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Interface market continues to evolve

Posted: 01 Dec 2008 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:interface IC? display technology? Ethernet?

The largest share of analog interface IC revenue now comes from products for the consumer market, where there are very attractive opportunities, especially in display technologies, according to Databeans Inc. Meanwhile, the computer market is still strong, and other growing areas such as networked data communications and medical electronics continue to evolve.

Revenue and number of units are expected to almost double from 2005 to 2013, while average selling price by 2013 will be half the 2005 price. (Click image to view full table.)

Variety of devices
Interface products range from RS-232, RS-422, RS-485, USB transceivers and controllers, PCI, PCIe, FireWire (IEEE-1394), LCD/LED display drivers, CAN, LIN, LVDS, data communications transceivers (Ethernet and modems), UARTs, DVI, HDMI, DisplayPort to WHDI/WiHD.

According to Databeans, the current value of the global market for interface products is about $6.2 billion, and it has the potential to exceed $10 billion by 2013. Shipments are expected to equal revenue in terms of growth, as manufacturing costs for these products will continue to decline, yet new product development will lead to balance in the market by way of higher pricing for the latest and most advanced components.

Key drivers
Interface demand is driven primarily by the consumer and computer markets, with estimated 37 percent and 36 percent shares respectively. Regionally, Asia Pacific occupies the largest market share, with a 55 percent share of global revenue expected for 2008.

This growth in analog interfaces is despite the transition away from analog video interface in most marketsespecially in the driving markets of computers and CEtoward newer digital video standard such as DVI, HDMI and DisplayPort.

The combined revenue total for all of the digital interface IC products reached just over $2 billion in 2007, according to Databeans. The majority share of worldwide revenue is contributed by DVI and HDMI. But over the next five years, revenue share is expected to drop significantly for DVI as DisplayPort proliferation is expected to ramp quickly.

Apple Inc.'s Macbook Air features a Mini DisplayPort that can drive up to a 30-inch widescreen display.

Taking over the field
DisplayPort is an open, royalty-free standard from the Video Electronics Standards Association that aims to replace internal LVDS video interconnects and VGA/digital video interface (DVI) external interconnects. It can support high-definition content protection and carry audio signals.

Introduced in 2006, DisplayPort has matured into a robust technology supported by companies including AMD, IDT, Intel, LG and Samsung. Products have started coming out this year, and according to In-Stat, "will chase competing technology DVI out of the market by 2011." They forecast the growth rate of DisplayPort-enabled devices to surge to 243 percent from 2008 to 2012.

- EE Times Asia

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