Mobile device segment in slow semiconductor market grows over 20% in 2011

April 02, 2012 // By Jean-Pierre Joosting
Mobile device semiconductors were one of the few bright spots in a chipset market that stalled in 2011, according to ABI Research. Revenue from chipsets designed for mobile devices increased by more than 20% to $35 billion, while the total semiconductor market limped out of 2011 with just 2% year-on-year growth.

“It’s tempting to describe this industry as lackluster,” says Peter Cooney, practice director, semiconductors. “But then, some segments of the semiconductor market are booming and vendors concentrating on the mobile device sector have delivered very healthy growth in 2011.”

Shipments of mobile devices such as smartphones, media tablets, and e-book readers are growing fast and are driving growth for a range of semiconductor components including modems, applications processors, wireless connectivity ICs, MEMS sensors, and audio ICs.

Platform ICs (including modems, applications processors, RF components, and PMUs) account for the bulk of overall revenues, but are becoming an increasingly competitive section of the market. Suppliers including Qualcomm, ST-Ericsson, MediaTek, Intel, Texas Instruments, Broadcom, Marvell, and Renesas Mobile have positioned themselves as platform solution suppliers and the top 10 suppliers now account for more than 75% of total revenues and their dominance will continue to build as niche suppliers are acquired or muscled out of the market.

Growth and opportunities will be more prevalent within wireless connectivity ICs (Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, GPS, NFC, etc.) as well as MEMS sensors and audio. Growth across the three segments will top a 30% CAGR from 2011 to 2016.

ABI Research’s latest study, “Mobile Device Semiconductor Markets,” focuses on the markets for baseband ICs, applications processors, power amplifiers, etc., in mobile devices such as smartphones, media tablets, and so on, and offers market sizes, forecasts, and supplier market shares.