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© Infineon (For illustration purposes only!) Components | August 31, 2011

Half of IC product categories will see market growth in 2011

IC Insights forecasts that 14 of the 28 major IC product categories defined by WSTS will experience growth in 2011, with 13 segments expected to grow at least as much as the overall IC industry (4%).
Seven categories are forecast to show double-digit growth. The number of categories exhibiting positive growth will be down compared to the strong recovery year in 2010, when all but two product segments enjoyed an upturn in sales. However, the IC market is still showing enough strength for half the product segments to enjoy an uptick in sales this year.

© IC Insights

Six of the growth segments are from the analog segment, led by Automotive Application-Specific Analog devices. The market for automotive-related ICs was strong in 2010 and that momentum has carried into 2011 as well. Systems and features such as GPS/navigation, Bluetooth, and sensors for low tire pressure warning, anti-roll, collision avoidance/adaptive cruise control, and park assist are expected to help the Automotive Application-Specific Analog segment achieve 32% growth--highest among all product segments in 2011. Automotive--Special Purpose Logic is expected to achieve double-digit growth (13%) as well.

The flash memory segment is also forecast to be among the top-growing IC markets in 2011, though the rate of growth is expected to be significantly smaller than in 2010. NAND flash, specifically, remains an enabler for a large number of existing and emerging portable, wireless, and low-power handheld systems--systems that are in very high demand throughout all regions of the world. Smartphones will continue to be a growth driver for NAND flash with tablet PCs and solid-state drives (SSDs) for portable PCs becoming bigger consumers of flash in the near-term future.

On the opposite end, IC Insights forecasts 12 IC product segments will see negative growth during 2011. Several memory segments that enjoyed a strong sales recovery in 2010 are forecast to decline sharply this year. In the case of SRAM and ROM devices, the declines are the result of a big drop in unit shipments (-31% for SRAM units and -33% for ROM units). A -17% drop in the DRAM average selling price is forecast to cause this market to fall 13% in 2011, a huge swing of 88 points from the 75% growth the DRAM market enjoyed in 2010.

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