back to article As semiconductor VC funding dips, startups trip, crash, build for the next boom

As the economic downturn brings the astronomical level of investor hype over semiconductor startups back to Earth, some venture-backed companies think now is the right time to build for the next boom period, while others stumble and crash. Global venture capital funding for semiconductor startups reached new heights in 2020 …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Take an uber view of long term profit

    ...the bar has always been higher for silicon firms than software startups because of how capital-intensive they are ...

    Is that because silicon firms are really less vital to long term economic health and profit, or because investors are short sighted and suffer from ADHD?

    1. elsergiovolador Silver badge

      Re: Take an uber view of long term profit

      It's more to do with the security. If you start making chips, you put a target on your back as all those sanctioned countries would love you to make them chips for their drones and other military equipment.

      You probably need to spend billions on security first before thinking about actually making chips.

      If you are an investor and you have other profitable ventures, these could be used by hostile actors as a leverage.

      Unless governments help with security, then it is still a no go for investment.

      1. martinusher Silver badge

        Re: Take an uber view of long term profit

        >for their drones and other military equipment.

        One person's drone is another person's model aircraft. There's a Hollywood based notion that military equipment has to use the absolute latest and greatest bleeding edge technology. There are situations where this might be so but typically most military hardware is conservative and several generations behnid. Which is more than adequate for most military purposes, including drones.

        The issue here in the US is that if you want an export market then you've got a problem because of legality and liability issues. ITAR affects quite low level parts, often nothing more exotic that you'd find in an inexpensive Arduino board. You routinely check the appropriate boxes to get the tools and technology, at least you used to, but these days it carries with it significant personal and corporate liability. OTOH, if we make the stuff 'over there' we can sell it anywhere and nobody bothers us.

        1. elsergiovolador Silver badge

          Re: Take an uber view of long term profit

          It's more to do with availability, not about "latest tech". It's just happens that MPUs in newer technologies tend to be produced in massive quantities, whereas older tech isn't. There is now perpetual shortage of MCUs manufactured under older tech, because of the war.

  2. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    Great News for the Black Economy and Grey Importers, not so much for A.N.Others

    a major opportunity because it is developing chip architectures that will allow hyperscale and cloud customers to take advantage of Compute Express Link.

    That major opportunity development sounds very much like a back door hack which will be horrendously costly, and even impossible to prevent and fix from being extensively abused and misused/reconfigured.

    Perfect though for Embrace, Extend, Extinguish Merchants/Parasites/Pirates/Carpetbaggers/Ruskies under the Bed/Fifth Columnists, call them what you will.

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