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Chip market to grow 9 percent in 2011, says IDC

December 10, 2010 // Peter Clarke

Chip market to grow 9 percent in 2011, says IDC

Worldwide semiconductor revenues will grow 9 percent year-over-year in 2011 to reach $303 billion, up from about $276 billion in 2010, according to research firm International Data Corp.


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However, over the six-year period 2010 to 2015 the industry will achieve a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6 percent, the firm said. These would yield a worldwide semiconductor market of $380 billion in 2015. IDC's 9 percent growth estimate for 2011 is considerably higher than 2.3 percent growth predicted by Mike Cowan.

The computing industry segment represents about 40 percent of all semiconductor revenues and will show year-over-year (2011) and CAGR (2010-2015) growth rates of 7 and 6 percent, respectively, after registering revenues of $113 billion in 2010.

While robust smartphone sales drove semiconductor revenues in the communications industry segment to a record $80 billion in 2010, there is continued pricing pressure on cellular baseband and connectivity chipsets, especially in the low end of the market in China. For communications IDC forecasts year-over-year (2011) and CAGR (2010-2015) growth rates of 9 and 5 percent, respectively.

High growth in semiconductor revenues from media tablets, e-readers, and LED/LCD TV sets is helping to balance flat or decreased revenue growth from traditional consumer devices, such as DVD players and game consoles, for the years 2011-2015. As a result, the consumer industry segment will see year-over-year (2011) and CAGR (2010-2015) growth rates of 10 and 5 percent, respectively, according to IDC.

IDC lumps the automotive and industrial segments together. Because of their ability to maintain ASPs while also showing increased unit demand these sectors are expected to be long-term growth drivers for semiconductor revenues. Together, these segments are forecasted to log 13 and 10 percent growth rates respectively for year-over-year (2011) and CAGR (2010-2015) periods.

Many high-growth applications fall in these sectors including: infotainment, safety and diagnostic systems, engine control, energy/battery management, M2M communications, smart grid, LED lighting, and factory automation.

Revenues for microprocessors, microcontrollers, ASSPs, and analog devices are expected to show a CAGR (2010-2015) of between 8 and 9 percent, but, both flash and DRAM revenues, which were impressive in 2010 ($63 billion), will decline with a combined CAGR (2010-2015) of between 0 and -1 percent. The Asia-Pacific region continues to grow its share of semiconductor revenues and is expected to reach 43 percent of the market in 2015.

"Near term, the semiconductor market should hit bottom by the second quarter of next year and begin a growth cycle that will take us into the second half of 2012," said Mario Morales, vice president, Semiconductor research at IDC.

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