Global semiconductors market was pegged at over US$ 330 billion in 2016 is projected to surpass US$ 395 billion by 2024 with gains at a CAGR of 2% over the forecast period (2016-2024). Significant potential offered by industrial and automotive segments, tremendous growth opportunities in BRIC nations and increasing focus on innovative advancements in U.S. and China are expected to present significant growth opportunities over the forecast period. Along with the industrial and automotive application segments, the semiconductor market can be broadly classified into data processing, communications, and consumer electronics. On the basis of components, the industry can be further segmented into memories, MPUs & MCUs, logic, analogue ICs, discrete semiconductors, optical semiconductors, and sensors & actuators.
Semiconductor technology is characterized by advancements and innovative business model adoptions in several number of industry processes to improve speed, optimize size and provide increased functionality for the applications. Major activities have been witnessed in distinct semiconductor arenas that include designing, packaging technologies, assembly and testing.
Packaging Technologies Overview
Advent of semiconductor packaging technologies initiated in 1965, has dramatically grown to several types of semiconductor packaging methodologies. Industry has witnessed several transformative technologies from dual In-line packaging in 1970s to 3D packaging technologies currently trending. 2.5D and 3D technologies are featured with 30 to 40% increased compactness, 2X to 3X faster speeds, increased scalability and design flexibility at minimal costs.
Intel, Samsung, and TSMC are increasing their 10nm finFET production ahead of projected increase in demands. TSMC plans to produce 7nm finFET. Industry players that include TSMC, GlobalFoundries, Intel, and Samsung are increasingly investments in R&D activities for introducing technologies beyond 5nm in downsizing the chip sizes. This may present considerable growth opportunities, owing to the scalable and processing efficiencies offered by these products. However, with the growing miniaturization, cost associated with the SoC designing will witness considerable surge. Our analysis, shows that the SoC designing at 5nm will cost over US$ 500 million, which will in turn lead consumer demotivation towards adoption owing to low cost alternative packaging technologies present in the market 7nm, 10nm, and 28nm.
Fabless manufacturing defines the business model that is involved in designing and sales of the semiconductor chips and hardware devices, while outsourcing the manufacturer for fabrication of the components. Labor intensive assembly tasks of the chips were mostly outsourced, since the 1960s. Texas Instruments, Analog Devices, and Intel were among the few early adopters of outsourcing the fabrication operations, and overcome challenges that included weak infrastructure, growing production demands, long supply lines and business & political landscape. Fabless business models have help the participants gain an average annual EBITDA of around 15%. Outsourcing of fabricating operations has helped in achieving exceptional product qualities through specialist process operations. For instance, semiconductor fabrication operations are outsourced to foundries. TSMC, UMC, GlobalFoundries, Samsung, SMIC, Powerchip, TowerJazz, Vanguard International, and Fujitsu Semiconductor acquired around 90% of the total semiconductor foundry market share in 2014.
Semiconductor processing technology is rapidly shifting to larger wafer fabrication that involves higher capital expenditure and operational costs for testing and assembling. Thus, industry participants are expected to remain inclined towards fabless manufacturing and focus on their fundamental capabilities, outsourcing third party expertise for packaging, testing, and assembling of semiconductor devices. Moreover, this will also drive the demands for semiconductor, assembly and testing services through the forecast period.
Semiconductors market share will substantial opportunity in automotive and industrial application segments through the forecast period. Brazil, Russia, India, and China are among the major countries that are projected to be key markets for semiconductors. In the last few years, the automotive industry has witnessed considerable increase in the average number of semiconductors used per vehicles owing to usage in safety systems, drivetrain technologies, telematics, ADAS, hybrid and electric cars. Freescale Semiconductor, Infineon, STMicroelectronics, Texas Instruments, Renesas and Cypress are among the major players in the automotive semiconductor business domain.
Trends such as connected cars and autonomous driving or driverless cars have garnered major interests of the chief automotive brands that include Volvo, BMW, Daimler, and GM. This is expected to garner huge investments in the semiconductor industry owing to the utilization of semiconductor in all the components including from actuators, sensors to communication and infotainment devices. Moreover, growing energy demands, increasing inclination towards harnessing renewable sources, proliferation of high speed rail transportation, rampant penetration of electronic devices and smart grids will generate huge industrial application demands for semiconductors. According to our analysis, industrial application segment will register gains at around 8% Y-o-Y through 2019. The recent past has witnessed a rampant rise in exponentially enhancing capacities of data storages owing to the requirements to tackle network congestions, privacy, power reliability, and enable secure access from any place across the globe. Moreover, data processing and communication market will also drive strong sales owing to increased usage of phablets, laptops and desktops across the globe
China has emerged the single largest manufacturer and consumer of semiconductor electronics over the last decade, and is expected to continue its dominance over the forecast period. According to Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA), reported annual sales in China increased by 14% in 2016. U.S. semiconductor market is expected to remain the designing and skill intensive process development hub for the industry. Advent of V2V communication and cloud mobility solutions in the region are expected to provide considerable growth prospects over the next few years.
Chief semiconductor industry participants include Intel, Samsung, TSMC, Broadcom, Qualcomm, SK Hynix, Micron, TI, Toshiba, and NXP. Industry has witnessed consistent disintegration in order to maintain constant focus on specialized businesses skills. However, there have been some instances of reintegration of these specialized business skills by major technology players. For instance, in October 2016. Qualcomm Inc. announced its acquisition plan of NXP Semiconductors for over US$ 47 billion. The strategy was aimed to diversify its business through this acquisition and reduce its dependence on smartphones.
Semiconductor industry R&D activities over the past few years has observed a trend in line with Moore’s law, and the same is expected to continue over next couple of years. However, increasing capital investments to cope up with the miniaturization will present significant challenge for players in the industry.
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