Mark LaPedus, EETimes(02/08/2009 6:55 PM EST) SUNNYVALE, Calif.
-- The current IC downturn has already taken its toll on the semiconductor industry in 2009.
And it's only February. Most--if not all--chip makers are bracing for tough economic conditions for the remainder of this year and perhaps beyond.
One semiconductor and EDA veteran sees a ray of hope. Just think positive, said Jack Harding, president, chief executive and chairman of eSilicon Corp. (Sunnyvale, Calif.), a fabless ASIC vendor.
''I've never been a doomsdayer,'' Harding said at the company's headquarters here. ''We'll get through it.''
There is still plenty of IC design activity going on despite market conditions. And surprisingly, there is even movement at the bleeding-edge of design. ''Right now, we're shipping 65-nm,'' he said. ''We're designing 40-nm. We're even getting quotes for 28-nm.''
Despite his upbeat sentiments, Harding also disclosed some sobering news about ASICs and the IC market as a whole. "The ASIC business will become fabless one day, with one or two exceptions,'' he said.
The ''two exceptions'' to the rule could end up being Korea's Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. and Japan's Toshiba Corp., he said. Both vendors will continue to own fabs.
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