IDC Forecasts Semiconductor Revenue Growth of 7.7% in 2018

IDC Forecasts Semiconductor Revenue Growth of 7.7% in 2018

After strong year-over-year growth of 24% in 2017, worldwide semiconductor revenue is forecast to grow for the third consecutive year in 2018 to $450 billion, up 7.7% over 2017, according to IDC. The analysis also forecasts that semiconductor revenues will log a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 2.9% from 2017-2022, reaching $482 billion in 2022.

The overall memory market was the key story of last year, due to strong demand, limited supply, and product mix constraints. The DRAM and NAND memory markets grew to $73 billion and $49 billion respectively, reflecting year-over-year growth rates of 77% and 52% for 2017. Excluding DRAM and NAND, the overall semiconductor market grew by 12% year over year. For 2018, non-memory semiconductors are forecast to grow $11 billion to $302 billion. Both DRAM and NAND will continue to grow this year, but are expected to decline from 2019-2021 before recovering slightly in 2022.

The strong memory market resulted in Samsung Electronics capturing the top semiconductor manufacturer spot away from Intel and raised the profile of all the memory manufacturers, which now represent three of the top five semiconductor companies compared to only two the previous year. Revenue concentration continued to increase for the overall market with the top 10 companies making up 60% of the semiconductor market compared to 56% in 2016 and 53% in 2015.

The automotive market and the industrial markets will continue to be the leading areas of growth for the semiconductor market throughout the forecast period, growing at a 9.6% and 6.8% CAGR from 2017-2022. IDC's expects revenue for the computing industry segment will decline 4.0% this year and will show a negative CAGR of -0.7% for the 2017-2022 forecast period. Two bright spots for the computing segment are computing and enterprise SSDs, growing in high double digits and 9.8% CAGR respectively for 2017-2022.

Semiconductor revenue for the mobile wireless communications segment will grow 5.5% year over year this year with a CAGR of 5.8% for 2017-2022. Revenue for 4G mobile phones will experience an annual growth rate of 10.9% in 2018 and a CAGR of 3.1% for 2017-2022. 5G will also drive growth in the later part of the forecast as the technology becomes mainstream by the middle of the next decade. Communications infrastructure semiconductors are forecast to grow at a 1.7% CAGR from 2017-2022 with the strongest growth coming from consumer networks.