NAND Flash to Lead All Others As IC Market Growth Returns in 2020

McClean Report 2020 forecasts return to growth for 26 of 33 IC product categories.

IC Insights is in the process of revising its forecast and analysis of the IC industry and will present its new findings in The McClean Report 2020, which will be released in January 2020.  Among the revisions is a complete update of forecast growth rates of the 33 main product categories classified by the World Semiconductor Trade Statistics organization (WSTS) through the year 2024.  The top five categories for IC product growth are covered in this bulletin.

Topping the chart of fastest-growing products for 2020 is NAND flash with DRAM in third position (Figure 1). The strong anticipated market growth for the two memory segments is not a big surprise given the complete market collapse that these two segments experienced in 2019.  The 2020 NAND flash market is expected to rise by 19%, a solid follow-up to the 27% decline in 2019. Similarly, the 12% gain forecast for the DRAM market is a strong turnaround from 2019, when it demonstrated the poorest growth among all 33 IC product categories.

Figure 1

Solid-state computing is expected to drive demand for high-density, high-performance NAND flash next year even as mobile applications continue to be a significant application.  Stronger growth in NAND flash and DRAM is forecast as momentum increases for 5G connectivity, artificial intelligence, deep learning, and virtual reality in mobile, data center and cloud-computer servers, automotive, and industrial markets.

Increasing electronic content onboard new cars is expected to provide the Automotive—Special Purpose Logic category with another solid year of growth.  In fact, Automotive—Special Purpose Logic and Embedded MPUs have been on the Top-5 growth list the past three years.

Automobiles have been gaining traction as a growth driver for several IC product segments in recent years, but particularly for Automotive—Special Purpose Logic.  Electronic systems that improve performance, increase safety, and add passenger convenience continue to be added or mandated in new model vehicles.  In addition, advances in autonomous driving and the expansion of electronic vehicle sales around the world are collectively helping to boost the average semiconductor content per new car.

Among the complete list of 33 IC product categories, 26 are forecast to show growth in 2020, which is an impressive turnaround from 2019 when only six IC product segments showed sales gains.  Five products are expected to enjoy double-digit growth in 2020, an increase from four in 2019 but far from the 17 product categories with double-digit growth in 2018.  Seven products are forecast show flat growth or a market decline in 2020 (Figure 2).

Figure 2