Global semiconductor market to grow this year, SIA says

The market is showing signs of recovery after a rough 2011 in which natural disasters disrupted the supply chain

The global semiconductor market is showing signs of a healthy recovery after a rough 2011 in which year-over-year growth was flat, the Semiconductor Industry Association said on Monday

There will be a recovery in global demand for semiconductors after natural disasters in Japan and Taiwan disrupted production and supply chains last year, the SIA said in a statement. Semiconductor companies are also fueling growth prospects through new manufacturing facilities and research and development projects, the SIA said.

The SIA didn't provide expected global semiconductor growth statistics for this year. Although sales hit an all-time high of US$299.5 billion in 2011, that growth was just 0.4 percent above the previous year and fell short of the SIA's expectations of more than $300 billion.

Natural disasters in Japan and Thailand along with a weak global economy led to challenges for the industry, said SIA President Brian Toohey in a statement.

Sales of semiconductors for mobile devices and PCs did well last year. Sales in the optoelectronic market, which includes lamps and image sensors that go into devices, were $23.1 billion, growing by 6.4 percent compared to the previous year.

Sales of sensors and actuators was $8 billion, growing by 15.5 percent. A growth area for sensors is in MEMS, or microelectromechanical systems, which are critical components in smartphones, tablets and other devices. Examples of microelectromechanical systems include accelerometers and magnetometers.

Computer processor sales contributed to the semiconductor revenue growth, primarily due to growing demand in the enterprise sector, the SIA said.

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