IC industry headed for 7% growth in 2012; 11 of 33 categories will outperform

February 10, 2012 — IC Insights forecasts 7% growth for the total integrated circuit (IC) industry in 2012. 27 of the 33 major IC product categories (defined by WSTS) will experience growth in 2012. 11 will grow faster than 7%. 6 will show double-digit growth.  

In 2011, only 15 IC product categories showed positive growth, and 18 experienced decline (see table).


NAND Flash memory will top the growth list in 2012. NAND Flash has been a top growing market segment for several years thanks to smartphones/tablets, and other consumer-driven mobile media devices. NAND Flash is benefitting from growing demand for solid-state drives (SSDs). NOR Flash will see the biggest percent decline in sales for 2012. Strong demand for NAND Flash with continued weakness in DRAM average selling prices (ASP) should bring the total Flash market above the DRAM market for the first time ever.

Wireless Telecom–Special Purpose Logic/MPR devices (various applications processors used in smartphones and tablet/media PCs) and 32-bit MCUs are forecast to lead all product segments with 15% growth in 2012.

MPUs, display drivers, PLDs, and 16-bit MCUs will also outperform. The market for 16-bit MCUs is forecast to surpass the 8-bit MCU market for the first time, joining the 32-bit MCU sector.

Momentum for automotive-related ICs is forecast to carry over into 2012 as semiconductor content per new vehicle increases due to government safety and environmental mandates 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 3rd 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 in the 2012 edition of The McClean Report–IC Insights’ complete forecast and analysis of the integrated circuit industry. IC Insights has released the new 2012 edition of The McClean Report. View http://www.icinsights.com/services/mcclean-report/ for more information.

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