Semiconductor sales, units shipped reach new highs in 2021
The global semiconductor industry sales totaled USD 555.9 billion in 2021, the highest-ever annual total and an increase of 26.2% compared to the 2020 total of USD 440.4 billion, the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) reports.
The industry shipped a record 1.15 trillion semiconductor units in 2021, as chip companies ramped up production to address high demand amid the global chip shortage. Global sales for the month of December 2021 were USD 50.9 billion, an increase of 28.3% compared to the December 2020 total and 1.5% more than the total from November 2021. Fourth-quarter sales of USD 152.6 billion were 28.3% more than the total from the fourth quarter of 2020 and 4.9% higher than the total from third quarter of 2021.
“In 2021, amid the ongoing global chip shortage, semiconductor companies substantially ramped up production to unprecedented levels to address persistently high demand, resulting in record chip sales and units shipped,” says John Neuffer, SIA president and CEO in a press release.
Neuffer points out that the demand for semiconductor production is still projected to rise significantly in the years ahead.
“To ensure more semiconductor production and innovation is located in America over the long term, the U.S. government must swiftly fund CHIPS Act investments in semiconductor research, design, and manufacturing as part of bipartisan competitiveness legislation. Doing so will greatly strengthen America’s economy, national security, critical infrastructure, supply chains, and tech leadership,” the president and CEO continues.
Looking att SIA's data on a regional basis, we see that sales into the Americas market saw the largest increase (27.4%) in 2021. China remained the largest individual market for semiconductors, with sales there totalling USD 192.5 billion in 2021, an increase of 27.1%. Annual sales also increased in 2021 in Europe (27.3%), Asia Pacific/All Other (25.9%), and Japan (19.8%).
Sales for the month of December 2021 increased compared to November 2021 in the Americas (5.2%), China (0.8%), Europe (0.3%), and Asia Pacific/All Other (0.1%), but fell slightly in Japan (-0.3%).
Several semiconductor product segments stood out in 2021. Analog, a type of semiconductor that is commonly used in vehicles, consumer goods, and computers, had the highest annual growth rate of 33.1%, reaching USD 74 billion in 2021 sales. Logic (USD 154.8 billion in 2021 sales) and memory (USD 153.8 billion) were the largest semiconductor categories by sales. Annual sales of logic products increased by 30.8% compared to 2020, while sales of memory products were up 30.9%. Sales of micro-ICs — a category that includes microprocessors — increased 15.1% to USD 80.2 billion in 2021. Sales of all non-memory products combined increased by 24.5% in 2021. Sales of automotive ICs increased 34.3% year-over-year to a record high of USD 26.4 billion.