NEW YORK — According to preliminary estimates from the Semiconductor Value Chain Service at IHS, the global semiconductor market is set to expand revenue by close to 5 percent in 2013 as a result of strong performance in the memory sector -- this following a 2.5 percent annual decline in 2012.
Semiconductor sales worldwide will total about $317.9 billion this year, which is up 4.9 percent from $302.9 billion in 2012. In particular, a projected 35 percent rise in dynamic random access memory (DRAM) and a 27.7 percent increase in NAND flash memory are responsible for the rebound in the overall semiconductor market in 2013.
“Memory chips are coming to the rescue of the semiconductor business in 2013,” says Dale Ford, head of electronics and semiconductor research at IHS, in the press release. “Solid pricing and expanding demand for DRAM and NAND in smartphones and tablets have caused revenue for these memory devices to surge. Without these two high-performing product segments, the semiconductor industry would attain zero growth this year.”
Strong results in the DRAM and NAND markets have spurred growth for US-based chipmaker Micron, which will grow the most of any company in the industry, according to projections. Micron’s estimated 109.2 percent growth in 2013 brings it to the fourth spot in the overall market from its tenth place position a year ago. The company is expected to finish the year with $14.2 billion in semiconductor revenue, more than twice the $6.8 billion total revenue from last year. It is expected to expand its market share more than any other company, reaching 4.5 percent in 2013, up from 2.2 percent last year. Micron acquired Elpida Memory this year, which has also helped spur the company’s significant growth.
South Korea-based SK Hynx, which did not make any major acquisitions, also took a big step forward in 2013 thanks to the significant expansion of the memory market. SK Hynx’s chip revenue is set to grow by 48.7 percent this year, bringing it to fifth place in the semiconductor market rankings from seventh last year.
US-based Qualcomm also posted impressive results, bringing it to within striking distance of industry leaders Intel and Samsung and solidifying its third place positioning. It is set to achieve 31.6 percent growth in the semiconductor market for 2013, an increase of 1.2 percent in market share for memory, bringing it to 5.5 percent in revenue for the semiconductor market as a whole.
Aside from the memory segment, light-emitting diodes (LEDs) are expected to grow by 9.5 percent while complementary metal-oxide semiconductor (CMOS) image sensors are expected to grow by 5.7 percent. Meanwhile, standard logic is expected to expand by 4.2 percent, sensors and actuators by 3.6 percent, and analog application-specific integrated circuits by 3.5 percent.
The wireless market in general has been doing well among semiconductor segments. Increases in wireless will drive consumption in semiconductors as projections show wireless products are set to go up by 11.7 percent in 2013. Wireless will be followed by industrial electronics among application segments, with sales growth expected to reach 10.7 percent, whereas consumer electronics semiconductor revenue is expected to decline 5.2 percent.
On the other hand, markets experiencing sharp retractions include change-coupled device (CCD) image sensors, which are expected to take a significant dive of 40.6 percent. Specialty memory (19.6 percent), digital signal processors (16.5 percent), SRAM (19.9 percent), NOR flash memory (14.8 percent), and ASICs (11.6 percent) are all also expected to drop significantly.
Sony is expected to experience a 28.1 percent decline, falling from fifteenth to eleventh, Renesas Electronics will likely lose 15.3 percent, falling from tenth to sixth, and Rohm Semiconductor is set to drop by 14.3 percent, falling out of the top 20 entirely. Texas Instruments is set to decline 5.5 percent as is Nvidia by 5.6 percent in 2013. Intel will remain at No. 1 among semiconductor suppliers, but with less distance between itself and the field, as it is expected to lose about 1 percent market share from 15.7 to 14.8.
As far as regional consumption of semiconductors, the Asia/Pacific region is expected to see the most growth with an 8.9 percent increase in 2013. Second is the Americas with 5.0 percent growth.
The majority of the 150 companies IHS surveyed are expected to expand their semiconductor revenues in 2013. 53 percent are likely to see an increase, while 47 percent are likely to see a decrease.