Samsung Banking On IoT To Grow Its Semiconductor Business

According to Mr. Byung-se So, EVP of Samsung Strategy and Innovation Center, the South Korean multinational is apparently banking on the Internet of Things (IoT) to raise its market share in the global semiconductor space. Mr. So was speaking at an investors' forum in Seoul, South Korea, where he expressed hope that IoT and related applications will fuel growth in the semiconductor industry in the foreseeable future. He also made it amply clear that Samsung intends to become an end-to-end solutions provider and not remain just a hardware vendor, by talking about the company’s IoT-specific ARTIK chips that were launched by the firm earlier this year.

According to Samsung’s forecast, IoT will eventually account for as much as 25-percent of the global semiconductor market that’s currently growing at 7-percent per annum. That being the case, the company apparently believes it will be in pole position to grab a whopping 53-percent of the global IoT hardware and equipment market when the ‘Smart Home’ revolution becomes more mainstream by the year 2020. Samsung has actually even specified the exact number of IoT devices it expects its chips to power by the end of this decade, saying that as many as 6.6 billion IoT devices ranging from smart home to distribution, healthcare to transportation should run on Samsung-designed chips in the next four years.

With such ambitious projections put forth by Samsung Electronics, one couldn’t help but wonder if the company is discounting fellow chipmakers and competitors like Qualcomm and Intel at its own peril. According to Mr. So, however, the fact that the South Korean tech giant is offering complete ecosystems helps it deliver ‘additional value’ with its offerings as opposed to its rivals who only offer basic System-on-Chip (SoC) solutions. Of course, unwilling to remain just a hardware vendor, Samsung is jumping into the software services sector in recent times, spending big bucks on acquiring companies like Joyent, which happens to be an US-based cloud services provider.

Even as Samsung sounded extremely bullish about its future in the IoT space going forward, the one sore point was the fact that only about 97-percent of the company’s chips are IoT compliant, which compares poorly to its rivals, who have near 100-percent compatibility with their chips. Samsung’s EVP, however, blew away any such concerns by insisting that its integrated ecosystem will help make up for those shortcomings and help it win against its competitors, who, he insisted, are not going to be able to compete with Samsung in the absence of mature cloud-based platforms.

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