Mobile, IoT Drive Semicon Growth Globally
After a long period of muted growth, the global semiconductor industry seems to be back on track. The growth in the industry was affected for a couple of quarters owing to the fragile global economic outlook. The renewed enthusiasm can be attributed to emergence of new mobile devices and internet of things (IoT) technologies, believe experts, coupled with the coming of the festive season.
The worldwide semiconductor revenue is on pace to reach $338 billion this year, clipping at 7.2 percent growth over last year and up from the previous forecast of 6.7 per cent, according to Gartner. “Semiconductor revenue set an all-time record in the third quarter of 2014, fuelled by a strong electronics build for the holiday season,” said Gartner research Director Jon Erensen says in the report.
Needless to say, the electronics industry by large has undergone a huge transformation in recent years. Satinder Sohi, India Country Director, Freescale Semiconductor Indiastates, “With the advent of global technologies like mobile, cloud and IoT, the industry has shifted to the optimum adoption of these and has emerged as a strong foundation for driving growth in the country.”
Sohi explains that the popularization and adoption of IoT across the industry verticals. “The trend is growing big in the industry and is also adding value to end customer experience, especially in the automotive and industrial sectors,” he says.
Gartner too sees automotive and industrial markets for semiconductors offer significant growth potential. The automotive market will be driven by the number of vehicles produced in Brazil, Russia, India and China, and by an increase in the average semiconductor content per vehicle, it says. Likewise, the industrial sector is growing because of increasing energy demands, a continuing trend toward renewable energies and the expansion of high-speed rail transportation.
The data processing application market is driven by accelerating tablet sales, and the communications market by the still-strong unit sales of smartphones. Consumer electronics also benefit from a growth in units sold, particularly in digital set-top boxes.
“Get ready for a flood of new product launches, ranging from simple low-cost tablets to high-end ultramobiles and smartphones. Demand for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus has been robust, driven by ASIC,” Erensen says.
PwC also sees emerging trends such as accelerated adoption of smartphones and ultramobile devices driving this sector. According to the report, China will cement its dominant position and increase its market share of global semiconductor sales to half of the worldwide market by 2015.
India too has occupied a unique position in the global Electronics industry with a number of MNCs and independent design houses now doing entire system designs in India. Somshubhro Pal Choudhury, Managing Director, Analog Devices India says that initially treated as a low cost center primarily for software and IT, India has expanded over the years to include embedded software, system re-engineering, module or sub-system engineering to complete system design to both domestic and global clientile, thanks to the mobile revolution.
The situation will certainly improve in India and also globally in the coming quarters, believe experts. “To meet global demands, global production capacity for semiconductors will increase. Overall production capacity is sustaining progress toward smaller feature sizes and larger wafer diameters,” says the PwC report.
In its quarterly semiconductor report last quarter, Gartner said growth will continue to be widespread across many chip types and applications, with DRAM taking the lead with 18.8 percent annual growth. Other areas too will continue to do well, including analog, FPGAs, ASICs, and nonoptical sensors.
Keeping the momentum, the semiconductor market is expected to grow 5.8 percent in 2015, says Gartner. While some products may not sell in the holiday season, analysts believe that this year consumer demand and forecasts production of smartphones and ultramobiles to rise 27 percent and 18.9 per cent, respectively.
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