Semiconductor and circuit manufacturing: one of the top export industries in the United States

Although operators will continue to face strong international competition, new opportunities in next-generation semiconductors and electronic inputs will encourage operators to invest in product development. For these reasons, industry research firm IBISWorld has updated a report on the Semiconductor and Circuit Manufacturing industry in its growing industry report collection.

Semiconductors are a core component of electronic devices and form a vital part of products ranging from devices and systems (e.g. computers, cell phones and televisions) to solutions and services (e.g. internet providers, telecommunications and broadcasting services). The Semiconductor and Circuit Manufacturing industry is one of the top export industries in the United States and, according to the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA), indirectly provides jobs to 250,000 Americans. Valued at $79.5 billion, the industry has grown at an average annual rate of 4.8% in the five years to 2014.

“However, a portion of this growth represents a recovery from the industry’s dismal performance in 2009,” according to IBISWorld Industry Analyst Darryle Ulama.

Revenue is expected to contract by 1.7% in 2014, as demand for US-made semiconductors is offset by international competition and aggressive import penetration. Emerging countries, particularly in East Asia, have siphoned semiconductor manufacturing away from the United States through industrial policy, tax incentives and high-tech corridors with low-cost labor. Even as global demand for semiconductors rises, industry manufacturers are operating in a highly competitive global industry. “Combined with price reductions, production outsourcing and international competition have prevented the industry from achieving higher revenue growth in the past five years,” says Ulama These factors have also contributed to the industry’s high revenue volatility, as industry performance becomes more closely embedded into the globalized electronics value chain.

In the five years to 2019, greater research and development efforts will sustain the industry. Although operators will continue to face strong international competition, new opportunities in next-generation semiconductors and electronic inputs will encourage operators to invest in product development. For example, manufacturers will focus on producing wide bandgap semiconductors that are smaller, faster and more efficient than their silicon counterparts. Additionally, greater demand for industry products in smart grid technology and smart vehicles will spur revenue growth.

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