With extremely strong showings from the DRAM and data flash markets, as well as help from the ever growing LED market, global semiconductor sales have grown an incredible 9.4% over 2014, making it the largest growth in the past four years. Microprocessors are in high demand and coupled with a few highly valuable acquisitions among leaders in the semiconductor industry, the news has been very good. Even in the analog and discrete markets, which have been in decline in recent years, have shown growth over 2014.
This growth is predicted to continue into 2015 as programmable logic devices (PLD) and digital signal processors (DSP) application specific integrated circuits (ASICs) continue to be in high demand. Overall, the semiconductor market shows now signs of slowing.
Five of Six Application End Markets
Of the six application end markets for semiconductors, only consumer electronics had a small decline over the past year. Data processing, wireless communications, industrial electronics, wired communications, and automotive electronics all saw growth and overall that translates to huge growth. Four of the six grew by huge percentages which traveled into the double digits and helped bring up the overall numbers.
Worldwide, semiconductor industries have seen healthy growth with the glaring omission of Japan. Japan’s decline in revenues this year has been noticed for its uniqueness.
Largest Revenue Rankings
Of the top 20 semiconductor suppliers, both fab and fabless, growth was highest for companies like MediaTek and Avago, which both jumped in the rankings as compared to last year. MediaTek broke the top ten, beating out Renesas Electronics.
But even below the top ten, growth seems to be continuing. Infineon, ranked 13th, made moves late last year to acquire International Rectifier, which could bring their growth to a combined 16% and inch them upwards farther.
Suppliers Make Out Best
The growth is attributed primarily to supplier demand and the fact that 70% of chipmakers are going to see revenue increases. In 2013, just 53% of chipmakers experienced revenue growth. And when numbers of DRAM and data flash segments are separated out, it’s clear that this is the part of the market that has seen the majority of growth. Overall, the semiconductor market revenues have grown, but the percentage in growth for DRAM was above and beyond any other aspect of the market.
As the Internet of Things demands more, we’ll see growth continue for the semiconductor market.