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IC Market to Eclipse $300 Billion in 2013

The integrated circuit market will push past the $300 billion mark in 2013.
While integrated circuit revenue growth (IC) has slowed to four percent in 2011, the long-term outlook is brighter, according to market researcher IC Insights.

IC Insights forecasts that the IC market will pass the $300 billion mark for the first time in history in 2013, when revenue tops $311 billion. In 2011, IC revenue is expected to grow four percent to $270.5 billion, and then grow to $298.7 billion in 2012.

The rebound in growth means that the long-term growth trend for the IC industry is continuing. To put this in perspective, the IC market hit $10 billion in 1980 and topped $100 billion in sales in 1995. It reached $200 billion for the first time in 2005, according to IC Insights.

It took 15 years for the IC market to grow from $10 billion to $100 billion, 10 years to double in size to $200 billion, and now is forecast to take eight years to increase another $100 billion to reach the $300 billion level, reported IC Insights.

IC unit shipments will reach 200 billion for the first time in 2011. Shipments of analog devices are forecast to surpass 100 billion units in 2011. This is the first time any product segment has reached that level.

Memory chips are forecast to have the strongest market growth among the major product categories from 2008 through 2015, with an average annual growth of 12 percent, according to IC Insights. Over the same period, NAND flash memory will be among the strongest growing individual product segments with 20 percent average annual growth.

Robust demand for tablet PCs, smart phones, and solid-state drives will boost sales of NAND flash through 2015.

Total smart phone shipments are forecast to grow 60 percent in 2011 to 440 million units after increasing 56 percent to 275 million in 2010, IC Insights reported. This is significant to the IC industry because smart phones contain as much as nine times more NAND flash than a basic or enhanced cell phone.

Growing demand for automotive-related ICs continues, with the automotive application-specific analog market forecast to grow 32 percent in 2011.

Strong growth is also forecast this year for the automotive special purpose logic/MPR segment and in the 32-bit MCU market. Sophisticated safety systems, driver information systems, and engine control units will keep the automotive IC market active through 2015.

The popularity of touch-screen media tablets has impacted the portable computer segment with microprocessor giant Intel and rival Advanced Micro Devices scrambling to compete with ARM-based processors in tablets. ARM processors were used in well over 90 percent of the 17 million tablets sold by all systems suppliers in 2010, and nearly that same share is expected in 2011, according to IC Insights.