Semiconductor revenue worldwide will see improved growth this year of 6.9 percent and reaching $320 billion according to the mid-year 2013 update of the Semiconductor Applications Forecaster (SAF) from International Data Corporation (IDC). The SAF also forecasts that semiconductor revenues will grow 2.9 percent year over year in 2014 to $329 billion and log a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.2 percent from 2012-2017, reaching $366 billion in 2017.
Continued global macroeconomic uncertainty from a slowdown in China, Eurozone debt crisis and recession, Japan recession, and the U.S. sequester’s impact on corporate IT spending are factors that could affect global semiconductor demand this year. Mobile phones and tablets will drive a significant portion of the growth in the semiconductor market this year. The industry continued to see weakness in PC demand, but strong memory growth and higher average selling prices (ASPs) in DRAM and NAND will have a positive impact on the semiconductor market. For the first half of 2013, IDC believes semiconductor inventories decreased and have come into balance with demand, with growth to resume in the second half of the year.
"Semiconductors for smartphones will see healthy revenue growth as demand for increased speeds and additional features continue to drive high-end smartphone demand in developed countries and low-cost smartphones in developing countries. Lower cost smartphones in developing countries will make up an increasing portion of the mix and moderate future mobile wireless communication semiconductor growth. PC semiconductor demand will remain weak for 2013 as the market continues to be affected by the worldwide macroeconomic environment and the encroachment of tablets," said Nina Turner, Research Manager for semiconductors at IDC.
According to Abhi Dugar, research manager for semiconductors, embedded system solutions, and associated software in the cloud, mobile, and security infrastructure markets, "Communications infrastructure across enterprise, data centers, and service provider networks will experience a significant upgrade over the next five years to support the enormous growth in the amount of data and information that must be managed more efficiently, intelligently, and securely. This growth is being driven by continued adoption of rich media capable mobile devices, movement of increasingly virtualized server workloads within and between datacenters, and the emergence of new networking paradigms such as software defined networking (SDN) to support the new requirements."
Regionally, Japan will be the weakest region for 2013, but IDC forecasts an improvement over the contraction in 2012. Growth rates in all regions will improve for 2013 over 2012, as demand for smartphones and tablets remain strong and automotive electronics and semiconductors for the industrial market segment improve in 2013.