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January - 2009 - issue > CEO Spot Light
Multimedia-Driving-Semiconductor-to-a-New-Realm
Prakash Bhalerao
Wednesday, December 31, 2008
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If we go by history, the semiconductor industry dates back to the era wherein innovations in the space were mainly catered to the defense and aerospace markets. Later, when the federal government declassified the segment few decades ago many companies emerged especially in the EDP space, creating a huge electronic revolution pouring creative electronic products into the mass market and thus causing a disruption in the space. In fact, this has revolutionized the semiconductor space, with novel electronic gadgets hitting the market every day; and the industry has undergone a paradigm shift in the last few years.

Though many innovations did exist earlier, like DVD on a chip, camera on a chip, and many more integrated functionalities, the consumer electronic equipments didn’t have any option for interconnectivity. Today, the market is driven towards interconnectivity propelled by the Internet revolution. Till date it was text as data over the Internet and in the coming years it will be multimedia as data. And this will pose an altogether different requirement. This will drive all underlining technologies like process, DSP, storage, network, and many more, creating a whole lot of opportunities for new devices and will lead to a new semiconductor based ecosystem. Hence, I believe that multimedia is going to flatten the world in the coming years, creating a lot more opportunity for electronic products pertaining to multimedia requirements containing huge number of integrated chips incorporated in it. Plus, multimedia revolution over the Internet not only could serve the needs of entertainment space, but will also serve e-commerce, education, healthcare, and many more segments.

As we go forward, I believe that the semiconductor industry will continue to play a crucial role in terms of people’s dependency on semiconductor based products, and consequently on economic growth. So, future technological innovations would be heavily dependent on semiconductor technologies, as more and more personalized and consumer centric electronics gadgets will be hitting the market place.

For an entrepreneur, the key challenge would be to bring the disruption into this extremely competitive market. The core differentiator will be quality, while understanding of the consumer requirements would be another major factor to run a successful and flourishing business. For instance, YouTube created a huge disruption in the video streaming space. I believe that innovations of this kind are required to be able to sustain their grip on the market, which could be a huge challenge at times like these.

(The author is the CEO, Verismo Networks. With their Vunow product, Verismo Networks claims of redefining the home television experience by bringing millions of free Internet videos around the world directly to your TV without a computer. The privately held company is based in Mountain View, California with an office in Bangalore,India)
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