Market researcher IDC is predicting healthy growth in the semiconductor sector for the next five years, driven mainly by sales of mobile PCs and smartphones.
PC semiconductor revenue has grown by over 35 percent this year compared to last year, driven primarily by notebooks. Meanwhile smartphones are also experiencing double-digit semiconductor revenue growth, and the industrial, military, aero and automotive industries are collectively looking at year-on-year growth of over 20 percent.
At the same time, the semiconductor industry association is being widely reported as saying it expects the PC sector to register growth of 20 percent and the mobile phone sector up to 12 percent this year.
Both organisations, however, warn of the threat posed by immediate macroeconomic concerns. "Overall, we believe that the semiconductor market recovery seen this is year is similar to the one in 2004," said Mali Venkatesan of IDC.
"However, global economic recovery that started in the second half of 2009 is in danger of slowing down due to macroeconomic problems such as the Euro crisis, continued high unemployment in the U.S., with the associated low consumer sentiment, and the fear of an asset bubble in the BRIC countries.
"In such a scenario, the expected growth in the second half of 2010 may be pushed into early 2011. Nevertheless, we believe device applications such as smartphones, mobile PCs, media tablets, and automotive will show strong secular growth both in 2010 and 2011."