Analog, US to Lead Chip Market Growth

The global semiconductor will be flat in 2015 at $336 billion, up 0.2 percent from 2014, according to the European Semiconductor Industry Association referring to figures from the World Semiconductor Trade Statistics (WSTS) organization.

WSTS reckons that during 2016 and 2017 the global market will display modest growth lead by the Americas region in terms of geography and by analog, optoelectronic and sensors in terms circuit types.

WSTS has reduced its estimates for multiple chip market categories in 2015, 2016 and 2017 from an estimate published in June 2015 (see No American chip boom after all, says WSTS) when it considered 2015 would be growth year of 3.4 percent. Weakness in the third quarter, partially as a result of lower growth in China, has reduced the prospects for this year and caused WSTS to push the prospects of even minor growth out to 2017.

WSTS November 2015 forecast summary. Note: numbers in the table are rounded to whole millions of dollars, which may cause totals by region and by product groups to differ slightly. Source: ESIA and WSTS.

Geographically the WSTS numbers show that the market will continue to be stuck in a two-speed mode with the Americas and Asia-Pacific regions leading the way and the Europe and Japan regions struggling to show growth in US dollar terms.

For 2015, growth in optoelectronics (12.1 percent), sensors (3.4 percent), and analog (2.5 percent) is expected to be partially offset by declines in discrete (-6.8 percent), microprocessors and microcontrollers (-1.5 percent), logic (-1.6 percent), and memory (-1 percent). 

In 2015 Europe and Japan will show a decline mainly as a result of a current foreign exchange effect. The semiconductor market growth in 2015 is expected to be driven by analog signal converters (up 17 percent), communications analog (up 9 percent), 32bit MCUs (up 14 percent), automotive DSP (up 28 percent), display drivers (up 12 percent), touch screen controllers (up 31 percent), communications logic/short range (up 13 percent), optoelectronics (up 12 percent) and actuators (up 10 percent). 

For 2016 all the major product categories except memory and all the regions except Europe are expected to show growth. The following year WSTS expects a continued recovery in the macro economy and annual growth of 3.1 percent to take the market to $352 billion in 2017.

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