Chip market to turn up in 2013

January 03, 2013 // By Peter Clarke
Strength in mobile devices and weakness in PCs will characterize the coming year and drive global semiconductor market growth of 4.9 percent in 2013 after a flat 2012, according to market forecast firm International Data Corporation. (Framingham, Massachusetts.).

This growth – to $319 billion in 2013 – will come after the market expanded by less than 1 percent in 2012 to reach $304 billion, according to the firm. In the longer term the global semiconductor market will show a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.1 percent from 2011 to 2016 and reach $368 billion in 2016.

Weakness in PC demand with ongoing impacts on DRAM together with some inventory rationalization in the face of global macroeconomic uncertainty characterized 2012, in IDC's estimation. Smart phones and tablet computers, set-top boxes and automotive electronics were bright spots in the market and IDC expects that to be the case in 2013 and over the next few years.

IDC expects semiconductor inventories to come into balance with demand in the second quarter of 2013 with growth to resume in the second half of 2013.

IDC has broken down its semiconductor predictions by segment.

So for chips sold into the computing industry segment 2013 will show year-over-year growth of 1.7 percent, in line with a 2011 to 2016 CAGR of 1.7 percent. Semiconductor revenues from mobile PC demand will register 5.5 percent year-over-year growth in 2013, after declining 7.7 percent in 2012.

The market for chips for communications is set to expand by 6.5 percent in 2013 with a five-year CAGR of 5.5 percent. However, semiconductor revenues for 4G phones will experience annual growth of 140 percent in 2013 and a CAGR of 103.4 percent for 2011 to 2016.

Consumer growth, driven by tablets, e-readers and set-top boxes, will show 9.8 percent growth in 2013 and fiver-year CAGR of 6.0 percent.