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Semicon shipments surge to 1.02 trillion units in 2 years

Posted: 10 Mar 2016     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:semiconductors  integrated circuits  shipments  o-s-d 

IC Insights' McClean Report of 2016 expects 1.02 trillion semiconductors to increase from 886.7 million units this year and about 950 billion units next year. According to the market research firm, more than 1 trillion devices are projected to ship in a calendar year.

The total includes all semiconductors, including integrated circuits and opto-sensor-discrete (O-S-D) devices.

Topping the 1 trillion mark in 2018 would represent an impressive 9 per cent compound annual growth rate over the past 40 years, from 32.8 billion shipments in 1978, according to IC Insights. The firm says the growth "demonstrates how increasingly dependent on semiconductors the world has become."

The single largest growth year for semiconductor shipments over the 40-year timespan was 1984, when unit shipments increased by 34 per cent, IC Insights said. The largest decline came in 2001, when shipments declined by 19 per cent in the wake of the dot-com bubble bust, the firm said.

semicon graph

Figure 1: Semiconductor unit shipments are forecast to climb to 1.02 trillion devices in 2018 from 32.6 billion in 1978.

Unit shipments fell in 2008 and 2009 in the midst of global financial recession, the only period on record when units declined in consecutive years, IC Insights (Scottsdale, Ariz.) said.

Afterward, chip unit shipments surged by 25 per cent in 2010, the second-highest growth rate since 1978, IC Insights said.

O-S-D devices graph

Figure 2: O-S-D devices accounted for 72% of total semiconductor units in 2015.

The percentage of O-S-D devices within the broader semiconductor category has remained fairly constant over the past 40 years despite advances in ICs. In 1980, O-S-D accounted for 78 per cent of all semiconductor shipments will ICs accounted for 22 per cent. Thirty-five years later, in 2015, O-S-D devices accounted for 72 per cent of total semiconductor shipments, compared with 28 per cent for ICs, according to IC Insights.

IC Insights' forecast

Figure 3: IC Insights' forecast of the O-S-D and IC product categories with largest unit growth rates forecast for 2016.

- Dylan McGrath
  EE Times

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