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Communications Drives Some Integrated Circuit Segments

While the overall integrated circuit (IC) market will decline 1 percent in 2012, there will be strong double-digit growth for a number of chips, according to researcher IC Insights.

For example, application-specific analog semiconductors for the wired telecommunications market will post a 25 percent growth rate in 2012, while special purpose logic wired communications chip revenue will rise 21 percent, IC Insights reported.

Demand has also been strong for special purpose logic used in wireless telecommunications equipment. Revenue for special purpose logic for wireless will increase 17 percent in 2012. Such devices include application-specific processors used in smartphones and tablet computers. Special purpose logic for consumer electronics equipment will increase 11 percent, while special purpose logic for automotive systems will rise 7 percent, according to IC Insights.

The automotive market is responsible for only about 7 percent of total IC sales, but increasing electronic system content is driving special purpose logic demand.

Higher electronics content in vehicles is also boosting 32-bit microcontroller demand. Self-park systems, stability control, and collision avoidance use 32-bit MCUs. Global revenue for 32-bit microcontrollers and NAND flash will post 6 percent growth in 2012, according to the researcher.

Display drivers are forecast to make a return to the top-growth list in 2012 with 2 percent growth. Demand for smartphones and media tablets, and potential market growth from new ultra-thin notebook computers, are helping boost sales of display drivers this year.