In the 90’s, just as digital cell phones started surfacing in Europe, I remember being impressed with the DSP technology and the complex algorithms to compress and encode voice into efficiently transmissible code. Also impressive was the modem and radio transmission ICs that encoded the information in such a manner to transmit as far as possible with the lead amount of data loss and power consumption to enable smaller and smaller phones.
However, today no one even talks about these anymore, as the function only comprises a small corner of a chip. It is also a given that the chip also contains all possible functions needed in a single chip devices which contains all function of a phone, including the modem and radio transmission. Also thrown in is the software needed to control the communication protocol to enable the phone to communicate with the network, the operating system and most probably tools to easily create smartphone apps.
Granted there is always technology advancement because this is what moves humanity forward. The challenge is keeping the value in the value chain.
It is also interesting to note that the top players of the mobile phone industry have underdone radical change over the last 10-15 years. There maybe only one name, which still remains in the top 10. Most have dropped out to give way to new players. This is certainly not for the lack of trying to fight it out in the marketplace or intellectual property war chest. For most it was due to an abrupt change in the value chain model.
With the advent of electric cars, broadly specialized integrated chips and components are being developed for the automotive market. How disrupt the automotive landscape and value chain in the next 10-15 years?