IHS has reported the global semiconductor sales in 2013 will amount to $317.9 billion, up 4.9 percent from $302.9 billion in 2012. IHS says market growth is being driven by the strong expansion of the dynamic random access memory (DRAM) and NAND flash memory markets, which are expected to rise by 35.0 percent and 27.7 percent, respectively, in 2013.
“Memory chips are coming to the rescue of the semiconductor business in 2013,” said Dale Ford, head of electronics and semiconductor research at IHS. “Solid pricing and expanding demand for DRAM and NAND in smartphones and tablets have caused revenue for these memory devices to surge. Without these two high-performing product segments, the semiconductor industry would attain zero growth this year.”
Another market researcher Gartner has reported the worldwide semiconductor revenue totaled $315.4 billion in 2013, a 5.2 percent increase from 2012 revenue of $299.9 billion, according to preliminary results by Gartner, Inc. The top 25 semiconductor vendors' combined revenue increased 6.2 percent, a significantly better performance than the rest of the market, whose revenue growth was 2.9 percent. Gartner also attributes the growth to memory saying "This was, in part, due to the concentration of memory vendors, which saw significant growth in the top ranking."
"After a weak start to 2013 due to excess inventory, revenue growth strengthened in the second and third quarters before leveling off in the fourth quarter. Memory, in particular DRAM, led this growth, not due to strong demand, but rather weak supply growth," said Andrew Norwood, research vice president at Gartner. "In fact, the overall market faced a number of demand headwinds with PC production declining 9 percent and the premium smartphone market showing signs of saturation, with growth tilting toward lower-priced, entry-level and midrange smartphone models. These demand headwinds become very visible when looking at revenue growth outside of memory, where the rest of the semiconductor market could only muster 0.4 percent growth."