LED revenues a bright spot in the industrial market

2012 revenue for industrial semiconductors – used in a wide array of application markets from home automation to aeronautics and military purposes – will be $31.4bn, up 3% from 2011, says IHS. David Manners writes:

Last year the market grew 9% after 35% growth in 2010.

For the next four years revenue is set to rise in a range from 7 to 12% during each of the next four years.

Revenue is forecast to reach $44.8bn by 2016.

Among the companies affected by the downturn in industrial semiconductors are TI, ADI, Infineon Technologies, Atmel, Fuji Electric and Linear Technology.

Manufacturers that have lowered their 2012 outlook because of weaker orders include Danaher, Siemens, Bombardier, Agilent, Vestas and Johnson Controls.

Industrial semiconductors are used in many markets and applications. In energy generation and distribution, for instance, the chips are employed in wind turbines for renewable power, in inverters for photovoltaic solar energy, as well as in conventional oil and gas automation machinery. The semiconductors play an important role in military and civil aerospace, via applications in missiles and munitions, homeland security, satellites and avionics.

Other areas where industrial semiconductors are used include building and home control, covering security systems, lighting, smart meters and climate-control devices like air conditioners; medical electronics, including medical instruments, medical imaging and diagnostics; manufacturing and process automation, embracing motors and similar devices; and the test and measurement segment for a range of instruments, such as oscilloscopes and analog testers.

“The one segment that seemed to have remained untouched this year was the robust light-emitting diode (LED) market, thanks to the LED lighting boom that has taken hold in many parts of the world,” said Robbie Galoso, principal analyst for electronics at IHS.

Second-quarter LED sales for Philips climbed 37% from year-ago levels, and other LED lamp suppliers like Cree, LG Innotek and Samsung LED had good sales.

David Manners

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