WASHINGTON — Global semiconductor sales totaled $338.9 billion in 2016, narrowly topping 2015 for the highest-ever annual sales mark.
Revenue was up 1.1% compared to 2015, on a strong close to the year, said the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA).
Global sales in December reached $31 billion, equaling the previous month’s total and bettering sales from December 2015 by 12.3%. Fourth quarter sales of $93.0 billion were 12.3% higher than the total from the fourth quarter 2015 and 5.4% more than the third quarter 2016. All monthly sales numbers are compiled by the World Semiconductor Trade Statistics (WSTS) organization and represent a three-month moving average.
“Following a slow start to the year, the global semiconductor market picked up steam mid-year and never looked back, reaching nearly $340 billion in sales in 2016, the industry’s highest-ever annual total,” said John Neuffer, president and CEO, Semiconductor Industry Association. “Market growth was driven by macroeconomic factors, industry trends, and the ever-increasing amount of semiconductor technology in devices the world depends on for working, communicating, manufacturing, treating illness, and countless other applications. We expect modest growth to continue in 2017 and beyond.”
Several semiconductor product segments stood out in 2016. Logic was the largest semiconductor category by sales with $91.5 billion in 2016, or 27% of the total semiconductor market. Memory ($76.8 billion) and micro-ICs ($60.6 billion) – a category that includes microprocessors – rounded out the top three segments in terms of total sales. Sensors and actuators was the fastest growing segment, increasing 22.7% in 2016. Other product segments that posted increased sales in 2016 include NAND flash memory, which reached $32 billion in sales for a 11% annual increase, digital signal processors ($2.9 billion/12.5% increase), diodes ($2.5 billion/8.7% increase), small signal transistors ($1.9 billion/7.3%), and analog ($47.8 billion/5.8% increase). Regionally, annual sales increased 9.2% in China, leading all regional markets, and in Japan (3.8%). All other regional markets – Asia Pacific/All Other (-1.7%), Europe (-4.5%), and the Americas (-4.7%) – saw decreased sales compared to 2015.
“A strong semiconductor industry is strategically important to U.S. economic growth, national security, and technological leadership,” said Neuffer. “We urge Congress and the new administration to enact polices in 2017 that spur U.S. job creation, and innovation and allow American businesses to compete on a more level playing field with our competitors abroad. We look forward to working with policymakers in the year ahead to further strengthen the semiconductor industry, the broader tech sector, and our economy.”