Gartner: 2020 woes have been no impediment for semiconductor market development

Regardless of all the financial troubles of 2020, semiconductor income grew by 10.4% globally in 2020, with 5G and COVID-19 lockdown-related {hardware} purchases driving the optimistic pattern.

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The worldwide semiconductor market, which manufactures the chips used to make issues akin to pc reminiscence, GPUs and 5G chipsets, posted income of $466.2 billion in 2020, which Gartner mentioned is a rise of 10.4% within the world market in comparison with 2019. The explanations for the expansion in semiconductor income, regardless of an general economically rocky 2020, was the direct results of the approach to life and enterprise modifications attributable to issues just like the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The industries that grew, have been the precise industries one would anticipate to develop when a lot of the worldwide workforce was despatched house, mentioned Gartner analysis Vice President Andrew Norwood. The components that declined, Norwood mentioned, declined for the very same causes.

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“Reminiscence, GPUs and 5G chipsets led semiconductor development … whereas automotive and industrial electronics suffered attributable to decrease spending or a pause in spending owing to COVID-19,” Norwood mentioned.

Particular person firm income shook up a bit, with NVIDIA, MediaTek and KIOXIA all becoming a member of the top-10 semiconductor distributors. Amongst high gamers there was no change; Intel nonetheless ranks first, adopted by Samsung and SK hynix.  

The analysis report that particulars Garnter’s findings (solely accessible to Gartner purchasers) spells out in larger element the rationale for the modifications, which distinction with early 2020 assessments that COVID-19 would have a cross-market adverse influence on revenues. The precise impact, Gartner mentioned, was extra nuanced.

Industries that grew, like wired communications, grew little “as a result of enterprise spending remained paused for many of the yr, though hyperscale and broadband compensated for the loss leading to development of wired communications,” Gartner mentioned. 

NVIDIA posted the very best 2020 development amongst semiconductor producers, with its income leaping 45.2% from 2019. Unsurprisingly, Garnter mentioned, “NVIDIA’s development was primarily pushed by development within the firm’s gaming-related enterprise and knowledge middle enterprise.” Its knowledge middle enterprise development could also be additional tied to the five hundred% development that its personal NVIDIA GeForce Now sport streaming service skilled between February and November 2020.

5G smartphone chipsets have been one other huge development space regardless of general smartphone manufacturing declining by 12.7% over the course of the yr, partly attributable to supply-side challenges firstly of the pandemic. “From a semiconductor perspective, the sturdy development of 5G offset the weaker system unit development with elevated semiconductor greenback content material, together with reminiscence, higher-ASP 5G chipsets and extra radio frequency (RF) front-end elements and energy administration ICs,” Gartner mentioned.

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One-third of the general semiconductor market development in 2020 was pushed by reminiscence, like DRAM and NAND flash. “Reminiscence benefited from the important thing pattern in 2020—the shift to house working and studying—which fueled elevated server construct from hyperscale distributors to fulfill on-line working and leisure, in addition to a surge in PCs and ultramobiles,” Gartner mentioned.

The most important losers, as talked about above by Norwood, have been automotive and industrial electronics. The automotive market, particularly, was the one one to put up adverse development, with a 5.6% decline general. Individually, the worst performing semiconductor class was non-optical sensors (-1.2%), that are largely used within the automotive trade.

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