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Analog Seen as Fastest-Growing Chip Segment


SAN FRANCISCO — The analog chip segment, buoyed by expansion in power management and automotive, is expected to be the fastest growing segment of the broader semiconductor market over the next five years, according to market research firm IC Insights.
Sales of analog chips — including both general purpose and application-specific devices — are forecast to increase at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.6 percent from 2017 to 2022, rising to $74.8 billion from $54.5 billion, according to the 2018 edition of IC Insights' annual McClean Report.
The broader IC market is projected to grow at a 5.1 percent CAGR over the same period, according to the report.
IC Insights is projecting that IC sales will grow by some 8 percent this year after growing by 22 percent in 2017. The firm expects total chip sales to reach $393.9 billion in 2018, growing to $466.8 billion in 2022.
Strong sales of power management ICs, application-specific analog chips and signal converter components are expected to be the main drivers of analog growth over the next five years, IC Insights said.

Thanks largely to the growth of autonomous and electric vehicles, the McClean report predicts that the market for automotive analog chips will increase by 15 percent this year, making it the fastest growing analog IC category and the third-fastest growing of 33 IC product categories classified by the World Semiconductor Trade Statistics organization. 
Meanwhile, the market for power management ICs is forecast to grow by 8 percent in 2018 after expanding by 12 percent last year, IC Insights said. Signal conversion components — used mainly in communications and consumer applications — are forecast to continue growing rapidly, with sales increasing by double-digital percentages in the three of the next five years, IC Insights said.
Like other market watchers, IC Insights expects that increased capacity coming on line will cause the memory chip market to cool after expanding by 58 percent last year. The memory segment is forecast to grow at a 5.2 percent CAGR through 2022.

— Dylan McGrath is the editor-in-chief of EE Times.