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Tablet ICs flourish, PC ICs stumble

Posted: 20 Jun 2013     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:PCs  tablet ICs  market analysis  notebook PCs 

IC Insights believes it now takes the sale of nearly 2.3 tablets to roughly equal the IC dollar value of one notebook PC. The average IC content of a tablet computer is estimated at Rs.4,211.96 ($77.50). Nearly all tablets today are made with 32bit microprocessors, which are often similar to application processors found in smartphones. The vast majority of tablet processors are built with RISC cores licens ('licence' when noun)ed from ARM in the U.K. instead of the x86 MPU architecture used in microprocessors sold by Intel and Advanced Micro Devices for standard PCs. ARM-based tablet microprocessors have much lower average selling prices (ASPs) than x86 MPUs—often 20 per cent or less than the ASPs of PC processors. Most tablet processors are also system-on-chip (SoC) designs with integrated graphics and many system-level functions, which reduce the need for a number of ICs and chipsets that have populated notebook PC motherboards. Tablets also contain less DRAM memory than standard PCs, but they use NAND flash for internal storage instead of hard-disc drives.

The outlook for tablet IC sales has been increased with revenues projected to rise by a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of about 25 per cent between 2012 and 2016, reaching Rs.1.45 lakh crore ($26.6 billion) in the final forecast year. IC sales for standard PCs are now expected to grow by a CAGR of nearly 2 per cent in the four-year period to Rs.3.72 lakh crore ($68.5 billion) in 2016. IC sales for new cloud-computing portable systems—such as Google's Chromebook platform—are forecast to increase by a CAGR of 41 per cent, from about Rs.2,717.39 crore ($500 million) in 2012 to Rs.9,782.61 crore ($1.8 billion) in 2016. These Internet-centric portables must be connected online to the web to fully function. Low-cost cloud-computing portables are expected to be a small-but-fast growing market niche, reaching 27 million systems in 2016 compared to 5 million in 2012, according to IC Insights' new market update report.

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