Microsoft’s Windows 8 operating system and next-generation smartphones launch later this year will accelerate semiconductor revenue growth in 2013 and beyond
Worldwide semiconductor revenue is expected to grow by 4.6% in 2012 to $315bn according a report by International Data Corporation (IDC).
According to the mid-year 2012 update of the Semiconductor Applications Forecaster (SAF), semiconductor revenues will grow 6.2% to $335bn in 2013 and grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.8% from 2011-2016, reaching $380bn in 2016.
Current global demand for semiconductor remains strong, led by demand in applications such as smartphones, media tablets, and automotive electronics despite concerns of ongoing macroeconomic uncertainties, such as the Eurozone crisis, lower global GDP growth, and economic slowing in the BRIC countries, the report revealed.
The launch of Microsoft’s Windows 8 operating system and next-generation smartphones later this year is expected to accelerate semiconductor revenue growth in 2013 and beyond.
IDC Semiconductors research manager Mali Venkatesan said supply constraints on semiconductor products, such as smartphone applications processors and PC discrete graphics processors based on the most advanced process technologies, are easing as foundries are bringing more capacity online.
"Also, the semiconductor industry has recovered from the flooding in Thailand that held back the supply of hard drives and PCs," Venkatesan said.
"Leading-edge 22nm at Intel is ramping fast now, while foundries and memory companies are getting ready to move to 20nm technology node."
Venkatesan however said that near-term growth will be slower than that of past semiconductor cycles due to macroeconomic weakness.
Regionally, Europe will continue to be weak across the board, while the US consumer and automotive markets will show strong semiconductor demand.
Asia/Pacific will continue to grow its share of semiconductor revenues, with year-over-year growth of 7% in 2012 and a five-year CAGR of 6.4%.
Although GDP growth has slowed in China, India, and Brazil, demand for smartphones, tablets, and notebooks remains strong.
Semiconductor revenues for the Computing industry segment is expected to record year-over-year growth of 1.5% for 2012 while it is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.7% between 2011-2016.
Mobile PC segment within computing industry is expected to grow at 5.9% in 2012 while it is expected to grow at a CAGR of 9.6% between 2011-2016.
The report revealed, among semiconductor devices, microprocessors, ASSPs, and microcontrollers will register higher revenue growth than overall semiconductor revenues, but memory (especially DRAM) will continue to show negative growth as the memory industry recovers from the DRAM slump of last year.