© IC Insights Analysis | October 14, 2019

2019 MPU slump snaps nine years of record sales

A modest rebound is expected in 2020, followed by new all-time high sales in 2021, according to market researcher IC Insights.

The microprocessor market’s string of nine straight record-high annual sales between 2010 and 2018 is expected to end this year with worldwide MPU revenue dropping 4 percent to about $77.3 billion. This is based on IC Insights’ outlook for MPUs in the Mid-Year Update to the 2019 McClean Report. The reasons are weakness in smartphone shipments, excess inventories in data center computers, and the global fallout from the U.S.-China trade war, according to IC Insights’ recently updated forecast. Microprocessor sales are expected to stage a modest rebound in 2020, growing 2.7 percent to $79.3 billion and then are forecast to reach a new record-high level of about $82.3 billion in 2021, The mid-year update projection pulls in the previously expected 2020 slowdown in MPU sales to this year and deepens the decline compared to the 2019 McClean Report’s original January forecast, which showed a 3.9 percent increase in microprocessor sales in 2019 followed by a negligible decrease of 0.1 percent in 2020. Total MPU revenue is now expected to increase by a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 2.7 percent between 2018 and 2023, reaching $91.7 billion in the final year of the forecast. Total microprocessor shipments are projected to rise by a CAGR of just 1.0 percent in the forecast period to reach 2.4 billion units in 2023. MPU sales by category in 2019
  • Cellphone application processors: 29 % ($22.2 billion), 3 percent from similar mobile MPU’s in tablet computers ($2.5 billion).
  • Central microprocessors: 52 % ($39.8 billion) Notebook and desktop PC’s, “thin-client” Internet/cloud-computing systems, servers, mainframes and supercomputers
  • Embedded-processing applications: 17 % ($12.9 billion)
Embedded MPU’s sales forecast to grow 10 percent in 2019 from $11.7 billion in 2018.
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