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IC Insights has raised its IC market growth forecast for 2021 to 24%, compared with its previous estimate of 19% growth.
If excluding memory, the total IC market is expected to increase 21% this year, according to IC Insights.
IC Insights credited its more upbeat forecasts to continued per-bit pricing strength in the DRAM and NAND flash markets as well as a better than expected outlook for many of the logic and analog IC product categories.
With the price per bit of DRAM rising 28% from US$0.39 per Gb in the fourth quarter of 2020 to US$0.50 per Gb in second-quarter 2021, IC Insights raised its full year 2021 forecast for the DRAM market to 41%. The price per bit of DRAM will continue to rise in the second half of this year as supply remains tight, said the research firm.
The forecast for the NAND flash market is for 22% growth, IC Insights indicated. The price per bit of NAND declined 26% on year in the first quarter of 2021, but pricing stabilized in the second quarter and is expected to increase over the remaining two quarters of this year. For all of 2021, the total memory market is forecast to be up by 32%, IC Insights said.
After dropping 8% in 2019, the analog IC market registered a small 3% increase in 2020. For 2021, the analog market is expected to surge and display 25% growth with a 20% jump in unit shipments, according to IC Insights. As a result of the supply constraints in the analog IC market, a rare rise of 4% in the analog ASP is forecast for this year (the last time there was an increase in analog IC ASP was 17 years ago in 2004). Moreover, in 2004, the analog IC ASP was US$0.60 as compared to only US$0.32 in 2020, a 16-year CAGR of negative 4%.
Every major general-purpose analog and application-specific analog market segment tracked by IC Insights is expected to post a double-digit increase in 2021. The automotive application specific analog segment is forecast to lead the way in analog market growth this year with a 31% increase driven almost entirely by a 30% increase unit volume shipments.
The total logic IC market is forecast to increase by 24% in 2021, IC Insights said. Logic markets that are expected to register over 30% in growth this year include the industrial (47%), automotive (39%), and consumer (38%) application-specific logic segments and the display driver category (31%). The ASP for logic ICs is forecast to drop 5% this year but be offset by a massive 30% increase in logic unit shipments, according to IC Insights.
The worldwide IC market is expected to display an increase of 24% this year, driven by a 21% jump in unit shipments and a 2% increase in ASP, IC Insights said. A growth rate of 24% would be the third largest increase in the global IC market over the past 16 years, being surpassed only by the 33% surge displayed in 2010 and the 25% increase registered in 2017.