The average selling price (ASP) for analog ICs has dropped 2.25 percent since December 2016 and is projected to fall by one percent in 2018, according to a market update from Semico Research Group. The ASP for analog ICs was $0.344 in 2017.
While many electronics component segments, including memory devices and passive components, have faced big challenges balancing supply with demand over the past year, the analog IC market is approaching near market equilibrium.
Supply and demand is near balance, according to Jim Feldhan, president, Semico Research Group.
While 200-mm capacity is tight, the industry is slowing migrating production to 300-mm wafer, Feldhan said. “As 200-mm wafer fab equipment is hard to find and maintain the older 300-mm wafer are being converted for analog products. We expect this to continue as cost pressure and performance increases.”
Semico estimates the global electronics market consumed more than 150 billion analog ICs in 2017. Despite the lower tags, analog IC companies have been profitable thanks to mature process technologies and long-lived products, according to Feldhan.
The majority of general-purpose analog ICs use mature technologies and account for 40.8 percent of total analog revenues and 59 percent of total analog units. The largest product segment among general-purpose analog ICs is power management, which accounts for 30.9 percent and 51.6 percent of total general-purpose dollars and units, respectively.
However, the report shows application-specific analog ICs account for a bigger piece of the dollar pie, representing 69.1 percent of analog revenues and 48.4 percent of analog units. These devices use more advanced processes technologies and command a higher price tag.
Semico estimates revenue for the global analog IC market at $52.8 billion in 2017. The market is projected to grow at a 5.4 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) over the forecast period of 2016 to 2021. Unit growth is forecast to grow at a 7.9 percent CAGR.
The biggest growth drivers for analog ICs over the past several years has been mobile products such as smartphones and tablets, which have a higher than average analog content, according to Semico. However, as the mobile device market becomes saturated, growth is shifting to other end markets and applications, including the internet of things (IoT), as well as automotive and artificial intelligence as part of the big data trend.
The report also indicates that analog IC manufacturers, like the rest of the semiconductor industry, have been consolidating through mergers and acquisitions. The biggest reasons cited is “to build market position, get more economies of scale, solidify market pricing control and enhance IP patent portfolios.”
Feldhan wouldn’t be surprised if there are other acquisitions to come. “Looking into 2018 the big outstanding one is Qualcomm and NXP,” he added.
Semico's report, Analog Market Update: Making Digital Systems Come Alive , provides a forecast for the analog market and product segments, which includes a pricing forecast up to 2021 and profiles of key analog IC suppliers.