El Segundo, Calif. —The global market for industrial electronics semiconductors grew 11 percent in 2013, recovering from a five percent loss in 2012, according to IHS Technology (NYSE: IHS). Global industrial chip revenues increased from $30.4 billion in 2012 to $33.7 billion in 2013.
Growth will continue over the next few years with industrial-related semiconductor revenue reaching about $45.0 billion by 2018, according to the IHS report, “Solid Q3 Industrial Growth Improves 2013 Forecast." The turnaround "sets the stage for a robust 2014, with annual revenue forecast to grow 9 percent to $36.8 billion, said Robbie Galoso, principal analyst for industrial electronics at IHS, in a statement.
“The market’s persuasive bounce-back is due to a strengthening global economy, coupled with higher purchasing confidence across all geographical regions,” stated Galoso, “While the field may not sound as sexy or attention-grabbing as some of the more popular markets around, like wireless or consumer, there is no underestimating the power or sheer breadth of its applications, ranging from home automation to the medical field, to energy, to aeronautics and military purposes, and much more.”
Industrial-related electronics include all types of semiconductors ranging from memory ICs and microprocessors/microcontrollers to analog and logic ICs and discretes. Component manufacturers in the microprocessor sector, in particular, continue to beef up their offerings.
Most recently, Texas Instruments (TI) set a new performance level in industrial applications with its C2000 Delfino F2837xD series, dual-core MCUs. These devices can be used in high-end servo drives (including in factory automation and elevators), solar central inverters and industrial UPS.
In another example, STMicroelectronics launched its new range of 32-bit general-purpose microcontrollers that are designed to extend battery life in consumer, health and industrial applications. The ultra-low-power STM32L0 series features a 32MHz ARM Cortex M0+ processor core, a 12-bit analog-to-digital converter (ADC), and a USB FS 2.0 crystal-less solution.
So which region exerts the most influence on the market? The top five countries for semiconductor design and influence in industrial electronics were the United States, China, Japan, Germany and France, controlling more than 70 percent of the industrial electronics market in 2013, according to the report.
The largest segment in all industrial electronics was building and home control, spurred by an upturn in the U.S. housing market. Revenue is estimated at $10.1 billion in 2013, nearly one-third of the industry's market share, according to the report. Growth drivers included LED lighting and security systems such as video surveillance and fire alarms. Other sectors driving growth included military and civil aerospace and medical electronics, particularly diagnostic-therapy-patient monitoring.
Another growth driver included energy generation and distribution, although weakness in wind turbines " dragged down the stable growth seen in other renewable-energy sectors such as nuclear, thermal, hydro, and oil and gas," according to the report.
Manufacturing process automation was also a growth driver, including a significant increase in demand from China and the U.S. Another contributor was test and measurement although soft in the third quarter of 2013.
The report also finds that Europe contributed significantly to the sector's growth with 13 countries among the top 20 global industrial electronics markets, including Germany, France, Switzerland, Sweden, Italy and Finland.