News & Events

Global IC market to hit record high in 2021, says IC Insights

IC Insights has forecast that the global IC market will rise 12% and set an all-time high of US$441.5 billion in 2021.

Throughout its history, the IC industry has experienced amazing highs and endured gut-wrenching lows. Nothing, however, has quite matched the challenge presented in 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic swept around the world, IC Insights said. The damaging impact on individuals as well as regional/global economies was evident early on. Yet, through it all, the total IC industry largely avoided the catastrophic sales decline seen in many other industries, IC Insights noted.

Global IC sales increased 10% in 2020, fueled by demand for portable computers and powerful large-screen smartphones, which were used to access the Internet and cloud computing when the COVID-19 crisis was rapidly spreading. Investment in expansion of data-center computers also gave IC sales a boost, IC Insights indicated.

Computing has long been the growth engine for the IC industry, but remarkable emerging applications in communication, consumer, automotive and industrial/medical systems are fueling development of new complex, high-speed, and/or low-power ICs, IC Insights said.

Cloud computing, 5G technology, artificial intelligence (AI), virtual reality (VR), the Internet of Things (IoT), autonomous vehicles, robotics, and many other technologies are rapidly advancing and will change the way consumers live and businesses operate. IC Insights expects a strong, three-year wave of double-digit growth for the IC industry based on these emerging technologies.

In addition, a big 15% surge in semiconductor industry capital spending is forecast for this year as TSMC and Samsung are moving to expand their respective 7nm and 5nm manufacturing capacity, IC Insights indicated. TSMC also expects to ramp production of 3nm devices by the end of the year.