ANALYST OUTFIT International Data Corp (IDC) has forecast that semiconductor revenue will grow by nearly seven percent this year despite desktop and laptop PC sales declining.
The fortunes of the semiconductor industry are often used as an indicator of wider consumer and enterprise technology demands, and that IDC is forecasting growth at a time when PC sales are decreasing will give hope to many in the information technology industry. IDC has forecast that 2013 semiconductor revenue will grow by 6.9 percent to $320bn.
According to IDC the PC industry will see a decline in sales, a forecast that few would argue against, but the firm said that higher average selling prices in DRAM and NAND modules will help the industry. IDC is forecasting that chip sales in the smartphone and tablet market will grow by 10.3 percent, with smartphone revenue from 4G devices growing by 121.8 percent in 2013.
IDC forecast even more impressive growth for semiconductors used in consumer electronics such as tablets, televisions and ebook readers, with revenue jumping by 15 percent. Also the firm highlighted that a number of chip vendors are focusing on the automotive market, with revenues from chips used in cars set to grow by 5.3 percent in 2013.
Nina Turner, research manager for semiconductors at IDC said, "Semiconductors for smartphones will see healthy revenue growth as demand for increased speeds and additional features continue to drive high-end smartphone demand in developed countries and low-cost smartphones in developing countries. Lower cost smartphones in developing countries will make up an increasing portion of the mix and moderate future mobile wireless communication semiconductor growth.
PC semiconductor demand will remain weak for 2013 as the market continues to be affected by the worldwide macroeconomic environment and the encroachment of tablets."
Intel in particular has been hit hard by the decline in PC sales, however for most of the industry IDC's figures suggests that business isn't quite as bleak as some might have thought. Samsung in particular looks set to be in the box seats as DRAM and NAND prices continue to rise while its ARM chips are being put into smartphones, tablets and, perhaps from next year, in servers. µ