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Tablet, mobile app MPUs to dominate 2013 IC market

Posted: 14 Feb 2013 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:tablets MPU? NAND flash? cell phone application MPU? 32bit MCU?

IC Insights has released a report that identified the complete list of IC product categories ranked by forecast growth rate for the year. Ten product categories, led by tablet MPUs and cell phone application MPUs, are seen to exceed the six per cent growth for the total IC market. Five categories are forecast to enjoy double-digit growth. The number of categories with positive growth is expected to more than double to 22 in 2013 from 10 in 2012, added the market research firm.

Consumer-driven mobile media devices, particularly smartphones and tablets, are forecast to keep the tablet MPU (50 per cent) and cell phone application MPU (28 per cent) segments at the top of the growth list for the third consecutive year. Other IC categories that support mobile systemsincluding NAND flash (12 per cent) and special-purpose logic devicesare expected to enjoy better-than-industry-average growth in 2013, as well.

Due to increasing demand for higher levels of precision in embedded-processing systems and the growth in connectivity using the Internet, the market for 32bit MCUs is also forecast to outpace total IC market growth in 2013. Embedded applications in medical/health systems and smartcards have helped boost the 32bit MCU market. In the automotive world, demand for 32bit MCUs is being driven by "intelligent" car systems such as driver information systems and semi-autonomous driving features such as self-parking, advanced cruise controls and collision-avoidance systems. In the next few years, complex 32bit MCUs are expected to account for over 25 per cent of the processing power in vehicles.

After back-to-back years of steep declines in 2011 and 2012, the DRAM market is forecast to increase nine per cent in 2013, three points more than the total IC market. DRAM unit growth is expected to increase only two per cent, but the overall average selling price is forecast to jump seven per cent this year. In five of the past six years (2007-2012) the DRAM market declined, which took its toll on weaker suppliers. Fewer suppliers in the marketplace mean fewer competitors trying to undercut each other's prices in order to gain market share and enhances the likelihood of a more stable pricing environment in the coming year.

Interestingly, in a world that is increasingly wireless, two IC categories of "wired" telecom ICs are forecast to grow faster than the total IC market. Wired telecom-special purpose logic/MPR and wired telecom-application-specific analogue are forecast to grow by 13 per cent and 11 per cent, respectively.

Telecom companies and network operators have been upgrading their long-haul and metropolitan-wide communications systems, which require many high-speed transmission ICs and other circuits. New 100Gb/s technology has been ready for deployment since 2009 and is being deployed now. Next-generation transmission technology and ICs for 1 trillion bits per second (Terabit) networks are in development.

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