Communication and Consumer Electronics appear as the most promising application market segments for 2013. And within that, portability and wireless connectivity are set to be the main growth drivers for the semiconductor industry.
The other promising markets for 2013 are automotive and medical.
Portability has brought in an increasing importance of power management. Demand for power efficient and high performance solutions in portable devices will continue driving the need for power management ICs - and these represent a significant part of revenues from analog IC vendors.
The rapid growth of wireless applications and the incorporation of computing into communications (e.g. smartphones) and vice versa (e.g. media tablets) is likely to continue in 2013. While smartphones have been the main growth driver in the wireless application, the market also includes all semiconductor content needed for communication infrastructure, equipment etc. The proliferation of 4G, an increasing use of fibre coupled with an increasing data traffic need will catalyse this application market segment. In addition, semiconductors have proliferated beyond the traditional wireless and computing applications, e.g. mobile commerce.
The rise of M2M communications/Internet of things will also provide long term opportunities for wireless communication chip makers. These will span a broad range of applications across automotive, industrial etc. Intelligent, connected, and energy-efficient systems (with sensors and motors being wirelessly connected) will continue leading to higher semiconductor content.
The increasing sophistication of the mobile devices has led to not only increasing semiconductor content but also its varied usage. The traditional content of baseband and RF has morphed into multicore application processors, connectivity supporting various spectrum bands, sophisticated graphics and video, touchscreen displays etc. And the tidings will cascade across the complete semiconductor supply chain supporting these applications. This includes market for components like sensors, displays, power management, MEMs etc.
2013 will also see MEMS becoming a part of mainstream semiconductor content. From gyroscopes, accelerometers, and microphones, they are finding an increased penetration into devices spanning multiple industries and applications – consumer electronics, mobile devices, medical, automotive, aerospace etc. Its growth will be seen through an increased on board processing and integrated and self-contained sensing units.
On sensors, Internet of things is also likely to drive a huge market for low power, cost sensitive sensors. Innovations here are also reshaping the medical imaging industry. While this market is currently evolving, the emerging technologies and products in this space are likely to go main stream with a high potential.
Medical electronics is another promising market for semiconductor. The increasing aging population, increased life-span and various life style related illnesses are spurring the demand here. Medical devices now warrant small and smarter technologies – coupled with wireless connectivity.
Automotive has also seen an increasing amount of electronics. Automotive infotainment, safety, fuel efficiency and enhanced features is making this application market very promising for semiconductor content