2008, 2009 and 2010 were relatively crappy years for sales of integrated chips. 2011 saw tentative improvements and according to the latest figures 2012 continued that trend of improvements. The market for Integrated Circuits (ICs) rose by 16% in 2012 when comparing to the previous year 2011.
Foundry customers went through a period of massive restocking last year as surging demand for tablets and smartphones drove a simultaneous rise in demand for IC components that are needed to construct them. This trend of rising demand for ICs is probably one that will continue through 2013 as smartphones and tablets certainly show no signs of slowing down, at the expensive of the notebook and desktop markets.
Gartner Analysts believe that in 2012 the value of global IC shipments was up by 16.2% over the year 2012 to a total of $34.6 billion / €25.5 billion. According to Gartner 28nm and 40nm process based manufacturing were by far the biggest earning market for ICs.
It is also revealed that for the first time, EVER, the amount of revenue generated from semiconductors for mobile devices exceeded that generated for PCs and notebooks.
“2012 was the first year that the semiconductor revenue for mobile devices surpassed that of PCs and notebooks, It also marked the first year that advanced technology for mobile applications drove the foundry revenue. Furthermore, 2012 saw not only major foundries improve the yield of 28nm technology, but also many foundries fine-tuned the device performance of legacy nodes.” said Samuel Wang. research VP at Gartner.
What are your thoughts on this? Are you sad to see the mobile IC market finally become more profitable than the desktop/notebook equivalent? Or is this just a sign of the times?