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Industrial semiconductor revenues rose slightly in 2015 despite weakness in the overall semiconductor industry and, in particular, economic headwinds in China, which is a major global consumer of industrial chips. Year-over-year global industrial semiconductor revenue rose less than 1% in 2015 to reach $41.9 billion. This slight revenue increase in 2015 follows solid growth of 11.5% in 2014 and 9.8% in 2013, according to IHS Inc.
“The flat growth in the industrial semiconductor market last year is a bit discouraging, after a period of such robust growth, but there’s hope on the horizon,” said Robbie Galoso, associate director, industrial semiconductors, IHS Technology. “The industrial market showed resilience in 2015 and all signs are pointing to improving growth in the future.”
The gradual acceleration in the U.S. economy continued to lift industrial equipment demand last year. Broad-based growth in industrial electronics gained momentum in the semiconductor industry, especially in products used for commercial aircraft, LED lighting, digital-video surveillance, climate control, smart meters, traction, wireless application-specific testers and medical electronics. However, the continued weakness in overall industrial end-market demand caused by falling oil prices and the slowdown in China -- especially in factory automation and power and energy markets -- stalled semiconductor growth.
Based on the latest information from the IHS Industrial Semiconductors Intelligence Service, strong momentum in the industrial electronics category is expected to continue, as the leading application growth driver in the semiconductor industry through 2020. In fact, the industrial semiconductor market is expected to grow at an 8.45% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) between 2015 and 2020.
Industrial semiconductor company rankings shift
Texas Instruments maintained its strong position as the largest industrial semiconductor supplier in the world in 2015, followed by Infineon Technologies and Intel. STMicroelectronics dropped to fourth place, while Analog Devices remained in fifth position.
The semiconductor industry had a record level of merger and acquisition activity in 2015 that impacted some of the leading industrial semiconductor players,” Galoso said. “Strategic acquisitions will continue to play a major role in shaping the overall semiconductor market rankings in key industrial semiconductor segments.”
Due to its merger with Freescale, NXP rose from 16th to seventh position, registering impressive share gains in manufacturing and process automation, military and civil aerospace, power and energy, medical electronics and other industrial applications. “The company will have a stronger presence in nearly all semiconductor device categories especially in microcomponents, analog and sensors,” Galoso said.