LONDON — Mobile processors are becoming more significant in an expanding microprocessor market, because the traditional PC market is in the doldrums, according to IC Insights. Non-x86 processors (which can be read as ARM-based processors), are failing to penetrate PCs, the market researcher said in a bulletin issued today.
The mobile market is growing fast. IC Insights expects the market for tablet processors to rise 54 percent to $3.5 billion this year. The market for cellphone application processors will grow 30 percent to $16.1 billion. However, this would leave that market less than a third the size of the microprocessor chip market, which will grow 8 percent to $61 billion.
Microprocessor sales by application.
(Source: IC Insights)
About 2.15 billion processor chips are expected to ship in 2013, with tablet processor shipments growing 62 percent to 190 million units and cellphone application processor shipments increasing 11 percent to 1.5 billion units.
The midyear update to the IC Insights 2013 forecast trims the value of x86 microprocessors sold into PCs and servers from 58 percent to 56 percent of the total market. It increases the value of tablet computer application processors from 5 percent to 6 percent. The forecast value for processors for embedded applications grew by 2 percent to 11 percent, while the forecast for application processors in mobile phones remains at 26 percent.
IC Insights now says the penetration of non-x86 architectures into laptop and desktop computers will stand at just 1 percent in 2013. The January forecast had called for an increase to 2 percent.
The general trend is a familiar one: Demand for touch-screen cellphones and tablets is driving demand mainly for ARM-based application processors, while a decline in shipments of standard PCs presents problems for x86 processor vendors Intel and Advanced Micro Devices.
The market for processors used in PCs, servers, larger computers, and embedded applications is set to contract 1 percent to $41.4 billion in 2013. A previously anticipated return to growth is being blocked by weakness in the standard PC market, which will fall 5 percent in 2013 to 327 million systems, IC Insights said.