Next up in our series of predictions Warren Savage, President and CEO of IPextreme, shares with us what he sees in his crystal ball for 2014.
“As the door closes on a successful 2013 for most companies in the semiconductor industry, the outlook for 2014 is bright as we see an explosion of new devices in the so-called “Internet of Things” era. Google’s recent $3.2B acquisition of Nest is indicative that this market will soon eclipse the smart phone/tablet era (aka the post-PC era). The IoT era will bring with it a range of new opportunities for semiconductor companies to exploit that are not mega-devices, but small, specialized technologies that enable opportunities in adjacent markets, like software and data analysis. There may be at least one semiconductor company that exploits this secondary and/or tertiary source of revenue.
On the IP side of semiconductor, we have seen many acquisitions over the last couple of years, with the big players in the market gobbling up the mid-tier players in deals that are accretive to earnings. This has left a big donut hole in the market with a few power players and legions of small, niche companies. It will take a few years for these to outgrow their niches and become the next wave of mid-tier entities.
Meanwhile, given the near impossibility of getting a semiconductor start-up funded, I see entrepreneurs starting IP companies as an alternative in order to get their ideas to market. Often, they will work in incubation under the watch of their current employers or strike out on their own, beginning with a service model to deploy and refine their technology to lead customers before they move to mainstream IP licensing to the general semiconductor market.
Finally, I see IPextreme with at least one unexpected move that disrupts the status quo. You’ll have to watch and see what I mean!”