Hi Peter, you correctly note that "cost of designing a digital chip at the leading-edge has gone up exponentially" and further "...analog and mixed-signal ICs, power and power management, image sensors, MEMS sensors, materials, wireless communications, EDA, and IP cores, the costs are much lower, and the time to money is much shorter..." You are quite correct in your observations but it has not translated into investment activities these days.
Silicon Valley still has not seen significant funding for MEMS startups, for example. And investments in EDA has come to an almost full stop! Some of the saving graces seems to be startups in wireless and SoC's for IoT.
We in Silicon Valley wonder why it is called so now a days! It is more a "Software Valley" these days.
The Other Tesla David Blaza5 comments I find myself going to Kickstarter and Indiegogo on a regular basis these days because they have become real innovation marketplaces. As far as I'm concerned, this is where a lot of cool ...