"Overall, IDC continues to reaffirm the forecast and views expressed in its end-year SAF update published in December2010. But, IDC also cautions that continued macroeconomic problems, such as persistent high unemployment with the associated low consumer sentiment in the U.S., the ongoing sovereign debt crisis, especially in Europe and U.S., fear of recession in U.S. and Japan in 2012, and fear of high inflation in China, India, and Brazil, will likely impact semiconductor market negatively in 2012. But long-term secular growth driven by end applications such as smart phones, media tablets, mobile PCs, set top boxes, LCD TVs, wired networks, industrial automation, and automotive infotainment remains strong," said Mali Venkatesan, research manager, Semiconductors at IDC, who led the study and compiled the SAF data.
The launch of Sandy Bridge and Fusion APU in 2011, by Intel and AMD respectively, along with continued enterprise adoption of Windows 7, should help to accelerate the PC replacement cycle and drive semiconductor demand for the Computing segment into 2012. At the same time, increased encroachment of media tablets into the mobile PC market will slow semiconductor growth in the Computing segment. Overall, this segment, which represents about 40% of all semiconductor revenues, will show year-over-year (2012) and CAGR (2010-2015) growth rates of 4% and 5%, respectively.
Semiconductor technology continues to be at the heart of the smartphone markets and will continue to enable system vendors to bring key user requirements to devices positioned for the enterprise, connected home, and under-served regional markets. However, there is continued pricing pressure on cellular baseband and connectivity chipsets, especially in the low end of the markets. Long-term volume growth, however, remains robust as demand for these chipsets extends beyond smartphones. IDC also sees solid long-term telecom spending given the continued growth of IP traffic, cloud computing, migration to next-generation wired networks, and growth of smart devices on the networks. IDC forecasts year-over-year (2012) and CAGR (2010-2015) growth rates of 7% and 7%, respectively, for the Communications industry segment.
Although there is high growth in semiconductor revenues from media tablets, e-readers, and LED/LCD TV sets, continued declines in traditional consumer devices, such as DVD players and fixed game consoles, will result in tepid semiconductor revenue growth of 5% year over year (2012) and CAGR (2010-2015) for the Consumer segment.
The Automotive segment and Industrial segment, which includes energy, medical, industrial automation, military and aero, together represent about 16% of semi revenues. These segments are forecast to log 5% and 8% growth rates respectively for year-over-year (2011) and CAGR (2010-2015), with growth driven by increased automobile sales worldwide and increased semiconductor consumption in applications such as infotainment, safety and diagnostic systems, engine control, energy/battery management, M2M, smart grid, LED lighting, and factory automation.
Among semiconductor devices, ASSP revenues for media/audio/graphics will show a CAGR (2010-2015) of 11%; but, DRAM revenues will decline due to continued pricing pressure with a CAGR (2010-2015) of 1%. Regionally, as expected, Asia/Pacific continues to grow its share of semiconductor revenues, reaching 43% in 2015.