KPMG surveyed 163 semiconductor industry business leaders in companies based around the world on a variety of business topics. The majority (59 percent) of semiconductor leaders expect the rate of M&A deals to increase in 2016, while another 34 percent expect it to match this year’s pace.  The combined total is higher than the 83 percent who predicted an increased or same rate of M&A in 2015 in a survey conducted a year ago.

When asked which geographic regions would see the most M&A activity the Americas was the leader (45 percent), followed by Asia Pacific (36 percent) and Europe (18 percent).

The semiconductor business leaders were also asked to name the three biggest issues their businesses face in the next three years. They are:

  1. increasing R&D costs (45 percent)
  2. finding technology breakthroughs (41 percent)
  3. average sale price erosion (40 percent)

As semiconductor companies execute M&A as part of their revenue growth strategy, nearly three-fourths (71 percent) of the business leaders said their company revenue will increase in the next fiscal year, compared to 81 percent in last year’s survey. 

In terms of product categories likely to grow the business leaders reference old favorites, although they differ with the some of the findings of market research firms.

Six out of 10 semiconductor business leaders expect that microprocessors will be the sector with the highest growth opportunities, followed by sensors and memory. The end markets with the highest growth opportunities are forecast to be networking and communications (61 percent), computing (52 percent), and automotive (52 percent). The most important application markets for revenue are predicted to be wireless handsets and other mobile devices (60 percent), automotive sensors (54 percent), wireline communications (49 percent), and automotive infotainment (48 percent).  China is viewed as the most important region for their company’s revenue (49 percent) and headcount (77 percent) growth next year, followed by the U.S.

KPMG’s study, conducted in September, surveyed 163 semiconductor industry business leaders, primarily senior level executives, including device, foundry and fabless manufacturers. Sixty-seven percent of the companies represented in the survey have annual revenue of $1 billion or more.

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