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Demand for Most IC Products Will Rise in 2012


Twenty-seven of 33 major integrated circuit (IC) product categories will post sales growth in 2012 and six of those product segments will experience double-digit growth, according to researcher IC Insights.

The Scottsdale, Ariz.-based researcher reported that 11 product segments, as defined by World Semiconductor Trade Statistics (WSTS), will post growth exceeding 7 percent, the expected overall integrated industry revenue growth rate in 2012.

NAND flash memory will post the strongest growth in 2012 as revenue will rise 15 percent. NAND has been a top growing market segment over the past few years due to the growth of smart phones, tablet PCs and other mobile media devices, according to IC Insights.

The combination of strong demand for NAND flash and continued weakness in DRAM prices will result in the total flash market surpassing the DRAM market for the first time ever in 2012. DRAM revenue is expected to decline 3 percent this year, IC Insights reported.

Wireless telecom-special purpose logic segment, which includes applications processors used in smart phones and tablet/media PCs), is expected to post 15 percent growth in 2012. Thirty-two bit microcontroller (MCU) revenue will also grow 15 percent.

Other products expected to show better-than-market performance are microprocessors, display drivers, programmable logic devices (PLD) and 16-bit MCUs. MPUs will post 14 percent growth; display drivers, 9 percent; PLDs, 9 percent; and 16-bit MCUs will post 8 percent growth, according to IC Insights.

The 16-bit MCU market is forecast to surpass the 8-bit MCU segment for the first time. Eight-bit MCU revenue will grow 2 percent.

Automotive-related ICs are forecast to show strong growth as semiconductor content per new vehicle increases due to government safety and environmental mandates for low tire-pressure warning, electronic stability, and collision-avoidance systems.

Auto-special purpose logic/MPR and auto-application-specific analog are expected to grow 11 percent and will be among the top growing segments for the third consecutive year.

NOR flash, SRAM and EEPROM will post the steepest declines in revenue in 2012, according to IC Insights. NOR revenue will decline 14 percent; SRAM sales will drop 11 percent and EEPROM revenue will fall 8 percent.

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