Semiconductor industry is still chipper

The semiconductor market is booming, with analysts claiming that this year it will generate $315 billion, a 5.1 percent increase from 2010 revenue of $299 billion.

However, despite it’s growth, Gartner has admitted that this is a drop of 1.1 percent from its previously predicted 6.2 percent growth this year.

It also pointed out that despite fears that the earthquake and tsunami in Japan would have an impact on the supply of silicon wafers, batteries, crystal oscillators, it has not succeeded in derailing the electronics industry.

That’s because in response to the disaster,  vendors stepped up efforts to secure supply in the “face of uncertainty and potential “, which Gartner said led to some double ordering that continued into the second quarter.

That said, the industry hasn’t got away scot free with Gartner saying that it anticipated some residual effects in the third quarter this year. It said this could be caused through friction in the supply chain affecting some production

“We expect an effort to draw down inventory, which will weaken the semiconductor market in late 2011 and early 2012,” it said in its report.

When it comes to different products Gartner forecasts worldwide application-specific standard product (ASSP) revenue to reach $79.7 billion in 2011 and grow to $99.4 billion by the end of 2015.

It said with Apple’s application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) investment this market will grow solidly right up to 2015.

However, the highest overall growth through 2015 will be from nonoptical sensors, which are used in the automotive sector as well as smartphones, tablets and video game hardware.

Of course there’s also predicted rapid semiconductor growth in the smartphone and the tablet space with Gartner predicting that two-thirds of semiconductor industry revenue growth will come from these gadgets in 2013.

It pointed to a new generation “of high-performance” mobile application processors, which will “form the heart of both smartphones and media tablets”.

These married with higher amounts of DRAM and NAND flash memory, will apparently allow the performance and storage required for new features including context-aware computing, augmented reality and computational photography.