Semiconductor maker Systems on Silicon Manufacturing Company (SSMC) has opened a new S$300 million Annex 10 clean room in Singapore.
Global semiconductor market is expected to grow 10.2 percent in 2017, to US$77.7 billion, according to Gartner.
This growth rate is up from the previous quarter’s forecast of 1.4 percent, due to continued aggressive investment in memory and leading-edge logic which is driving spending in wafer-level equipment.
“Spending momentum is more concentrated in 2017 mainly due to strong manufacturing demand in memory and leading-edge logic. The NAND flash shortage was more pronounced in the first quarter of 2017 than the previous forecast, leading to over 20 percent growth of etch and chemical vapor deposition (CVD) segments in 2017 with a strong capacity ramp-up for 3D NAND,” said Takashi Ogawa, Research Vice President of Gartner.
Worldwide semiconductor capital spending is expected to slide 0.7 percent in 2016, to US$64.3 billion, according to Gartner. This is up from the estimated 2 percent decline in Gartner’s previous quarterly forecast.
“Economic instability, inventory excess, weak demand for PC’s, tablets, and mobile products in the past three years has caused slow growth for the semiconductor industry. This slowdown in electronic product demand has driven semiconductor device manufacturers to be conservative in increasing production,” said David Christensen, Senior Research Analyst of Gartner.
“Looking ahead, it appears the second half of 2016 may see improved demand. However, following Brexit, semiconductor inventory levels may rise in the third and fourth quarters, which could lead to reduced production volumes,” he added.
Worldwide semiconductor revenue declined 2.3 percent to US$334.8 billion in 2015, according to final results by Gartner.
The combined revenue of the top 25 semiconductor vendors fell by 0.5 percent during 2015. This was a better performance than the rest of the market, however, which saw a 6.9 percent revenue decline. The top 25 vendors accounted for 73.5 percent of the market, down slightly from 74 percent in 2014.
“The worldwide semiconductor market declined in 2015 as slowing demand for key applications combined with strong currency fluctuations to subdue the market. 2015 saw a mixed performance by the different device categories, unlike 2014 when all categories posted positive growth. Non-optical sensors performed best due to increased usage of fingerprint sensors in smartphones, while discretes saw the strongest decline due to a mix of weak demand and currency issues,” said Andrew Norwood, Research Vice President of Gartner.
Worldwide semiconductor revenue was US$333.7 billion in 2015, a 1.9 percent decrease from 2014 revenue of US$340.3 billion, according to Gartner.
The top 25 semiconductor vendors’ combined revenue increased 0.2 percent, which was more than the overall industry’s growth. They also accounted for 73.2 percent of total market revenue, up from 71.7 percent in 2014.
“Weakened demand for key electronic equipment, the continuing impact of the strong dollar in some regions and elevated inventory are to blame for the decline in the market in 2015,” said Sergis Mushell, Research Director of Gartner.
A slew of demand for semiconductors is helping the industry to hit a targeted 7.2 percent growth to hit US$338 billion this year.
Apple and Samsung are among the many IT vendors that have unleashed new products in recent months, spurring the growth in the semiconductor market.
“Semiconductor revenue set an all-time record in the third quarter of 2014, fueled by a strong electronics build for the holiday season. Get ready for a flood of new product introductions, ranging from simple low-cost tablets to high-end ultramobiles and smartphones. Demand for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus has been robust, but there is concern for other types of devices planned for the holidays,” said Jon Erensen, Research Director of Gartner.
Several trends are affecting the market for mobile device semiconductors. Two have been the shift towards multi-core application processors and the addition of x86 and MIPS to what used to be purely an ARM play. Two newer trends are the addition of heterogeneous processing functionality and 64-bit processors for mobile devices, according to ABI Research.
The trend towards more integrated platforms is the most crucial because the revenue of standalone components is folding into integrated platforms and the revenue for mobile device semiconductors lie with the higher cost components – mostly the application processor.
While the shift from standalone components to integrated platforms is drastic over the next five years in terms of shipments, this shift is even more radical in terms of revenue. From 2013 to 2018, the share of integrated platforms compared to all application processors in terms of shipments will jump from 46 percent to 79 percent while the revenue shares of the same will be higher. Smartphone application processor (integrated and standalone) revenue as a percentage of total mobile device semiconductor revenue for the major components will increase from 71 percent in 2013 to 89 percent in 2018.