Cars that drive themselves, refrigerators that report your dwindling supply of milk or out-of-date broccoli, smartphones that function as life control centers, and networks and big data centers that make up the so-called Internet of Things (IoT) are firing explosive growth in the semiconductor, MEMS and sensor markets. As a result, market analysts across the board predict increased orders and a need for added capacity in 2017. There’s no doubt about it, the chip industry is hotter than ever. Through the eyes of our semiconductor clients, we’ve noticed its impact on different market segments and how it is inspiring companies to invest more strategically in their marketing programs.

Over the past year, the semiconductor industry has shifted its focus from CMOS scaling according to Moore’s law toward heterogeneous integration to meet the performance, bandwidth and low-power requirements of today’s IoT devices. Heterogeneous integration relies on advanced packaging technologies to integrate disparate technologies including MEMS and sensors, logic, memory, analog, RF and more.

With heterogeneous integration coming to the forefront, pressure is on materials manufacturers to meet demands to satisfy the many flavors of advanced packaging, MEMS and sensor device manufacturing, while still providing solutions for further node scaling. IoT devices must also be cost-competitive, so the large majority are built using older technology nodes manufactured in 200mm fabs, which are facing a shortage of 200mm semiconductor manufacturing equipment to outfit them. The increase in mobile applications calls for shrinking power budgets, and growth in medical and automotive applications is pushing reliability requirements across the board. Power semiconductors are become more sophisticated and need advanced metrology and inspection processes.

Along with semiconductor industry growth and its related demands comes more competition and a need to stand out from the crowd with your process, material, tool or service. As a public relations and creative marketing agency with more than a century of combined semiconductor industry experience, we’ve seen the ebb and flow of marketing budgets over the years. This latest growth trend, however, has not only sparked an interest in increased investment in marketing, it also has triggered a shift in strategies to go beyond traditional PR to integrate modern approaches that include influencer marketing, digital media and social selling. This hits squarely in our sweet spot. It allows us to apply our industry expertise to a much broader set of marketing tools, integrating PR, media relations, creative services, experiential marketing, digital media, video, content marketing, social media and social selling.

Ironically, the very industry that provided the underpinnings for these new communication methods has been slow to adopt them for its own use. Lately, however, we have seen these organizations engaging in them more and more. We are honored that Brewer Science, EMD Performance Materials, Mega Fluid Systems, UnitySC and the LoRa Alliance have turned to Kiterocket (formerly Impress Labs) to put these modern content-marketing strategies to work for them.