IC Insights has forecasted communications systems as the driving force for IC sales in three out of the four major global geographic regions and overtake computer systems to become the largest system application for ICs for the first time in 2014. Figure 1 below shows that communications systems are forecast to be the largest application for ICs in the Americas, Europe, and Asia-Pacific regions in 2014. In Japan, computer systems are forecast to remain the largest end-use application for IC sales.
The other findings shared by IC insights includes:
Communications, computer, and consumer are forecast to be the three largest end-use categories for ICs in each geographic region except Europe. These three system applications are forecast to account for 83.4% of IC sales in the Americas in 2014, 78.5% of IC sales in Japan, and 92.3% of IC sales in Asia-Pac. In Europe, automotive systems are still a key driver for IC sales and are forecast to account for nearly one-quarter of IC sales this year. Communications, computer, and automotive applications are forecast to represent 80.6% of IC sales in Europe this year.
For years, computer applications were the largest market for IC sales but that is forecast to change in 2014 as the global communications IC market surpasses computer IC sales for the first time. Globally, communications systems are forecast to represent 37.9% of the $285.9 billion IC market this year compared to 36.3% for computers, 11.2% for consumer, 7.6% for automotive, 6.2% for industrial, and 0.9% for government/military applications (Figure 2).
From 2011 to 2017, the percentage of total IC sales to the communications and computer markets has been, and is expected to remain, fairly constant at 73-75%, however the mix is forecast to change significantly. In 2011, 41.1% of global IC revenue came from sales to the computer market compared to 32.1% from communications systems. By 2017, communications applications are forecast to account for 41.8% of IC sales compare to 32.7% for computing systems.