Technology often goes in cycles. Thirty years ago the dominant mode of computing was a shared computing resource with comparatively dumb terminals. Think of a Vax accessed by terminals. Then workstations and the PC came along and the dominant mode became a computer on everyone's desk. Then the smartphone came along and so now the dominant mode is back to a centralized cloud with comparatively under-resourced terminals (although much smarter than the old VT100 terminals of the 1980s.).
Drew Wingard, the CTO of Sonics, gave a presentation at IP-SoC on the ASIC/ASSP cycle. He started with a digression on Makimoto's wave which predicts these types of transitions on a decadal timescale. For the last ten years or so the market (foundries, EDA flows, IP requirements) have been driven almost entirely by application processors for mobile (except inside Intel) delivered as ASSPs (such as Qualcomm's Snapdragon).
Let's look at 3 markets.
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