IC Insights has forecast that 27 of the 33 major IC product categories wil see growth in 2012, with 11 segments expected to grow better than the 7% forecast for the total IC industry. Six categories are forecast to show double-digit growth. The numbers stand in sharp contrast to the 15 products that showed positive growth and 18 that experienced a decline in 2011 (see figure below).
Tthe market for NAND Flash memory is forecast to top the growth list while NOR Flash is to be at the bottom of the list with the biggest percent decline in sales for 2012. NAND Flash has been a top growing market segment over the past few years due to the growth of consumer-driven mobile media devices—particularly smartphones and tablet PCs. In 2012, NAND Flash will benefit from growing demand for solid-state drives (SSDs). The combination of strong demand for NAND Flash and continued weakness in DRAM average selling prices is forecast to result in the total Flash market surpassing the DRAM market for the first time ever in 2012.
Wireless Telecom—Special Purpose Logic/MPR devices (including the myriad of applications processors used in smartphones and tablet/media PCs) and 32-bit MCUs are to lead all product segments with 15% growth in 2012. Other products expected to show better-than-market performance are MPUs, display drivers, PLDs, and 16-bit MCUs. It is worth noting that the market for 16-bit MCUs is forecast to surpass the 8-bit MCU market for the first time, joining the 32-bit MCU market, which first surpassed the 8-bit MCU segment in 2010.
Growth for automotive-related ICs is to carry over into 2012 as well as semiconductor content per new vehicle increases due to government safety and environmental mandates (low tyre-pressure warning, electronic stability, collision avoidance, etc.) and consumer interest in on-board telematics. Auto—Special Purpose Logic/MPR and Auto—Application-Specific Analog are expected to be among the top growing segments for the third consecutive year.
Four memory categories and six segments in total—NOR Flash, SRAM, EEPROM/Other, DSP, Gate Array, and DRAM (the fastest-growing category in 2010) are forecast to experience their second consecutive year of slower sales in 2012.
More information on all IC market segments including a complete listing of growth rates for market, unit, and average selling price (ASP) by product segment is found within the pages of the 2012 edition of The McClean Report—IC Insights’ complete forecast and analysis of the integrated circuit industry.