Ruminations on the electronics industry from David Manners, Senior Components Editor on Electronics Weekly.
Units Down; ASPs Up; Long-Term Market CAGR To Increase.
The IC market is forecast to post much stronger average annual growth through 2021 compared to the average market growth over the past 15 years, according to IC Insights.
Though IC unit growth is expected to slow, ASP is expected to jump into the positive range, and help boost average annual IC market growth to 8.0% per year from 2011-2021, an increase of 54% compared to the 5.2% annual growth the IC market averaged in the period between 1996 and 2011.
Over the past 15 years, IC unit shipment growth has averaged 9.5% growth per year.
Over the next 10 years, the average annual growth rate for IC units is forecast to slow to 7%.
Offsetting slower unit growth is an upward swing in the ASP which is forecast to be the driver for IC market growth through 2021.
ASPs declined an average of 4.0% annually from 1996-2011. However, through 2021, IC ASPs are forecast to increase by an average of 1.0% per year, resulting in an 8.0% average IC market growth rate from 2011-2021.
Improving IC ASPs can be attributed to several factors including:
With no new entry-point opportunities, the IC industry is now closed to new major manufacturing startups. This will help moderate over-investment in new fabs.
Fab-lite foundry movement. This should lead to less overspending for IC fabrication capacity.
Capex as a percent of sales. After reaching 21% in 2011, the ratio is forecast to decline to 19% in 2012 and to 15% by the end of the decade.
Delays in moving production to 450mm will delay the next cost reduction phase for IC manufacturing (14nm, EUV, 3-D transistor structure, etc.).
As a result of these and other industry trends, long-term IC ASPs are forecast to stabilize and lead to IC market growth of 8.0% annually through 2021.