The World Semiconductor Trade Statistics (WSTS) recently published its final semiconductor market figures for 2014.
According to WSTS analysts, the global semiconductor market showed solid growth of almost 10% up to $336 billion in 2014 – driven primarily by the double-digit growth of memory (18.2%). Meanwhile, all other major product categories achieved positive growth rates, with discrete components pegged at 10.8% and analog hitting 10.6%.
“[The] worldwide semiconductor market is expected to grow further in both 2015 and 2016,” WSTS analysts confirmed. “All product categories and regions are forecasted to grow steadily but moderately, under the assumption of a further macro economy recovery throughout the entire forecast period and maturing historically strong markets.”
More specifically, WSTS anticipates the world semiconductor market will increase 4.9% to $352 billion in 2015. For 2016, the market is forecast to hover at approximately $363 billion, up 3.1%.
“By end market, automotive and communications are expected to grow stronger than the total market, whereas consumer and computer are assumed to remain almost flat,” the analysts added. “Regionally, Asia-Pacific will continue to be the fastest growing region and is expected to reach $209 billion in 2016, which is already a share of almost 60% of the total semiconductor market.”
Commenting on the WSTS report, Loren Shalinsky, a Strategic Development Director at Rambus, notes that the demand for DRAM memory has only increased over the years. To be sure, DRAM is packed into an increasingly wide range of devices – such as smartphones, tablets and wearables – in addition to traditional PCs and laptops.
“We are witnessing the growth of mobile, particularly when it comes to smartphones. For every smartphone sold, there is about $100 of semiconductor materials, including the value of the DRAM,” Shalinsky concluded.
“As expected, the number of smartphones hitting the streets has been steadily increasing – touching 1 billion in 2014 – up from approximately 300 million in 2010. Meaning, independent of other markets, the value of semiconductors in smartphones has risen by about $70B since 2010.”
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