Graphics market to grow and spawn employment opportunities, study says

Companies like Apple and Intel have many graphics related openings, according to Jon Peddie Research

Computer graphics market projects for 2013 and ahead from Jon Peddie Research

Computer graphics market projects for 2013 and ahead from Jon Peddie Research

The computer hardware and software graphics market will grow in the coming years as applications become visually demanding, and employment opportunities in the field will expand, according to a study released on Tuesday.

Sales of graphics related computer hardware and software will grow at a consistent rate in the coming years, signaling a change in fortune for a market that slowed down due to global economic struggles and declining hardware sales, according to a study released from Jon Peddie Research.

A growing demand for mobile devices and renewed interest in games and other visually attractive applications will drive growth in sales of computer graphics products, the study said. Graphics technologies are improving, there is increasing use of movie and photo applications, and more engineering firms are simulating products on computers before real deployments.

More companies will hire graphics artists, designers, scientists and programmers in the coming years as more graphics hardware and software are sold, the study said.

"We are seeing new opportunities growing out of more mainstream applications for the Web and consumer applications. The Web is growing as a distribution medium for graphics content, which in turn encourages people to pick up and learn new tools, create content for pleasure, and even look for jobs in the field," the study said.

Sony and Microsoft will release new gaming consoles later this year, which will lead to the development of new games. Top companies are also hiring more employees with graphics expertise. A search on Apple's jobs website showed about 142 graphics-related jobs. Intel has 1,461 openings listed for graphics-related jobs. Top graphics hardware companies like Nvidia and game companies like Electronic Arts are also hiring.

The graphics hardware and software market this year will be worth about $121.5 billion, growing from $115.8 billion in 2012. The overall graphics market will exceed $142 billion by 2016, according to the study. The numbers do not include services and maintenance of graphics products.

The graphics hardware market will be much larger compared to software. Sales of graphics hardware, including gaming consoles, monitors, mobile graphics and components, will total $106.93 billion this year, increasing from $101.79 billion last year. Sales of software, including imaging, video, simulation, CAD/CAM, animation and modeling will be $14.56 billion this year, up from $13.98 billion last year.

Graphics hardware is also used in super computing, in which processors crunch complex science and math applications. The demand for better graphics has also put pressure on companies to upgrade applications and release drivers at a faster pace. Intel last week posted the latest Windows 8.1 beta drivers for its integrated graphics processors in chips.

There is also a push to bring gesture recognition and tracking technology to computing devices, with hand, eye and other body movements being used for commands. Chip maker Advanced Micro Devices has said there will be demand for better graphics on devices like tablets, however Intel and ARM have argued that battery life is more important on mobile devices. Graphics can drain battery life due to its high processing requirements.

Agam Shah covers PCs, tablets, servers, chips and semiconductors for IDG News Service. Follow Agam on Twitter at @agamsh. Agam's e-mail address is agam_shah@idg.com

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Agam Shah

IDG News Service
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