LONDON Over the next five years the long-term growth rate for the semiconductor market is going be more than double what it has been, according to market research firm IC Insights Inc. (Scottsdale, Ariz.).
The five years from 2006 to 2011 saw a compound annual growth rate of just 3.9 percent for the total chip business, with integrated circuits even lower at 3.3 percent. While unit shipments are generally thought to have held up well over the period average selling prices (ASPs) have fallen as companies compete to get into high volume consumer products such as smartphones and tablet computers.
The semiconductor sector is going to see a return to a CAGR of 8 percent with ICs not far behind at 7.6 percent. The OSD sector optoelectronics, sensors and discretes will do even better growing by 10.6 percent per year on average.
Within the IC sector McClean is predicting a return to growth for the DRAM sector and very strong growth for NAND flash non-volatile memory of 16.6 percent per year on average. Other key markets such as microprocessors (MPUs) and the analog market are forecast to enjoy modest increase in average annual market growth through 2016.
The key will be a turn around in the ASP trend reckons the market analyst. Whereas ASPs declined by 2.9 percent per year on average between 2006 and 2011, going forward IC Insights expects a 1.7 percent per annum uplift in ASPs.
IC Insights puts that down to consolidation in the industry making it less likely that it will get into an oversupply situation which can prompt steep price declines.
That's so true Peter. When I would talk about the terrible DRAM market in the past, with the associated below-cost ASPs, the BUYERS of DRAM from Apple and HP would look at me like I am crazy.
President, IC Insights
Here's hoping, but the industry has never been particularly good about holding the line on price. It's spent the last 10 years getting even more brutally efficient and productive and almost literally making magic in the fabs and selling the output for pennies...
Anyway, optimism, optimism...