13 February 2012

Most IC product categories to experience market growth in 2012

IC Insights forecasts that 27 of the 33 major IC product categories defined by the World Semiconductor Trade Statistics will experience growth in 2012, with 11 segments expected to grow better than the 7% forecast for the total IC industry.

Six categories are forecast to show double digit growth. The numbers stand in sharp contrast to the 15 products that showed positive growth and 18 that experienced a decline in 2011.

The market analyst forecasts that the nand Flash memory market will top the growth list, while it expects nor Flash to be at the bottom of the list, with the biggest percent decline in sales for 2012.

NAND Flash has been a top growing market segment over the past few years due to the growth of consumer driven mobile media devices - particularly smartphones and tablet pcs. In 2012, IC Insights forecasts that the technology will benefit from growing demand for solid state drives. The combination of strong demand for nand Flash and continued weakness in dram average selling prices is forecast to result in the total Flash market surpassing the dram market for the first time ever in 2012. Wireless Telecom - Special Purpose Logic/MPR devices (which includes the numerous applications processors used in smartphones and tablet/media pcs) and 32bit mcus are forecast to lead all product segments with 15% growth in 2012. Other products expected to show better than market performance are mpus, display drivers, plds, and 16bit mcus. IC Insights notes that the market for 16bit mcus is forecast to surpass the 8bit mcu market for the first time, joining the 32bit mcu market, which first surpassed the 8bit mcu segment in 2010.

Momentum for automotive related ICs is forecast to carry over into 2012, as well as semiconductor content per new vehicle increases, due to government safety and environmental mandates – such as low tyre pressure warning, electronic stability or collision avoidance - and consumer interest in on board telematics. Auto special purpose logic/mpr and auto application specific analogue are expected to be among the top growing segments for the third consecutive year.

Four memory categories and six segments in total - nor Flash, sram, eeprom/other, dsp, gate array, and dram (the fastest growing category in 2010) are forecast to experience their second consecutive year of slower sales in 2012.
Further information on all IC market segments can be found in the 2012 edition of The McClean Report, IC Insights' complete forecast and analysis of the integrated circuit industry.

Chris Shaw

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