2017 was a landmark year for the global semiconductor industry. Due to an astounding 57% rise in sales in the memory sector, total revenue in the industry is poised to surpass US$400 billion for the first time. In addition, after 25 years as the global leader in the semiconductor field, Intel will be losing that title to Samsung.
Ben Lee, principal analyst at Gartner Group Taiwan, sought to shed light on those and other recent developments at a luncheon meeting of AmCham Taipei’s Technology Committee at The Sherwood Taipei on December 8. Most of the growth this past year was due to a rise in selling prices – spurred by an undersupply of product in 2016 – rather than increased production volume, Lee explained. As a result of the changed market dynamics, memory now accounts for about 30% of the total semiconductor market, up from 24% a year ago.
Lee sees continued growth, though at a more moderate pace, in 2018, driven by heightened demand in such categories as automotive-electronics and robotics. The development of products centered on the Internet of Things will help make up for the decline in such areas as PCs and smart phones.
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