In 2019, affected by the slowdown in demand and the international trade environment, the global semiconductor market generally showed a downward trend. According to data from research firm IHS Markit, in the first half of 2019, global semiconductor revenue reached US$208.7 billion, down from US$236.6 billion in the first half of 2018, with a decline rate of 13.9%. The downward trend continued until Q3. The good news is that Q4 has begun to bottom out, and the Chinese market has even accelerated its upward trend.

“It is expected that this upward trend will be maintained until 2020. Third-party data show that the global semiconductor market is expected to grow significantly in 2020 compared with 2019, and 2020 will be a year of recovery.” NXP Greater China Mr. Qian Zhijun, vice president of sales and marketing, made a prediction on the development of the semiconductor market at a recent media communication meeting.

Multiple market segments of semiconductors are expected to recover in 2020

For the automotive industry, vehicle sales in the European market and the Chinese market as a whole declined in 2019. However, with the development of new energy vehicles, hybrid vehicles and automotive Electronic technologies, including intelligent cockpit, intelligent driver assistance system, BMS, etc., the automotive market has shown signs of rebound in Q4 2019, and it is expected that the market will rebound in 2020.

For mobile terminals and 5G, thanks to the large-scale investment in 5G, especially in China, the repressed desire of consumers to switch phones will be released in 2020, and the market will grow to a certain extent.

For the IoT market, it is difficult to judge the situation of a certain market due to the characteristics of fragmentation. In general, markets such as AIoT, MCU, MPU, and analog devices have a high probability of rebounding.

Powering all smart devices

The IoT of the Internet of Everything is an old concept with a history of more than ten years. However, the real outbreak of the Internet of Everything began with the arrival of mobile Internet and 5G. “The Internet of Things and artificial intelligence are the most important development milestones now, which is why NXP values ​​and invests heavily in this field with products and technologies.” Qian Zhijun said.

IHS data shows that in terms of the overall number of nodes in the Internet of Things, that is, the number of all devices connected to the network, it was 15 billion in 2015, 31 billion in 2020, and doubled again in 2025, reaching 75 billion. Has broad market prospects.

Smart devices and edge computing followed, and in NXP’s view, all smart network devices share four characteristics: sense, think, connect, and act. Around these four areas, NXP provides leading technology, a wide range of products and safe solutions.

NXP Qian Zhijun: optimistic about the IoT market, UWB has huge opportunities

In terms of perception, NXP has automotive radar and vision, face and gesture recognition, speech recognition, anomaly detection technology.

On the thinking side, NXP offers a wide range of products ranging from MCUs to MPUs to crossover controllers and higher performance i.MX and multi-core processors Layerscape. At the same time, NXP also has dedicated automotive processors, including the S32 series. There are about several thousand part members in its processor family. At the same time, more than 26,000 customers around the world use MCU and MPU products.

In terms of connectivity, NXP has a wide variety of connectivity methods and wireless and wired solutions, including WiFi, UWB, NFC, ZigBee, ZigBee-based THREAD, MIFARE, and most importantly, DSRC in V2X.

On the operational side, NXP has a wide variety of simulators, including interface circuits found in cars, IoT and mobile phones, including edge management and actuator interfaces.

All of this, only to focus on four major end markets: automotive, industrial and Internet of Things, mobile devices, communication infrastructure, so as to provide industry-leading solutions and differentiated security mechanisms.

Safety is an important point of difference

“Security mechanisms and secure products are important points of difference for our entire Internet of Things from other companies or other chip suppliers.” Qian Zhijun introduced, “We have separate secure elements, various embedded Security modules and security certifications. We have very robust security mechanisms from automotive to IoT. We also provide customers with software solutions and packages, and even some service platforms.”

Smart door locks are breached, surveillance camera data leaks and other incidents occur frequently, and security issues have become the biggest worry and urgent demand of consumers.

