LOS ALTOS, CA – China’s electronic equipment production market is finally slowing down, and taking the rest of the world with it.
Citing the recent economic environment and spate of earthquakes, research firm Henderson Ventures said China’s short-term equipment production output will drop eight points to 13.5% this year, before rebounding slightly in 2009 and 2010.

The appreciating currency, higher labor costs and tighter environmental policies will conspire to “subdue” expansion in the longer term, Henderson said, although growth rates will remain “attractive.”

Worldwide equipment production is forecast to be rise 6.4% this year, down from 9.1% last year. It will grow 7.5% in 2009, and 8.8% in 2010, the firm predicts.
PORTSMOUTH, UK – Despite signs of an economic slowdown in the wake of the global credit crunch, Semicast says revenues for semiconductors in industrial and medical applications will continue to grow around 8% in 2008.

“One of the defining characteristics of the industrial sector is that it does not exhibit the ‘boom-and-bust’ cycle so typical of the semiconductor industry as a whole. While in good times this means opportunities are often overlooked, during more uncertain times, the sector represents a safe bet for steady and dependable revenues. Accordingly, many semiconductor vendors are now taking a much closer look at the opportunities,” said Colin Barnden, Semicast’s principal analyst for semiconductor research.

The market for semiconductors in industrial and medical applications is estimated to have been $20 billion in 2007, up 20% compared to 2005. Demand is forecast to rise further, to more than $33 billion in 2013, a CAGR approaching 9%, totaling $183 billion during the period between 2007 and 2013, says the research firm.

In 2007, analog ICs and discretes represented the two largest product categories, followed by MCU/MPU/DSP, according to Semicast. Over the medium term, highest revenue growth is forecast for analog ICs, followed by MCU/MPU/DSP.

Demand is forecast to continue to be led by standard linear devices, with strong revenue growth also for application specific analog ICs. The need for high-precision or high-speed products is growing strongly, driving up overall ASPs and supporting continued growth, says the firm.

The vast majority of revenues in the discretes category are for power discretes, which are used widely in applications such as lighting ballast, motor drives and power supplies.

While industrial is often thought of as a sector requiring low processing performance, more than two-thirds of growth in the MCU/MPU/DSP category is forecast for 32-bit devices. x86 MPUs had the highest revenues in 2007, but ARM MCUs are forecast to see highest growth.

Revenues for PLDs/FPGAs are forecast to grow strongly in industrial applications, while revenue growth for gate array/standard cell-based devices is forecast to slow. Growth is forecast to increase with replacement of incandescent bulbs with LEDs in lighting applications and across the industrial sector as a whole.

Strong demand for image sensors is also forecast in machine vision and video surveillance, while optocouplers continue to find strong demand in the automation sector, says Semicast.

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