotive, industrial, medical, the list is endless. Companies such as Analog Devices and Maxim are experiencing solid growth and seem to be more than coping with 'competition' in the digital domain.
Analog design skills are and will continue to be required in great number, as Intersil's latest analog design centre in Hyderabad testifies to. It's the second such centre in India for Intersil, and has been located to capitalise on what is proving to be a source of top design talent. Yet Europe, and increasingly Eastern Europe, have recognised pockets of analog exertise and there's still lots of opportunity to capitalise on these.
From now on, EETimes Europe's newest DesignLine will be bringing you the European take on all things analog. I will be particularly interested to hear your feedback ” whether you have a comment on a piece of analog news, an analog design challenge for us to solve, or take a view on issues such as whether Europe should be more actively developing its analog skills.