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Analog soars in Asia

Posted: 17 Mar 2008 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:analog segment in Asia? automotive segment in Asia? India growth?

Chan: There is no doubt that Asia will achieve greater heights with greater products for the connected world.

China's formidable power consumption is showing no sign of slowing down. India's market is emerging. And Asia is expected to continue to outgrow every other region in the world.

In particular, Asia's analog segmentwhether in the automotive, industrial or consumeris expected to grow quickly. Industry analysts predict a double-digit year-on-year growth in the next three years, while the entire semiconductor industry expects only 5-6 percent growth and the largest consumer segments (cellphones and digicams) are expected to slow within the next three years.

According to World Semiconductor Trade Statistics, the total analog semiconductor market will reach about $43 billion this year and Asia will grow 15 percent in the next five years. China and India, however, could grow more than 20 percent.

The largest category of analog building blocks will still be in voltage and reference regulars like DC/DC, switch mode supplies and linear regulators for the discrete and mass markets. More analog devices will combine two or more analog functions in the applications, thus providing a lower-cost system solution optimized for a specific electronic design (e.g. power management units for wireless or PC products).

China, India capabilities
Design and manufacturing in China has been picking up pace in the last five years. China is already doing its own designs for 3G and smart phones. Moreover, it has mastered the know-how of such sophisticated gadgets. China has also gained expertise in other segments, including networking and consumer products. The automotive segment is another rising star in China, where analog content in the automobile is increasing at a much faster rate than in any other country.

India is also contributing to analog's growth as its consumer and automotive markets expand. According to iSuppli Corp., the sub-continent accounted for 60 million mobile phones in 2006. This is no small number compared with mature markets in the West.

Diverse coverage
If you look at the analog landscape of these two growth regions, it has a diverse coveragefrom the high-power industrial segment to the low-power and ultrahigh-efficiency consumer segments. With such a variety, it is no wonder that Asia's analog ability is in a league of its own, as China and India catch up with the rest of the world.

Add to this the efforts of Japan, Taiwan and South Korea.

Japan is a leader in terms of design and technology in the consumer and automotive segments. Meanwhile, Taiwan leads in PC and related peripherals as well as advanced foundries. Taiwan's mobile PC segment will continue to grow and will mature when it approaches about 90 percent of worldwide market share in the next five years. South Korea is also strong in the consumer and automotive segments. Korea is the No. 3 provider of cellphones and is one of the market leaders in flat-panel displays for LCD TV and monitors, and digital amplifiers.

There is no doubt that Asia will achieve greater heights with greater products for the connected world.

- Norman Chan
Marketing Manager, Freescale Semiconductor Inc.

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