Chipmakers would have to shift their focus to sensors and power semiconductors
Upsurge in the shipments of ultrabooks during the next four years will boost the prospects for sensors as well as power and analogue semiconductors, according to IHS iSuppli Semiconductor Value Chain research.
The research, however, said the growth in ultrabook shipments may decrease the market opportunity for upgrade memory modules.
Worldwide ultrabook shipments are expected to reach 136.5 million units in 2015, a massive growth from less than 1 million in 2011, which will have major repercussions for the electronics supply chain.
Although ultrabooks on the whole represent a huge new growth avenue for semiconductor suppliers, their rapid growth will cause major realignments among chipmakers serving the notebook markets.
The report revealed, one major semiconductor winner in the ultrabook growth will be the sensor, including devices based on microelectromechanical system (MEMS) technology.
IHS principal analyst of MEMS and sensors Jérémie Bouchaud said in terms of usage of sensors, ultrabooks much more closely resemble media tablets than conventional notebooks.
"With ultrabook shipments expected to rise to account for 42% of the notebook market by 2015, this represents a major growth opportunity for MEMS," Bouchaud said.
Power-management semiconductor devices will be another beneficiary of the ultrabooks’ increasing share of notebook shipments, the report said.
IHS senior principal analyst of power management Marijana Vukicevic said power requirements in ultrabooks will be even more rigorous than in notebooks, due to the Ultrabook’s slimmer form factor and longer battery life.
"This will increase the value of power management electronics in each unit sold, boosting the opportunity for analog suppliers," Vukicevic said.
The demand for new and more sophisticated power management solutions will also be driven by the usage of solid state drives in ultrabooks.
The upgrade DRAM module market will be negatively impacted, as majority of ultrabooks now shipping have DRAM chips soldered directly onto the motherboard and they account for an increasing portion of notebook shipments.
The number of upgrade notebook PC modules shipped will be reduced by 13.5% in 2015 due to the ultrabook, amounting to some 10.8 million units.