The global semiconductor market is expected to reach close to $500 Billion USD in 2019 alone. Semiconductors are the critical link between the real and the digital world; they sense, compute, and actuate to support electronics in virtually every vertical.

The industry faces several challenges, including increasing development costs, shrinking margins, market saturation and accelerating activity in the areas of mergers and acquisitions. Areas of considerable innovation at present include and consumer electronics, wireless communications, data processing, automotive electronics. Because many of these areas are directly tied to the consumer demand, the semiconductor industry is uniquely positioned as a volatile space where revenue is still projected – if not guaranteed - to increase. OEMs that continue to anticipate or quickly respond to consumer demands will likely succeed whilst addressing complexities brought about by technological evolution.

Recent industry events in semiconductor include:

  • A boom in cloud and data center applications, and the top names in this space – such as Amazon and Google - are now designing their own chips
  • Consumer technology focus and increasing automation are redefining the automotive space; cars are becoming mobile phones on wheels, and consumer demands for more functionality are making a significant impact on every aspect of the modern automotive industry
  • The emergence of the consumer IoT: the North American home has an average of 13 connected devices in it. As we continue to adopt connected and ‘smart’ solutions, this number will continue to increase
  • Mobile and wireless have, of course, driven growth in the last decade to decade-and-a-half, and there are no signs of a slow-down here. While consumers have not readily adopted the more expensive, full-featured flagship phones, there is rapid expansion in middle-market phones.
  • In terms of market share, memory is the strongest semiconductor industry category, largely due to two main factors: memory is more expensive to produce as it becomes more advanced, and there is greater demand for it. In 2017, when memory technology shifted from 2D NAND to 3D NAND, demand far outpaced availability, leading to unprecedented price increases. Now, 3D NAND continues to develop, with 6 major players having released, or planning to soon release, 9X-Layer NAND solutions.

TechInsights has been analyzing devices and providing semiconductor insights for thirty years and using our findings to support our competitive technical intelligence and intellectual property clients.