Taiwan semiconductors sector: With just 395 confirmed cases of coronavirus and (a still tragic) six deaths, Taiwan looks set to become one of the the first economies to recover from the pandemic that has disrupted all our lives. It also appears to be in pole position to capitalise on the expected surge in home working and on-line networking that most observers predict will become the new normal for quite some time to come.
Although global year-on-year sales of semiconductor equipment dropped 7% to $59.8bn in 2019, Taiwan leapfrogged both China and South Korea to claim market leadership with $17.12 bn of that total, according to a report released by industry association Semiconductor Equipment and Materials International (SEMI). Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing (TSM) led the way with revenues of $10.31bn, up more than 45% on 2018..
As they sit out lockdowns around the world, planners throughout the ICT industry are now trying to second-guess how consumer and business needs will change in the coming months and years. Here are some of the predictions recently put forward by ZDnet ‘s Senior Technology Editor Jason Perlow:
- With a large segment of the population confined to their homes having to consume bandwidth, the internet free-for-all we have enjoyed to date is all but done. Legal steps will need to be taken to limit video content streaming to 720p across all content services, such as Netflix, Hulu, Apple TV, Disney+, YouTube, and other providers.
- The much-anticipated roll-out of 5G infrastructure will almost certainly have to be put on indefinite hold given the substantial economic slowdown that is already under way.
- If a substantial proportion of the workforce is no longer mobile and commuting to work, expensive laptops and convertibles will no no longer make sense for the majority of end-users. Desk work is better accomplished with a full-sized monitor, keyboard, and mouse; and, If the desktop is going to be increasingly cloud-deployed, then it will make a lot more sense for the home worker to be equipped with an inexpensive, solid-state, zero-configuration thin client terminal that uses bandwidth-conserving, encrypted session protocols.
- Equally, if more people are spending time at home, then the notion of as primary content consumption and communications device also needs to be re-evaluated. A six-inch or larger ‘phablet’, or something akin to a 10″ iPad, Android, or Windows Arm tablet will make a lot more sense than something which is designed to be pocketable.