Top Trends in the Semiconductor Industry

Monday October 7, 2019

The semiconductor industry has experienced a downturn this year, but that does not mean that individual markets are not thriving.  Demand for semiconductors in China, 5G communications, autonomous vehicles, and the Internet of Things are just four of the key trends driving the semiconductor market in 2019.

First, the strong market that is China is continuing to grow, despite the global semiconductor industry weakening.  Indeed, China’s market is expected to continue to perform stably, with sales rising 11.8% year-on-year during H1’19.  The industry is feeling the pinch due to the US-China trade war, but this just seems to be spurring the Chinese government on to increase investments.  Cities on the East coast of China are a key hub for the country’s semiconductor industry, and aggressive development of the industry in this region is expected to continue (Digitmes).

5G communication roll-out is another area where the semiconductor industry is still growing.  Complete roll-out will not be completed for another 5-8 years, but the technology standard is being developed (Travel Daily Media).  5G is very important not only for consumers but also for the future of smart manufacturing.  Industry 4.0 is all about flexible production of materials, and 5G will enable that flexible, agile production method (HMS Networks).

Autonomous vehicles are the focus of all major automotive manufacturers.  By the end of 2019, while we aren’t expecting to be chauffeured by robots, we will be a lot closer than we were at the start of the year.  Many manufacturers have even said they hope to have fully autonomous vehicles on the market by the end of 2020 (Bernard Marr).  This increased demand for vehicles with semi-autonomous features is driving the market for semiconductor chips (Emerj).

Last, but certainly not least, the Internet of Things (IoT) continues to boom.  Total installed IoT connected devices is forecast to reach $75.44 billion by 2025, which is a five-fold increase over 2015 (Techno Stacks).  The top trends, according to Towards Data Science, will be a soar in smart home technologies, increased use of edge computing, increased use of IoT in healthcare, improvements to IoT security, and vastly more detailed data analytics.

While the semiconductor market as a whole has seen a downturn this year, sub-sections of the market are flourishing and continuing to drive innovation and creativity.

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