BENGALURU, India India and China will play a major role in shaping digital convergence, a much-hyped concept that is nevertheless proving to be a big opportunity and challenge for the global electronics industry.
According to Krishna Rangasayee, senior director, vertical markets and partnerships at Xilinx Inc. (San Jose, Calif.), digital convergence promises to reshape the entire electronics industry. The shift will be characterized by lower power consumption, higher processing capacity, greater functionality, interoperability and wireless access to information from myriad sources along with rapid introduction of new products, Rangasayee predicted.
The semiconductor business is no longer "about cramming the latest technology into our FPGAs," Rangasayee told a meeting of designers here. "We are reshaping the company itself even as digital convergence is reshaping the market."
For technology managers, the challenges presented by digital convergence include: more expensive designs as they are moved to 45-nm and lower process technologies; coping with changing technology standards while meeting time-to-market requirements; and managing rapidly rising processing needs, Rangasayee added.
Digital convergence is shaping vertical markets from wireless to aerospace, he added. In the wired market, it is forcing the retooling of packet processing, serial backplanes and interfaces. In the consumer market, it is reshaping digital displays and smart handheld devices, Rangasayee said.
He predicted that China and India will play a key role in shaping digital convergence, primarily through the purchasing power of each nation's rising middle class.
From an industry standpoint, Chinese hardware OEMs will play a larger role while R&D contributions from India will shape the development of new devices. Asia will also help determine the pricing of digitally converged networks and devices, but "these two countries will set the norm for digitally converged applications in their own markets as well as globally," Rangasayee added.