The wireless segment is expected to overtake computers to become the world’s leading application market for semiconductor purchasing by original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) starting in 2011, reports SMT & Packaging.
Driven by booming sales of smartphones and tablets, OEMs in 2011 will buy $55.4 billion worth of semiconductors for use in wireless devices, up 10.7 percent from $50.1 billion in 2010.
In contrast, OEMs will spend $53.1 billion on semiconductors used to make computers, up a scant 1.2 percent from $52.5 billion in 2010.
Not only will wireless be the leading category for semiconductor spending in 2011, wireless will also expand its lead in 2012 as the high-technology market increases its focus on mobile, Internet-connected devices.
“Led by Apple Inc.’s iPhone and iPad, demand is booming for smart phones and tablet devices,” said Wenlie Ye, analyst for semiconductor design and spending at IHS. “This is spurring a surge in sales of semiconductors used in wireless devices, including baseband chips, applications processors and mobile memory. With overall sales growth for PCs slowing, the balance of power in the semiconductor industry is shifting toward the wireless segment.”