The future of the semiconductor industry will be shaped by a range of disruptive themes, with Internet of Things (IoT) being one of the themes that will have a significant impact on semiconductor companies. A detailed analysis of the theme, insights into the leading companies, and their thematic and valuation scorecards are included in GlobalData’s thematic research report,Internet of Things – Thematic Research.  Buy the report here.

IoT describes the use of connected sensors and actuators to control and monitor the environment, the things that move within it, and the people that act within it. It can be beneficial across the whole value chain and allows different assets and people to be monitored and accounted for across vast distances in hazardous conditions.   


The emphasis in chip design has shifted from a race to place more transistors onto a square millimetre of silicon to a focus on building microprocessors as systems made up of multiple components, each of which performs a specialised task. As more and more sensors and microcontrollers are packed into the connected devices, the pressure on the semiconductor industry to develop smaller, cheaper, and faster chips ratchets up. For IoT to be pervasive, the underlying semiconductor technology embedded within IoT devices needs to be cheaper, more compact, and consume less power. 

However, not all companies are equal when it comes to their capabilities and investments in the key themes that matter most to their industry. Understanding how companies are positioned and ranked in the most important themes can be a key leading indicator of their future earnings potential and relative competitive position.  

The companies most likely to benefit from this trend are NVIDIA, Qualcomm, and Intel

Leading IoT adopter in the semiconductor industry 


Qualcomm aims to dominate the connectivity layer of our IoT value chain. Its wireless communications chips cover the broadest range of wireless technologies of any rival. Qualcomm is strong in 4G, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth. While Huawei is the world leader in 5G telecom equipment, tensions brought on by the US-China trade war could work in Qualcomm’s favour in the market for 5G equipment. Qualcomm is likely to be a leader in the IoT standard-setting process. In December 2020, a new services suite was announced to deliver IoT as a Service (IoTaaS) solutions for smart cities. As part of its plan to augment its automotive processing capabilities in infotainment systems and driver assistance, it announced the acquisition of a two-year-old start-up, Nuvia, for $1.4bn in January 2021. 

To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the technology industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Internet of Things.  

  • TSMC
  • Intel
  • Xilinx
  • Softbank
  • SK Hynix
  • STMicroelectronics
  • ASML Holding
  • Skyworks
  • Silicon Motion
  • Nanya Tech
  • Synopsys
  • Cadence Design Systems
  • Graphcore
  • Analog Devices
  • Qorvo
  • Rohm
  • IBM
  • Tokyo Electron
  • Baidu
  • Renesas
  • Apple
  • Alibaba
  • Infineon
  • Silicon Labs
  • Melexis
  • Broadcom
  • Applied Materials
  • On Semiconductor
  • Monolithic Power Systems

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