Worldwide semiconductor revenues grew more than 9% in 2014, according to final market share results from industry researcher IHS Technology, released this week. The researcher calls 2014 a peak year for the semiconductor market, noting that the sector’s 9.2% growth is the largest gain since the 33% boom recorded in 2010.
Global semiconductor revenue for 2014 totaled $354.5 billion, up nearly 7% over 2013. Those figures follow a nearly 3% decline in worldwide semiconductor revenues in 2012 and a marginal increase of 1.3% in 2011. Although growth is expected to be more modest this year, the overall health of the semiconductor market remains strong, the researcher said.
“While 2014 marked a peak year for semiconductor revenue growth, the health of both the semiconductor supply base and end-market demand position the industry for another year of strong growth in 2015,” Dale Ford, vice president and chief analyst at IHS Technology said in announcing the results April 21. “Overall semiconductor revenue growth will exceed 5 percent in 2015, and many component categories and markets will see improved growth over 2014. The more moderate 2015 growth is due primarily to more modest increases in the memory and microcomponent categories. The dominant share of semiconductor markets will continue to see vibrant growth in 2015.”
Looking at end markets, IHS reports that every application market delivered strong growth in 2014 with the exception of consumer electronics. Industrial electronics led all segments with nearly 18% growth, and data processing achieved the strongest improvement, with nearly 14% growth. The third-strongest segment was automotive electronics, at 10% growth over 2013. Only wireless communications saw weaker growth in 2014 compared to 2013, falling by roughly half its year-ago level to 7.8% growth.
The noted strength in the automotive sector echoes other recent reports that point to an uptick in business among companies selling to auto manufacturers and related industries. Growing demand for better safety features and high-tech infotainment systems are two examples that are driving the need for more electronic components in vehicles of all kinds. Sensors and embedded vision devices are seeing particular growth as cars become smarter and more connected to the Internet, for instance.