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Smart metre semiconductors seen to grow

Posted: 20 Aug 2015 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Smart metres? semiconductor shipments? analogue IC? microcontroller IC?

Semiconductor manufacturers can expect growth in shipments of semiconductor components used in utility metres in the coming years. Forecast from the latest IHS Industrial Semiconductor Market Tracker study reveals that globally, 132 million units of smart metres will be shipped this year and 150 million units in 2019.

Global revenues for semiconductors used in water, gas and electric metres reached $1.2 billion in 2014, with a year-on-year growth of 11 per cent and a five-year compound annual growth rate of 8 per cent. The semiconductor cost in two-way metres was on the average $11 in 2014. Selling prices are expected to increase over time, as needs increase for 32bit micro-controller units (MCUs), memory chips, single system-on-chip (SoC) solutions and other components used in secured communications and other applications.

Based on the IHS study, the demand for precise energy measurement and communication has increased the penetration of micro-component integrated circuits (ICs), along with analogue ICs. In fact, two thirds of metre semiconductor revenue comes from microcontroller and analogue components.

IHS Market Tracker

"The semiconductor industry is moving towards a single-chip solution for measuring and communicating with the grid station," said Robbie Galoso, an associate director for IHS Technology. But even as water and gas metres require fewer semiconductor components, there will still be a need for semiconductors for sensing and battery management, he added.

The study suggests that by latter half of the decade, metres will have greater application complexity, security, communication ability, remote control ability and resolution. That implies that there will be an increased need for memory and SoC solutions with greater capabilities.

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