Qian Zhijun believes that having a reliable security mechanism that shows consumers how their data is stored, encrypted and protected is the main part of the security that NXP is really addressing.

Based on the concept of edge computing and edge security, NXP released the edge computing platform brand EdgeVerse in June 2019. The brand includes a variety of hardware products. On the basis of hardware devices such as application processors, MCUs, connected devices, and analog devices, it provides machine learning software packages and various product solutions, such as machine learning-based software development kits. eIQ, Immersiv3D, a software development environment based on voice experience, and EdgeScale, a device management platform.

There is an EdgeLock solution in EdgeVerse with separate security chip, security verification based on interface circuit and security sub-modules based on embedded MCU, MPU, and EdgeLock 2GO service platform. NXP provides many services based on software under various hardware architectures, such as secure boot devices, secure authentication between devices, and secure authentication between devices and the cloud, as well as device management, OTA upgrades, and life-cycle cycle management. When the device is connected to the cloud, the secret key will automatically become invalid after the set time expires, and the security mechanism needs to be re-issued to update the security key. This function needs to be done under a security mechanism so that the process cannot be maliciously attacked or tampered with by third parties.

UWB becomes the “new star” of connection technology

Ultra-Wideband (UWB), as a “new” connection technology, was first used in the iPhone 11 series, and UWB has attracted a lot of attention.

In fact, UWB is not a new technology, its original application is as an ultra-wideband communication for high-speed data transmission in short distances. In the last decade, other alternative technologies (such as WiFi, 4G, 5G) have been greatly developed, so that the application of UWB for short-distance data transmission has been inhibited.

However, due to product performance, especially the communication mechanism of UWB 2ns, it can accurately measure the transmission delay and incoming angle between signals. Today, NXP has transformed and upgraded UWB so that its algorithm can accurately measure the positioning of products, changing from short-distance communication to a precise positioning technology. This makes UWB positioning-based applications have been applied in some logistics and shopping malls that require high-precision positioning. In terms of positioning accuracy, UWB achieves accurate positioning of about 5 cm and can measure angles and distances, which is beyond the reach of any existing technology.

In November 2019, NXP released a new automotive UWB IC. UWB provides accurate, safe, real-time positioning capabilities, and aims to enable UWB-equipped cars, mobile phones and other smart devices to have spatial awareness, so that cars can accurately locate the user’s location.

Nowadays, the application scale of UWB is still relatively small, and there is no real large-scale application. Qian Zhijun said that it is expected that various applications based on UWB will have a relatively large development in the next one or two years.

“When we communicated with several car manufacturers in the EU, they all believed that UWB can become a complement to current products in the future, and if the product develops to a certain stage in the future, especially after the power consumption is further reduced, it can become a substitute relationship.” Qian Zhijun thinks.

In addition, NXP, together with mobile phone manufacturers and IoT manufacturers, is vigorously developing UWB-based scenarios that can be combined in addition to mobile phones and cars. For example, adding UWB to children’s watches can accurately locate where children are.

Complete Solutions Portfolio Enables 5G

In 2019, China has deployed Sub6G on a large scale, and it is expected that coverage will be available in major cities in 2020. This will also stimulate the growth of sales in the mobile phone market.

In terms of 5G, in addition to providing core network processors on the terminal side and RF solutions provided by macro stations, NXP also provides open architecture (O-RAN), CU, DU, RU, 5G small cells and industrial , agriculture and other aspects have the deployment and application of small base stations and enterprise base stations. It mainly provides products in enterprise or enterprise cloud storage, network and edge computing IoT, serving 5G access on the edge side.

In terms of 5G radio frequency technology, NXP covers from technology to frequency band. All products and technologies from low frequency to high frequency, from micropower to high power can be provided, with product coverage in high power base stations, mmWave infrastructure and CPE solutions.

Through technology and extensive market coverage, combined with the market experience of the past 60 years, NXP has created a complete ecological chain of the entire product from automotive to IoT to infrastructure.

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