Mobile devices may drive IC sector this year
The China Post news staffTAIPEI, Taiwan -- The global integrated circuit (IC) industry is set to experience a recovery this year, due largely to the popularity of mobile devices, experts agreed yesterday.
January 2, 2013, 12:03 am TWN
The rebound will take place after a year of sluggishness in the semiconductor sector last year, which might have experienced negative growth.
According to market research firm iSuppli, the global IC industry might have had total production value of US$303 billion, a decline of 2.3 percent compared to 2011. The negative growth would be the first time since 2009.
A decline was seen in five of the six major applications for semiconductors, namely data processing, consumer electronics, industrial applications, landline communications and automatics. The only IC application that saw an increase last year was wireless technology.
Yet, strong growth was seen for IC companies that made semiconductors for smart devices and tablet PCs. These firms included Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC), Ilitek and Faraday Technology Corp.
As for 2013, iSuppli gave a sanguine outlook, saying the IC industry will experience growth, in keeping with an overall growth of the world's total gross domestic product, which is set to grow 3.2 percent this year, compared to 2012's 2.6 percent.
According to the firm, the IC industry this year is expected to grow six percent compared to 2012.
Growth will mostly be due to the popularity of smart and tablet devices, which will replace personal computers as the biggest application for ICs, iSuppli said.
Morris Chang, chairman and CEO of TSMC, also expressed a similar view, saying the firm's success couldn't have come without strong demands for mobile devices.