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IHS: Smartphones, tablets driving processor shipments

Posted: 28 Nov 2013     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:smartphones  tablets  processor market  microchips 

Driven by strong sales growth of smartphones and tablets, the global market for processors is expected to rise by 24 per cent in 2013. According to market research firm IHS, worldwide processor shipments will reach 150.00 crore units by the end of this year, up from 121.00 crore in 2012.

The first half of the year, in particular, yielded solid growth, up 27 per cent in the first quarter on an annual basis, and up 24 per cent in the second quarter. Meanwhile, expansion in the third quarter is anticipated at 19 per cent, while growth in the fourth-quarter is forecast to come in at 24 per cent, said the market analyst.

Processor microchips serve as the logic unit or the brains of a system, handling digital input according to the instructions stored in the chip's memory.

"The overall processor market would not be so healthy if it weren't for smartphones and tablets," said Gerry Xu, senior analyst, processor research for IHS. "The PC market that traditionally drove the growth of the microprocessor segment has slowed. The new mobile platforms have more than picked up the slack, delivering both large volumes and fast growth for processor shipments."

Processor shipments to tablets are particularly vigorous with 40 per cent growth yoy to 5.35 crore. However, growth in processor shipments to smartphones was slightly less impressive, up 38 per cent from 14.79 crore to 20.42 crore.

Of the four major segments in which processors are used, the PC category was the lone area in which chip shipments every quarter so far this year were generally down from the same periods in 2012. In the second quarter, for instance, processor shipments for PCs amounted to 8.43 crore units, down from 8.99 crore a year ago at the same time.

"The decline is not surprising, as PCs have struggled to compete against more popular devices like mobile handsets and tablets. Sluggish PC sales, in turn, have affected processors being shipped to the space." Within the PC segment, processor shipments to notebook computers were down 2 per cent on the year, while shipments to desktop PCs were down a much larger 13 per cent.

In the higher-performance sector for servers, processor shipments fared better in growth. Shipments in the second quarter rose to 48.00 lakh units, up from 46.00 lakh one year ago.

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