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  Date: 20/02/2014

1 Trillion devices by 2016: semiconductor everywhere and anywhere is the trend

The semiconductors anywhere and everywhere, this is what is going to happen when you look at the number of semiconductor devices shipped every year. By year 2016 it is estimated around 1 Trillion semiconductor devices shipped per year, as for IC Insights, market researcher specific to semiconductor devices. With the Internet of things, wearable electronics, robotics, and with lot of new application areas, electronics and semiconductors to control the world, with human beings at the helm. So do you think there is a huge money in semiconductor technology, it's not looked to be so, the reason is, the industry is extremely competitive. As the demand is rising, the supply is also rising.

Below is the market analysis points shared by IC insights related to the growth of shipment in units of semiconductor devices:

Total semiconductor unit shipments (integrated circuits and opto-sensor-discrete, or O-S-D, devices) are forecast to grow annually through the current cyclical upturn and top one trillion units for the first time in 2016 according to forecast data presented in the new 2014 edition of The McClean Report—A Complete Analysis and Forecast of the Integrated Circuit Industry. Semiconductor shipments in excess of one trillion units are forecast to be the “new normal” beginning in 2016.

As seen in Figure 1, semiconductor unit shipments are forecast to increase to 1,005.8 billion devices in 2016 from 32.6 billion in 1978, which amounts to average annual growth of 9.4% over the 38 year period and demonstrates how increasingly dependent the world is on semiconductors. From 2008 to 2013, the average annual growth rate of semiconductor units cooled to only 5% due to global economic doldrums, but stronger 8% annual growth is forecast from 2013 to 2018 as global economies regain momentum and a healthier market prevails for electronic systems.

semi shipment

Figure 1

The strongest increase in semiconductor unit growth over the time span shown in Figure 1 was 34% in 1984; the biggest decline was 19% in 2001 following the dot-com bust. Semiconductor unit shipments first topped the 100-billion mark in 1987, exceeded 500-billion units for the first time in 2006 and then surpassed 600-billion units in 2007 before the global financial meltdown and recession caused semiconductor shipments to fall in 2008 and 2009, the only time the industry has experienced a back-to-back decline in unit shipments. Semiconductor unit growth then surged 25% in 2010, the second-highest growth rate since 1978. IC Insights forecasts semiconductor unit growth of 8% in 2014, 11% in 2015, and 12% in 2016, which will result in annual shipments surpassing one trillion devices for the first time in 2016.

Interestingly, the percentage split of IC and O-S-D devices within total semiconductor units has remained fairly constant despite advances in integrated circuit technology and the blending of functions to reduce chip count within systems. In 1978, O-S-D devices accounted for 79% of semiconductor units and ICs represented 21%. Almost 40 years later in 2016, O-S-D devices are forecast to account for 74% of total semiconductor units, compared to 26% for ICs (Figure 2).

semi shipment

Figure 2
Author: Srinivasa Reddy N
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