Global semicon revenue to grow to US$450b this year

Equipment and semiconductor sales are expected to reach US$200bil and $1 trillion, respectively, in the early 2030s.

KUALA LUMPUR: Global semiconductor revenue is forecast to increase to US$450bil this year and climb to US$500bil in market size in 2024, with steady annual growth between 4% and 6%, according to International Data Corporation (IDC).

Underpinning the growth is the recovery in economic growth after the Covid-19 pandemic and this is expected to spark an expansion of the semiconductor industry, according to the virtual SEMI industry strategy symposium (ISS) last week.

The US-based Semiconductor Equipment Manufacturers Industry (SEMI) said in a statement posted on its website that global semiconductor revenue is set to rise as much as 7% in 2021.

The global economy will return to pre-pandemic growth levels in 2021 as the world begins an uneven gross domestic product rebound, marking the start of an expansion that will see the semiconductor industry grow to US$1 trillion in chip sales in the early 2030s.

IDC's programme vice president of enabling technologies and semiconductors, storage, and data sphere research, Mario Morales told the conference the growth would be driven by 5G deployments and PCs for remote work and learning among the key drivers.

Accelerating spending “across the board” on information communications technology (ICT) will be a key catalyst of the expansion.

The ICT segment includes mobile, Internet of Things (IoT), cloud, big data analytics, robotics, security and artificial intelligence (AI).

In sector growth, computing and mobile handsets will be standouts with a 4.5% CAGR over the next four years.

In the computing segment – spanning data centres, PCs and peripherals – IDC forecasts growth to be US$170bil, while the firm expects the mobile handsets segment to reach US$144bil by 2024.

Conference participants were also told cloud computing will be a key force behind chip industry growth in 2021.

Andrea Lati, vice president of market research at VLSI Research was quoted saying cloud infrastructure buildouts drive higher server demand stemming from the pandemic-inspired surge in online shopping and increasing adoption of the public cloud.

A doubling of 5G smartphone shipments and surging 5G base station deployments following the 2020 slowdown will also fuel the semiconductor industry expansion this year. One big contributor: 5G smartphones feature at least 50% more silicon than 4G models.

Lati said semiconductor industry sales will increase 8% this year as memory leads the recovery – DRAM and NAND are forecast to grow 13% and 12%, respectively.

The global IT infrastructure buildout, 5nm demand ramp, and continuing liquidity measures by central banks will also help drive industry growth in 2021.

According to SEMI, Lati forecast a bright future for the chip industry as technology figures prominently in much of global economic growth over the next 10 years.

Equipment and semiconductor sales are expected to reach US$200bil and $1 trillion, respectively, in the early 2030s.

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