FRAMINGHAM, USA: International Data Corp. (IDC) forecasts that the worldwide semiconductor revenues will grow 9 percent year over year in 2011 and will achieve a CAGR of 6 percent for the 2010-2015 forecast period.
This follows the strong recovery in 2010, which produced growth of 23 percent over 2009 according to the latest version of IDC's Semiconductor Application Forecaster (SAF).
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 percent and 6 percent, respectively, after registering revenues of $113 billion in 2010. The launch of Sandybridge and Fusion APU in 2011, by Intel and AMD respectively, should help to accelerate the PC replacement cycle and drive semiconductor demand into 2012.
While robust smartphone sales drove semiconductor revenues for 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.
Long-term volume growth, however, remains robust as demand for these chipsets extends beyond smartphones. IDC also sees solid long-term telecom spending given the continued growth of IP traffic, the growth of smart devices on the network, and the spending levels of service providers. IDC forecasts year-over-year (2011) and CAGR (2010-2015) growth rates of 9 percent and 5 percent, respectively, for the Communications industry segment.
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 percent and 5 percent, respectively.
The Automotive and Industrial segments are expected to be long-term growth drivers for semiconductor revenues. Together, these segments are forecasted to log 13 percent and 10 percent growth rates respectively for year-over-year (2011) and CAGR (2010-2015), with growth driven by increased automobile sales worldwide and increased semiconductor consumption in applications such as infotainment, safety and diagnostic systems, engine control, energy/battery management, M2M, smart grid, LED lighting, and factory automation.
Among semiconductor devices, revenues for microprocessors, microcontrollers, ASSPs, and analog devices are expected to show a CAGR (2010-2015) of 8-9 percent, but, both Flash and DRAM revenues, which were impressive in 2010 ($63 billion), will decline with a combined CAGR (2010-2015) of 0-1 percent.
Regionally, as expected, Asia/Pacific continues to grow its share of semiconductor revenues, reaching over 43 percent 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.
"Overall, IDC continues to reaffirm the views expressed in its qualitative semiconductor market update published in October 2010. But, IDC also cautions that macroeconomic problems, such as persistent high unemployment with the associated low consumer sentiment in the US, the ongoing Euro crisis, and a commodity-driven asset bubble in BRIC countries, could influence semiconductor market negatively in 2011," said Mali Venkatesan, research manager, Semiconductors at IDC, who led the study and compiled the SAF data.